Storm Whale goes into soft cover!

July 29, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Posted in Awards, Book Awards, Buying my books, Kate Greenaway Medal, Online Sales, Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2018, Queensland Literary Awards 2018, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Hooray! You can now purchase Storm Whale, my story about 3 children who try to save a beached whale, in soft cover! Here is the link to publisher Allen and Unwin’s online sales site, and here is their information:

The highly acclaimed and beautifully illustrated book about three sisters who find a stranded whale on the beach.

Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down
When I and my sisters walked to town …

So begins the tale of three sisters who find a whale stranded on a windswept beach and try to save it.

‘A story of the sea and the possibilities of interactions between humans and other creatures … a story of human kindness and hope’ – Magpies

Shortlisted Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Children’s Book of the Year, 2018
Shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards, Children’s Book Award, 2018
Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal (UK), 2018

So if you don’t have your copy yet, now it’s a little bit cheaper – but still a very beautiful book for your bookshelf!

Four fabulous days with the Bookworm International Literary Festival in Beijing and Hangzhou!

April 8, 2019 at 8:00 am | Posted in Beijing Schools, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, China photos, Dulwich College Beijing, International School of Beijing, Storm Whale, Story Readings, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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With Antoinette Portis and Sandra Greenwell at the Bookworm International Literary Festival

Huge thanks to Peter Goff, David Cantalupo, Karen Tong and the team at The Bookworm Bookshop in Beijing for inviting me to take part in The Bookworm International Literary Festival 2019! Sadly I wasn’t able to appear at my scheduled event at the Bookworm featuring The Tale of Ping Pong Pig on the Sunday due to illness…but by Monday I was ready to fly up!

On Tuesday 26th March: I visited Dulwich College where I spent three fun sessions with Years 3 to 5, introducing the Year 3s to my hungry, lonely dragon Chester Choi; the Year 4s to Ping Pong Pig and the Yongle Emperor, and the Year 5s to Desmond Dog and the infamous pirate queen Ching Shih! Many thanks to the lovely Sandra Greenwell who was my host for the day, and to Lit Fest helper Inna Gafurova who looked after me and sold lots of my books after the sessions!

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With some of my fabulous Junior School audience!
With my lovely host head librarian Sandra Greenwell (left) and library assistants Imee Acosta and Lita Tupaz (right)
Bookworm Festival helper Inna Gafurova and Sandra at the aptly named school coffee shop (right) and with some fabulously inventive pigs made in art class (right)

On Tuesday evening: New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Antoinette Portis and I spoke at The Bookworm with journalist Wendy Tang about the enormously important subject of Raising Kids to Read in the Digital Era. We had a full audience of very interested parents who were keen to hear all the recent science on the subjects of the huge benefits of reading for the brain, and the correspondingly huge problems with kids being overexposed to digital screens (and it doesn’t take much…). If you want to read more about this, take a look at my other blog,

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Just because the subject was serious didn’t mean we couldn’t have fun! Here I am with Sandra Greenwell (from Dulwich College) and the lovely Antoinette Portis, my fellow panel member, with Sandra’s very naughty husband behind us!

On Wednesday 27th March: I visited my old friends at International School of Beijing, which I visited last year for a week in residence! This time I had 3 noisy sessions reading The Tale of Ping Pong Pig  to Grades 3, 4 and 5. Echoes of “Run Pig, Run!” and “Stay Pig, Stay!” could be heard echoing around the playground at lunch time as the kids re-enacted Ping Pong’s mad dash around the Forbidden City, pursued by the cunning Minister of Most Important Things!

It was wonderful to catch up with my librarian hosts, and friends, Bec Taylor and Paul Wong (right). And thank you Hunt Liu from the Bookworm for looking after me!

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We all had great fun, kids included!

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It was lovely to be in such great company with other author visitors including famous Australian author Morris Gleitzman and New York Times best-selling Antoinette Portis!

