Come and Cockadoodle Doo with Rickshaw Rooster and me today at The Repulse Bay!!

March 26, 2017 at 10:26 am | Posted in children's literacy, Chinese Calendar Tales, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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17553990_1520514737981037_6367927819699384240_nWe’re telling tales tall and terrific at the Bookazine Children’s Bookfest today at The Repulse Bay!! So if you feel in need of a magical story from 5 fabulous authors and the wonderful Talespinners – come and join us from 11am to 5pm! You can even buy signed copies of our books – yay!! See you there!

The SILF photos are here at last!

March 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Posted in Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Naomi Eisenbeiss of M Literary Festivals for sending me these fab photos of my event last Sunday! As you can see, the Glamour Bar at M on the Bund is an Art Deco delight, and the perfect setting for a reading of The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, with that famous race along The Bund in 1920s Shanghai!

My fun interview with RTHK Radio 3!

March 22, 2017 at 10:38 am | Posted in Press, Radio interviews | Leave a comment
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Here I am at the studios of RTHK Radio 3, after my fun interview with the wonderful Noreen Mir of the 123 Program on 13th March. And if you want to hear my interview, where I talk about all the fabulous history behind my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, my writing process, my school visits, my Chinese fairy godfather :), our new minibus advertisements, some exciting news about a new book, as well as my top tips for creating great readers and writers in the digital age, here is the link!

http://programme.rthk.hk/channel/radio/programme.php?name=radio3/1_2_3_show&d=2017-03-13&p=5979&e=423536&m=episode

A wonderful visit to my friends at WISS!

March 21, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Posted in School visits, Shanghai schools, Western International School of Shanghai | Leave a comment
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My last day in Shanghai was spent with my old friends at Western International School Shanghai! Here I am with my lovely friend, primary librarian Isolde Rosevear, who hosted me to a lovely day with the Grade 1s and Grade 5s! The Grade 1s and I had huge fun learning about Chinese dragons, with a reading of The Tale of Chester Choi, and the Grade 5s and I explored all the time-honoured rules about How to Write a Riveting Story. It was such a lovely, welcoming, warm day, and a fitting end to a really marvellous adventure in Shanghai!

I meet a future great writer at the SILF…

March 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Posted in children's literacy, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Meet Dashiell, a remarkable young man, and his remarkable family Brook, Phineas and Hannah, who have been coming to my sessions at the SILF for some years now. Dash’s mum and dad are both well-known writers, and it looks like Dash is a chip off the old block! We had a lovely lunch together, during which I noticed that Dash was busy with pencils on paper! And here’s what he produced, in just half an hour:

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This is Dash’s map of an imaginary country, Syldavia, which he invented over lunch! You can see its boundaries, its mountains, forests, beaches, bays and seas. You can see its capital city, its population, its national flag, its religions, its language and even its writing! This map reminded me of nothing so much as the maps and kingdoms invented by the Brontes in their Haworth parsonage back in the 19th century – and all of the Bronte children were exceptional writers, from an early age.

Dash gave me this map as a gift – which I will always treasure. But he has lots more at home! Now this is what I talk about in my sessions with kids, mums, dads and teachers, about the way great writers are created! The NUMBER ONE requirement is a GREAT imagination – and it’s very clear that Dash has an exceptional imagination. He also has great general knowledge, curiosity and the ability to think deeply. And of course Dash just LOVES reading books – lots and lots of them. And so it is inevitable that Dash will become a great writer one day.

I think we can all learn a great deal from this excellent young man. Thank you Dash.

A Cockadoodle Event at the SILF!

March 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival, Story Readings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Sunday, I entertained a big roomful of fabulous Shanghai children and their mums and dads when I introduced them to my new Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster! It was so wonderful to be talking all about Shanghai’s extraordinary history, the international Concessions, Shanghai’s most famous road The Bund, and the Roaring 1920s, when my story was set, in a building that was there in the 1920s, just beside The Bund! I could just feel Rickshaw Rooster fluffing his tail feathers, puffing his chest, and getting ready to do an enormous Cockadoodle-Doo!!! Here I am, above, with a fabulous bookstand made by my terrific distributors at Obido, in M’s famous Glamour Bar. Life as an author doesn’t get more glamorous than that! More photos to come!

Shanghai International Literary Festival – in the Paris of the East!

March 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Literary Festivals, Shanghai International Literary Festival | Leave a comment
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Kids often ask me what the best things are about being an author – and one of the MANY fabulous things about being an author is being invited to Literary Festivals in different countries around the world! And the Shanghai International Literary Festival is one of the best there is!

