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The Marvellous Adventures of Maggie and Methuselah: A Mystery in Hong Kong


By Sarah Brennan

Illustrated by Charly Cheung

Maggie loves hanging out with her best friends Methuselah (her talkative African Grey parrot) and Edmund (the richest boy in Hong Kong), but she loathes attending boring parties with her high-flying mum and dad! Little does she know that a Family Fun Day at Government House will trigger a thrilling adventure involving one of Hong Kong’s greatest mysteries: what happened to the immensely valuable Chater Collection, which was hidden on the eve of the Japanese invasion in World War Two? A funny, exciting story for pre-teens set in one of the world’s most exotic cities, where cultures meet and risks are for the taking!

For readers aged 8 to 12 who love mystery, history and adventure! With 80+ illustrations.

“Sarah Brennan’s work is a meeting between traditional Asian narratives and the universal taste of children for graphic stories. The tale-telling gifts shown in these books, along with the exuberance of the language and rhymes, make them unique in children’s literature.” – Thomas Keneally, Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler’s Ark

Available now at Blacksmith Books.


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An entire set of all 12 Chinese Calendar Tales, plus Companion Tale, The Tale of Pin Yin Panda, in a beautiful display box. Perfect as a gift for Chinese New Year, birthdays, or any other special occasion! Just click here!

The Tale of Ping Pong Pig

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It’s 1420, and the mighty Yongle Emperor loves every inch of the brand new Forbidden City…but most of all he loves PORK! Enter Ping Pong Pig, a plump, pretty and altogether delicious pig, and her nemesis, the Minister of Most Important Things! Will Ping Pong achieve her life’s ambitions…or will they be cut short on a Ming Dynasty Platter? Find out in this crackling tale of trickery, camouflage and porcine pursuit!


written by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Jane Tanner

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The story of three small girls who find a whale stranded on a beach and try to save it. Illustrated by Australian prize-winning illustrator Jane Tanner. Published by Allen and Unwin in Australia; Old Barn Books in the UK. This story was inspired by my childhood holidays in Tasmania, and in Australia was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2018 and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. In the UK it was Runner Up in the Teach Primary Awards and long-listed for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal 2018. For ages 5 to 12.



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Pin Yin Panda has beauty, brains and an ego to match! So on Chinese New Year’s Eve she makes a surprise announcement: next year will be the Year of the Panda! Will the tradition of millennia be swept aside or will this practically perfect panda be put in her place? And what does Edinburgh Zoo have to do with it? Find out in this funny Companion to the Chinese Calendar Tales, complete with stickers! For ages 6 to 12.
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Meet Run Run Rat, a loveable rodent with a Mission. He’s determined to find fame and glory when he sets out to travel around China. But fame and glory find him in the most unexpected way when he reaches Beijing on the eve of the Olympics Marathon…This funny story in rhyme will inspire anyone from 5 to 105 who believes that victory belongs to those who persevere! For ages 5 to 10.
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Oswald Ox does nothing but chew his cud and roll in the mud – no wonder all the other hard-working farm animals are angry! Then the winter stores go missing, and Oswald is in the frame…Will wisdom and dignity triumph over meanness and greed? Find out here in this witty tale for our times…For ages 6 to 12.
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Temujin the Tiger is the Terror of the East. He’s wrought a trail of destruction and fine dining from Mongolia right up to the gates of China’s Grand Imperial Palace!  But Princess Precious is pretty awful as well, with a talent for tantrums and an ear-piercing scream! Watch what happens when two irresistible forces collide in this hilarious rhyming tale! For ages 5 to 10.
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It’s 221BC, and the mighty Emperor Qin Shi Huang is not amused. Somebody or something is stealing from the royal vegetable patch! Enter Rhonda Rabbit, one very bad bunny, with extremely annoying habits and an appetite to match! Will the Emperor save his greens, or will Rhonda Rabbit live to crunch another day? Find out in this funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tale! For ages 7 to 12.
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Chester Choi is one bad dragon. He just loves children…eating them, that is! But Chester has a secret – he’s desperately lonely and what he really wants is a friend. Make him your friend in this disarming tale of greed, bad upbringing and the transformative power of love! For ages 4 to 9.
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Everybody adores Sybil Snake – she’s beautiful, clever and extremely charming. But all is not as it seems in the Emperor’s menagerie, and Sybil is more of an enchantress than meets the eye! Fall under Sybil’s spell in this tale of mystery, missing treasure and the extraordinary magic of love. Ssss…sss…ss…s…s…s… For ages 7 to 12.
It’s 135BC and the powerful Emperor Han Wudi is desperate for a horse…but not just any horse. The horse he wants is tall, dark and handsome, fleet as a bird and free as a gipsy. But will it ever be pinned down? Find your own fame and fortune in this alluring tale of mystery, history and the fabulous Silk Road! For ages 7 to 12.
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Rodney Ram is gorgeous, from his ear-tips to his toes. He’s creative, artistic, and a gentleman to boot. But there’s just one problem – he doesn’t want to lead his flock! Then famine grips Guangdong Province, and the sheep are in mortal danger. Will Rodney rise to the challenge, and save their woolly hides? Discover your inner artist in this shaggy tale of shyness, sheep and an awful lot of luck! Short-listed for the Golden Dragon Book Awards 2016. For ages 6 to 12. 