That night I flew down to the pretty city of Hangzhou, 175 km south west of Shanghai, to stay at the aptly named Blossom Water Museum Hotel, seen in the photos below. Aren’t the gardens and the pagoda lovely?

 

On Thursday 28th and Friday 29th March: I visited Wellington College International Hangzhou, a new school with a very beautiful campus! We had workshops galore, with the Grade 5s learning the science behind why Books are a Brain’s Best Friend; the Grade 6s finding out How to Write a Riveting Story and the Grade 7s and I getting stuck into rhyming verse, haikus, acrostics, limericks and free verse in An Introduction to Poetry! I look forward to receiving some fabulous stories from lots of WCIH students in my latest Clever Competition! A big thank you to head librarian Bethan Amena for all her hard work hosting me and for the magnificent book sales!

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Here I am with Bethan Amena (Head of Library, to my left), Piers Matthews (Director of Marketing and Admissions) and Lizzie Yang, librarian. Thanks for a lovely two days!
Workshops galore with the Grade 5s to 7s

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Many thanks to WCIH’s official photographer July Qi for these lovely photos!

Storm Whale is short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards!

October 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Book Awards, Book reviews, Buying my books, Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2018, Shortlist Book Awards, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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I’m sooooo excited! Storm Whale, my beautiful children’s book illustrated by Jane Tanner and published by Allen and Unwin, has just been short-listed with five other books for the Children’s Literature category of the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2018! I’m so grateful to Jane for her stunning paintings, and the work of Allen and Unwin’s children’s team, led by Erica Wagner, and to my agent Julie Watts, who all made the book possible! We find out who wins in each category some time in November! Cross your fingers for me! If you want to read the lovely comments made by the panel, just click here! If you’d like to see one of the pages in our lovely book, here it is below:

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And if you’d like to buy a copy,  you can purchase here!

Hooray – Storm Whale has reached the Long List for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018!

February 15, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Book Awards, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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I’m so excited! Storm Whale is one of 20 illustrated children’s books in the UK which has reached the Long List for the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for 2018 see here! This medal is awarded for excellence in illustration, and Jane Tanner, the wonderful artist who illustrated my story Storm Whale, well and truly deserves this recognition, as I’m sure you’ll agree! It is such an honour for me to be associated with such exceptional work and such a famous award. Thank you Jane, and everyone at Allen and Unwin in Australia (primary publisher) and Old Barn Books (UK publisher) for your faith in this book! Now we just have to wait until 15 March to find out if Storm Whale reaches the Short List – cross your fingers!

And if you don’t have a copy of Storm Whale yet, remember you can purchase it exclusively in Hong Kong on this sales site!

Wow! Storm Whale is nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 in the UK!

November 7, 2017 at 9:01 am | Posted in Book Awards, Buying my books, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Illustration from Jane Tanner's Storm WhaleI’m so thrilled! Storm Whale has been nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 in the UK! Our beautiful book was released by Old Barn Books in the UK in August and since then has received many wonderful reviews there. Last night I was advised that Jane Tanner’s exquisite illustrations have been nominated for this major award! Here’s just a taste above! Now we have to wait till February 2018 to find out if the book will be long-listed, March for the Shortlist and June for the finalists! I’ll keep you informed! And if you want to buy your own copy, you can order it from your local bookshop now, or here (UK) and here (Australia).

Just 11 days left in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

September 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Clever Competitions, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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P1020216Detail from Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan and Jane Tanner, Allen and Unwin, 2017

A big HELLOOO to the wonderful writers who’ve submitted their entries into my Wonderful Whale Haiku competition! We’ve had entries so far from students in 9 different schools in Adelaide, Brisbane, Chicago, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Shanghai and Singapore! But there’s still 11 days to go! If you love whales, and haikus, and haven’t entered my competition yet, make sure you go straight to my Clever Competitions page above for all the details! I can’t wait to read your entry!

