Aha me Japanese International School hearties!

February 8, 2018 at 8:52 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Japanese International School, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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With JIS Grade 6On Monday this week, Desmond, I and all the other Chinese Calendar Tales beasties braved the cold snap to visit Japanese International School, here in Hong Kong! We had four funny and fabulous story reading sessions, with the kids in fine form as dogs (woof!), pirates (aha, me hearties!) and the wicked pirate queen Ching Shih (hissss!). Many thanks to my lovely librarian friend Cath Wan for hosting me, and to the kids and staff for their warm welcome once more! I hope to see lots of JIS entries in my Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition! Here I am with the Grade 6s (above) and, below, some great listeners, and young Ema Poposka – who you may recall was joint-winner of my March Madness Minibus Photo Competition in 2017!

 

Woof! Just 5 days to go till Desmond Dog’s Launch in Hong Kong!

February 6, 2018 at 9:39 am | Posted in Book launches, Bookazine Princes Building | Leave a comment
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If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, remember to let Bookazine know you’ll be there! Harry, Desmond Dog and I can’t wait to see you!

Yum! Learning how to make Jiaozi with ISB!

February 2, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, International School of Beijing, Video | Leave a comment
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This week Rebecca Taylor, Upper Elementary School librarian and my lovely host at ISB, invited me home with Upper Elementary School librarian Paul Wong, her husband Douglas and children,  and her friend Li Ping, to make the delicious Beijing treats called Jiaozi (you say “djow-tzi”)! Here is a fun video of our evening – it was such fun! Thanks Rebecca and Doug!

Some scrumptious ISB kids!

February 1, 2018 at 9:50 am | Posted in Beijing Schools, International School of Beijing, Week in Residence | Leave a comment
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UnknownMy week with ISB has been continuing apace, with such a lot of fun with so many scrumptious kiddies! Here I am with the gorgeous Grade 1s and my lovely ES librarian friend Rebecca Talyor (to my left) and Grade 1SD teacher Stephanie Dracz!

 

I begin my Week in Residence at ISB!

January 29, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Beijing Schools, International School of Beijing, Week in Residence | Leave a comment
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Today was the first day of a whole week of fabulous fun at the wonderful International School of Beijing, with the kids of Pre-Kinder 3 right up to the big kids of Grade 2! Today my Chinese dragon Chester Choi and I met some delicious four year olds in PreK4, then two Grade 1 classes learned all about the Chinese Zodiac when they met Pin Yin Panda, and the Kinders acted out my new story The Tale of Desmond Dog, with lots of “Woofs!” from the dogs, “Aha me hearties!” from the wicked pirates and “EEEKs!” from the scared villagers of Hong Kong! It was SO much fun! Then some gorgeous 3 year olds in PreK3 met all my stuffed toys! Here are my toys, sitting in a Chinese Zodiac row (except the Big Cat and the Panda, who didn’t make it into the Zodiac, and Desmond being Top Dog on my dragon, because it’s HIS year in 2018!

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Huge thanks to my lovely host Bec Taylor, librarian for Lower Primary, here with my friend Paul Wong, who is librarian for Upper Primary!

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Come to the Hong Kong launch of Desmond Dog!

January 29, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Book launches, Bookazine Princes Building, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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If you’re in Hong Kong on Saturday 10th February, then come and join Harry Harrison and me at the Hong Kong launch of our latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog! It’s a true Hong Kong story, set in the fishing village of what we now call Aberdeen, with a noble dog, a wicked pirate queen and lots of pirates and treasure! It’s for kids from 4 to 12 years old – and for anyone who loves dogs, Hong Kong, and Chinese history!!! I look forward to seeing you all there! And remember to RSVP to Bookazine at the number/email address on the invitation above!

Desmond Dog’s Beijing launch at the Bookworm Cafe was fabulous fun!

January 28, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Beijing, Book launches, Bookshop event, Bookworm Cafe Beijing | Leave a comment
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Desmond Dog and I had fabulous fun this afternoon at Beijing’s famous Bookworm Cafe! A lovely bunch of kids, mums and dads came to hear The Tale of Desmond Dog and all the scrumptious Chinese history behind the story! Then we had a fun quiz with questions for everyone from 2 years old to some really ancient ages :), with toy dog prizes, and finally a book signing! It was wonderful to meet such an enthusiastic crowd who love their Chinese history just as much as I do! Huge thanks to Peter Goff, and his lovely assistants Zoe and Nancy, for hosting me today – I look forward to working with the Bookworm Cafe again when I return to Beijing in March for the Literary Festival!