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Ming Kee is the cheekiest monkey in Yunnan, and her jungle friends are getting REALLY annoyed! Then one day she offends the Emperor Taizong of Tang! Ming Kee flees the jungle…but where has she gone, and will she ever return? And will she ever mend her mischievous ways? A hilarious tale of mayhem, monkey business…and the getting of wisdom! For ages 7 to 12.
Rickshaw is a proud, vain and extremely noisy rooster living in the backstreets of 1920s Shanghai. When the Annual Race along the famous Bund is announced, winning is a matter of national pride for Shanghai’s international Concessions. But Rickshaw Rooster has other ideas! Will the foreigners win again, or will a local hero carry the day? Find out in this tale of loyalty, ruffled feathers and cocky determination! For ages 7 to 12.
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It’s 1810, and pirate queen Ching Shih and her Red Flags are terrorizing the South China Sea. Enter Desmond Dog, hero of the fishing village of Hong Kong! He’s noble, honest and kind, and loves to help others. But he’s also daring and brave, with an excellent nose… in fact, he would make an excellent pirate! Will Desmond be lured into a life of crime? And what will become of Ching Shih and her crew? Find out in this exciting tale of trickery, temptation…and treasure! For ages 6 to 12.


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This exciting Activity Book is packed with stickers, games, puzzles, and colouring-in for the pickiest of ponies. 22 fabulous stickers on a pull-out centre page. For ages 4 to 9.


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From the creators of The Chinese Calendar Tales comes a tale of dastardly deeds and good clean fun! It’s the eve of the annual Tidy Town competition, and the Neats are working day and night to make their town look exactly right. But then the Grots hatch an evil plan with rather unexpected results! Are you a Neat or are you a Grot? Find out in this fabulously funny tale for ages 4 to 8!
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Hold onto your hats! The Grots are up to their filthy tricks once more at the Twinkle Downs’ annual Maypole Dance! But they soon learn that life isn’t meant to be greasy when the Neats get even again in this rib-tickling sequel to A Dirty Story. More rollicking fun for the whole family with Sarah Brennan’s funny, fast-paced rhymes and Harry Harrison’s hilarious illustrations. For ages 4 to 8.


A wacky and wonderful Poster Map of the Twinkle Downs perfect for bedroom walls! Complete with all those nifty Neats and gruesome Grots from the Dirty Stories, plus some brand new characters and settings hinting at more exciting Dirty Stories to come! For ages 4 to 8.


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  1. Hi Sarah! what is your favorite book?

    • Kids always ask me this and I always give the same answer! My books are like my children, and as a good mum will always tell you, I love them ALL just the same!

  2. I really want to buy your book,but my mum didn’t let me buy your book.

    • Mary I’m so sorry – can you get it in your school library?