Some wonderful Storm Whale reviews in the UK

August 15, 2017 at 11:40 am | Posted in Book reviews, Clever Competitions, media articles, Storm Whale | 2 Comments
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Hello my friends! I hope you’ve had a GREAT school holiday! It’s been a long, quiet summer holiday here in Hong Kong, and I’m feeling wonderful – especially when I read the lovely reviews Storm Whale has been getting in the UK, where UK publisher Old Barn Books released our beautiful story on the 1st August!

Here are two new reviews:

Best picture book of the year from Clare Zinkin at http://www.minervareads.com/storm-whale-by-sarah-brennan-illustrated-by-jane-tanner/

And five stars from Anne Thompson at http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Storm_Whale_by_Sarah_Brennan_and_Jane_Tanner who says it its the most beautiful picture she’s read for a while!

And speaking of whales…I still haven’t received your entry in my Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition! So go to my Clever Competitions page on the link above, or here for all the information, and start writing!

 

An interview with the CBCA’s Reading Time!

July 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Hello again, to all my followers, after 2 lovely weeks away on holidays in my beloved Australia! I had a wonderful time with my family in Hobart, Brisbane and Cairns, and spent my birthday snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! It was magical!

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And just as magical is the news that Storm Whale is selling like wildfire, and is going into reprint already – less than 2 months after its release on 1 June! You can read my interview with the CBCA’s magazine, Reading Time, here: http://readingtime.com.au/meet-sarah-brennan/

A Fabulous International Holiday Writing Challenge: The Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

June 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Book launches, Buying my books, Clever Competitions, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Don’t you just love whales? These beautiful giants of the deep are so intelligent and wise, and they’ve lived at peace in their watery world for many thousands of years, in a way that we silly human beings simply cannot seem to manage up here on the earth! And many of you will know that my new book with Australian publishers Allen & Unwin, called Storm Whale, illustrated by the award-winning Australian artist Jane Tanner, has just been launched in Melbourne! So to celebrate these beautiful animals – and Jane’s and my beautiful new book – I thought it was high time that we celebrated these wonderful animals in a Wonderful Whale Haiku Competition!

The competition is open to any kid of Primary School age, anywhere in the world.

You’ve got lots of time for this one: the deadline is Saturday 30th September 2017, so you can have a lovely time over your upcoming holidays thinking about whales and writing your poem!

Go to my Clever Competitions page above for all the rules and requirements!

Storm Whale cover

And if you love the illustration above, and want to purchase your own copy of our new book, just click on the link here: http://www.chinesecalendartales.com!

Storm Whale’s Wonderful Melbourne Launch!

June 4, 2017 at 6:05 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Melbourne events, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Our beautiful Storm Whale splashed off to a wonderful start at the launch party at the famous Readings Kids bookshop in Lygon Street in Melbourne on Thursday night 1st June! Here are just some of the photos! Top – an original illustration from the book, by award-winning artist Jane Tanner. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Readings Kids beautiful store front in Lygon Street.

Before the launch with my dear friend Judy Mackerras who flew in all the way from London via Sydney!

Three very important women – to me, and to Storm Whale! Top left, my wonderful agent and friend Julie Watts, top right, Jane Tanner, the renowned artist who brought Storm Whale to life in her exquisite pictures, and top centre, the lovely Erica Wagner, head of children’s books at Allen & Unwin, our fantastic publisher.

With two dear old friends, Jill (top left) with whom I went to school in Hobart many, many years ago and Stacey who lives in Melbourne; and my new friend Jane Tanner!

With Jane, Julie and my friend Tom Danby of INT Books (left), and the three gorgeous girls who were Jane’s models for the drawings of me and my sisters in the book!

Book signing after the speeches…

The shop window before and after the launch! We sold out completely!!

A big warm thank you to Readings Kids for hosting this wonderful event, and to my friends at Allen & Unwin for putting on such a fabulous party!

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