And thank you Zoe for these fabulous photos of the story reading…

and the book-signing…

and last but not least, some new friends!

thumb_IMG_5205_1024 (1).jpgPeter Goff, owner of the Bookworm Cafe! I wonder if you can guess which animal family in the Chinese Zodiac Peter belongs to, and which one I belong to?

EhxbpSima and Nicky Tebbutt and their lovely parents Tatjana and Dan from Ukraine and
Australia (together with “their” animals of the Chinese Zodiac)…

The marvellous creators of the Heckerty series (about that crazy green witch Zanzibar and her adventures), Allan Davidson and Jan Ziff! Here, my dragon Billy Boy is trying to eat Zanzibar, but gives up in the end and lets Zanzibar fly him away! I think they’re going to be firm friends too!

Hey Beijing kids! What are you doing this Sunday?

January 25, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Book launches, Bookworm Cafe Beijing, Buying my books, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books | Leave a comment
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The Year of the Dog is around the corner, and I’ll be at the famous Bookworm Cafe at Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District at 1.30pm on THIS SUNDAY for the Beijing launch of my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog! It’s all about a noble dog, wicked pirates, and a little fishing village called Hong Kong! Come along to  hear me read my story! Here’s your official invitation! I can’t wait to see you there!Poster - Sarah Brennan - Bookworm

Small is Beautiful at BIBS in Beijing!

January 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Beanstalk International Bilingual School, Beijing Schools, Being an Author, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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What a happy day I had at Beanstalk International Bilingual School Shunyi Campus today! Although it was FREEZING outside, the welcome inside was warm and very friendly from everybody, from the gorgeous kids to their lovely parents to the dedicated staff! The Grade 1s met my hungry, lonely dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi; the Grade 2s screamed like spoiled princesses and roared like tigers very convincingly as I read them The Tale of Temujin; the Grade 3s and 4s learned about the world’s most successful pirate Ching Shih and about Hong Kong too when they heard The Tale of Desmond Dog, and the Grade 5s asked some fabulous questions after I told them all about my journey to becoming an author, why I wrote The Chinese Calendar Tales and that very important question – what is my writing process? I was delighted to find out that, like me, they were all firm fans of making story plans before they wrote their first draft of a story! So I’m really looking forward to some great entries from the BIBS Grade 5s in my current Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition (details on the Clever Competition page here).

Warm thanks to wonderful librarian Heather Wright (with me above) who expertly hosted me today, and thank you to the mums and dads and kids who bought over 100 books! I hope to see you all again soon!

Another great day at Keystone Academy!

January 24, 2018 at 10:41 am | Posted in Beijing Schools, Keystone Academy, workshops | Leave a comment
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Some fabulous Grade 4s!

Thank you to the fabulous library team for another great day at Keystone Academy! I met more of the fantastic Grade 3s and 4s, as well as the Grade 5s, and we talked all about the historical figures in my Chinese Calendar Tales – it was wonderful to find that the Keystone kids know a LOT of Chinese history and I learned some really interesting new facts…like, for example, that the name of Genghis Khan (who is represented by Temujin in The Tale of Temujin) can mean not just “mighty leader” but also “leader of all from  the skies to the earth“. One of the primary librarians Lizzy Wong did some more research and found that “genghis” can also mean “powerful“, “gift of the gods” or “ocean“. I think it’s fair to conclude that whatever it’s meaning, “genghis” means something rather magnificent! Then to conclude we had a fun book signing! Thank you to all the fabulous parents, teachers and kids who bought my books!

With Grade 9 student Tori Gu

Here is Tori Gu, the Grade 9 student and library helper who helped pick me up at the airport. During my visit, Tori and I became firm friends. Tori is a remarkable young woman with ambition and great poise, who I’m sure is going to go far! Tori told me that her ambition is to study medicine at John Hopkins University in the United States – and I’m quite sure she’ll make it! She also introduced me to one of her friends, a young man from Afghanistan who has great ambitions for his country – especially for elevating the status of women. I think the future is in safe hands!

Finally, I would like to thank Primary Principal, Mary Jew, for her warm welcome and conversation at dinner, and for my very comfortable accommodation in the guest room in Keystone’s beautiful boarding house.

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