  3. […] the leap and set up my own publishing company Auspicious Times Ltd, which went on to publish the Chinese Calendar Tales. That same year, I met my lovely French husband Philippe, and we married at the end of […]

  4. Hi Sarah I am so glad I found you through Kids book review, I have a very close connection to China, and spent 2 wonderful weeks in HK April 2013. You are very inspiring, as I am about to launch a blog very soon and roll out my picture book, page by page. Yikes! I need all the advice I can find! I will definitely be purchasing.

    • Thanks Delia – it’s great to hear from you and I hope you enjoy my books! Best of luck with your picture book and do let me know how you get on!

  5. Hi Sarah!
    Thanks for your wonderful and funny books! My family loves it too!

    • That’s great Hilary! Please say hello to them from me!

  6. Can you give me your address so I can post it to you. I am very late so my school don’t accept it.

    • Hello Brittany, I’m sorry you missed the deadline! Please can you write me an email at very quickly, with a scanned copy of your order and payment, then pop both in the post immediately (I’ll give you the address when you write) and I’ll see if I can pack your order along with the school orders today or tomorrow! All the best, Sarah

  7. […] the leap and set up my own publishing company Auspicious Times Ltd, which went on to publish the Chinese Calendar Tales. That same year, I met my lovely French husband Philippe, and we married at the end of […]

  8. how much are the books?

    • Hi Abby, I see that you live in Singapore. Ask Mum or Dad to order your books at Kinokuniya Book Store in Orchard Road – they’ll be able to get them in for you! I think the cost is around SGD$15.95 but you’ll have to check!

  9. Hi Sarah,
    I’m sorry I couldn’t buy your books; but I got it from the library! :))

  10. Dear Sarah, I purchased two of your books, including Storm Whale at the Australian International School HK Xmas breakup last week! I am now back in Melbourne. You will be pleased to hear that in today’s Weekend Australian Review, a long article on recommended Children’s Books by Stephen Romei, Storm Boy was featured as a “sumptuously illustrated poetically told story. Wow!”. So thought you would like to know. All the best for Xmas and 2018. Prue Leggoe

    • Dear Prue – thank you so much for your lovely post! I’m so thrilled by the news. I’ve tried to track down Stephen Romei’s article but sadly can’t find it yet on the internet! I’ll keep trying! Warm regards to you, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and Year of the Dog! Sarah

  11. Dear Prue – I’ve been trying to track down a copy of the reveiw in vain. Would it be possible for you to scan it and send it to me on I’d be hugely grateful! All the best to you and yours for Christmas, Sarah

  12. hello, Sarah, what is tour email, I am the student in GOS, when I finish the story, I can e-mail it to you.

  13. is this your email:

    • Thanks so much George! And yes, you can reach me on that email address.

  14. I think that you are the greatest author I ever met, lots of other author comes to our school before and you are the best of them all!

  15. almost forgot, my name is George.

  16. Dear Sarah,

    Congratulations on your latest
    Calendar book.

    Is it possible for me to buy a set of all the calendar books plus the Dirty Stories books?

    They are unique and I want my 15 month old grandson to enjoy them as much as I do.

    • Wendy it’s lovely to hear from you, and thank you for your lovely comment ! I’m so sorry that I’ve only just spotted it! Of course you can purchase all my books, including the Chinese Calendar Tales Set and the Dirty Stories. Just log onto my online sales site at and we can send them to you right away! Happy Year of the Pig!

  17. Hi Sarah I am Kay Adams and I bought 2 of your books at the Christmas Conrad show today. However I made a mistake in that my granddaughter was born in 2013, but in January hence before the year of the snake. She was born at the end of the Year of the Dragon. Please can you advise me as to where I can buy this book as I cant seem to find it online anywhere.
    Best wishes

    • Hi Kay, I’m sorry you have had this hassle! You can buy any of my books online at – the book you need is The Tale of Chester Choi. We send free of postage charges within HK. Just make sure you use the option on the page for the signature for your granddaughter! Alternatively, Bookazine stores always have a good stock of my books. I hope it all works out! Sarah

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