HUGE thanks to Michelle Garnaut, of M on the Bund and the M Literary Festivals, for inviting me again to the SILF this year to present my latest Chinese Calendar Tale to the kids and parents of Shanghai! And what a wonderful weekend I had! We authors all stayed at the beautiful new Wanda Reign on the Bund Hotel, a superb homage to Art Deco and 1920s Shanghai, which of course is also paid homage to in my  new book The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster!! So Rickshaw Rooster and I felt quite at home! Above is a picture I took of the Bund in the evening – and you can see the green dome of the old Cathay Hotel (now called The Peace Hotel) where Miss Eugenie Stroganoff was flirting with the band in my story!

And here is, from left to right, The Bund again – you can see the Telegraph Building where Colonel Billy Flynn was posting a letter home in my story, with its big mast, at the back of the row of buildings on The Bund. In the middle is the Pudong skyline, on the other side of the Huangpu River – space-age and modern and extraordinary!! And a gorgeous light show on one of the Shanghai skyscrapers on the right! Shanghai is most definitely a city of ever-blazing lights, and is best seen at night!

And here are just some of the other authors I met: Patrick Lapeyre, a famous French writer and winner of the 2010 Prix Femina; in the middle, from left to right, Michelle Garnaut introducing Lee Tamahori (screen director of the renowned Once Were Warriors and, more recently James Bond film Die Another Day), Anne O’Brien, director of the New Zealand Writers Festival, and the wonderful Witi Ihimaera, author of famous The Whale Rider, talking about their latest collaboration Mahana; and on the right, Zhang Lijia, a famous Chinese author, talking about her latest book! I’m so fortunate to have met them and had lovely long chats with this last weekend!

IMG_3010  On Saturday evening, I walked down the Bund to the old Cathay Hotel, now called the Peace Hotel, to take a look! This hotel was THE place to be seen in 1920s Shanghai, at the time The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster was set, and it still has the most beautiful Art Deco carving and floors and ceilings and lights, as well as photos of the old days! Here’s one I discovered – and you can see a whole row of 1920s motor cars in the foreground! It reminded me of The Shanghai Race in my new book!

A Happy Hangzhou Visit!

March 21, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Hangzhou Schools, HIS Hangzhou, School visits | Leave a comment
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A big HELLO to all my new friends at Hangzhou International School! I had such a fantastic time there on Friday, with the wonderful Paul Wong, librarian and host-with-the-most who organised my transport and my day with great precision! I worked with all the primary years, with the Kindies and Pre-Ks meeting my hungry dragon Chester Choi, the Grade 1s and 2s meeting Pin Yin Panda, and the Grade 3s, 4s and 5s meeting my noisy Rickshaw Rooster, in three funny and fabulous story readings! Then it was time to meet the lovely parents of HIS, with my Creating Literate, Literary Kids in the Digital Age presentation – leaving them with a summary of recommended reading! It was great to meet you all, as well as Primary Principal Russell O’Neill. I feel I’ve made some firm new friends in Hangzhou :).

A warm return to NAIS Pudong!

March 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Posted in China photos, NAIS Pudong, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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My Shanghai adventure started with a full-on, fun day at Nord Anglia International School, Pudong, where I was expertly hosted by the lovely Kym McCullough, librarian and fellow-Aussie! Here we are in the beautiful lobby of this outstanding school! The Year 2s met my feisty Pin Yin Panda and revised the order of all the animals in the Chinese Zodiac; the Year 3s heard my fabulous new Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, and learned some fascinating modern Chinese history, while the Year 4s and Year 5s both did my fun Poetry Workshop! We all had a ball!

Rickshaw Rooster is flying home – to Shanghai!

March 15, 2017 at 6:17 am | Posted in children's literacy, China photos, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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Yippee! Rickshaw Rooster and I are flying to Shanghai today for 3 fabulous school visits and a special appearance on The Bund!! Which of course is where that feisty rooster runs THAT race!! I can’t wait to see my old friends in Shanghai – and to make some new ones too! – and to see my lovely fans at the Shanghai International Literary Festival at 10am at M on the Bund on Sunday!

The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster is my homage to a city that I love, that has made me very welcome over the past 9 years, and my homage also to its remarkable history that made it The Paris of the East!

And if you haven’t already booked for my session at the SILF, here’s the link! http://www.m-restaurantgroup.com/event/sarah-brennan-rickshaw-the-rooster-childrens-session/

Do make sure you see some of the other exciting sessions too – it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet authors from around the world, for both adults and children, and to hear them talk in person about their work. Not to mention having your books signed by the authors themselves!!

See you soon, Shanghai, with a great big COCKADOODLE-DOOOOO!

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