Ping Pong Pig visits the Asia Society!

February 24, 2019 at 11:41 am | Posted in Asia Society, Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year, Events, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I visited the Asia Society yesterday for a lovely afternoon with some scrumptious kids, mums, dads and some fabulous grandmas! We had so much shouting to that plump little pig to “Run Pig Run!” or “Stay Pig Stay!” as the Minister of Most Important Things tried to track her down, and winning mini-pandas during my quiz! And the kids really learned their Ming Dynasty history too, with some impressively accurate answers to some of my tricky questions! Many thanks to the lovely Pauline Wong who hosted me for the event, and to CEO Alice Mong for asking me in!

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Hear me read The Tale of Ping Pong Pig at the Asia Society this Saturday afternoon!

February 19, 2019 at 10:50 am | Posted in Hong Kong events, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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Cover image - Tale of Ping Pong Pig

On Saturday afternoon I’ll be reading Ping Pong Pig’s hilarious Tale at the Asia Society in Admiralty at a fun family event, and afterwards you can buy your own copy, and compete in a fun quiz for a cute baby panda toy! Find all the details here! You’ll even get a FREE Year of the Pig bookmark! See you there!

A Big Fat “Happy Year of the Pig!” from Harry Harrison!

February 11, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac | Leave a comment
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My friend Harry Harrison, who is the FABULOUS illustrator of the Chinese Calendar Tales, has asked me to post this very funny cartoon on my blog to wish all his fans a very Happy Year of the Pig! Harry is the famous cartoonist in the South China Morning Post as well as many other publications in the world, such as The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and the Far East Economic Review. I’m so lucky that he illustrates my stories – and all the fans of the Chinese Calendar Tales are too! What can we say but Thank you Harry!

Another great visit to Stamford American International School…with an SCMP journalist!

January 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, media articles, School visits, Stamford American School Hong Kong, Story Readings, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I continued our funny and fabulous Hong Kong School tour on Tuesday afternoon with a visit to my friends at Stamford American International School in Ho Man Tin, where I am proud to be a Global Mentor. And this time I was accompanied by Fionnuala McHugh, a journalist for the South China Morning Post, who is writing a feature article for the Sunday Post for Chinese New Year!

After photos in the Activity Room, our terrific host Lisa Olinski introduced me to some lovely parents and younger kids who heard me reading my “youngest” book, The Tale of Chester Choi, and enthusiastically joined in with contributions as to how you chop off a dragon’s head, especially if it’s threatening your Dad! Then a lovely roomful of older kids and their parents heard my Tale of Ping Pong Pig, together with a whole lot of fascinating history about the third Ming Dynasty Emperor Zhu Di and his best friend the explorer Admiral Zheng He and his seven epic  journeys in huge Treasure Boats as far as Africa!

Lastly, I gave my popular How to Write a Riveting Story workshop to the hardy mums and children who stayed on after the story reading! It was a busy, fun day, and wonderful to see this lovely school again! More photos to come!

Two faraway fans!

January 20, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Fabulous fans!, Shanghai schools | Leave a comment
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I was so happy to hear this week from two of my lovely fans from far away! To the left is Renzo, dressed as Rhonda Rabbit for Book Week at the International School of Panama in Central America – fabulous costume Renzo! I trust that you’re eating all your greens!  And to the right is Zara from Texas in the United States with my latest book The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, and the rest of the Chinese Calendar Tales set! Zara met me many years ago at her school in Shanghai! Warm thanks to their dad Luis and mum Helen respectively for sending me these fabulous photos! A very early, happy Year of the Pig to you all!

 

A Piggy Reminder!!

January 19, 2019 at 9:50 am | Posted in Book launches, Bookazine Exchange Square | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig is singing very enthusiastically at the top of her lungs today to remind you to register for her funny and fabulous Launch Party! It’s next Saturday at 2pm at Bookazine Exchange Square, Shop 305-07 One Exchange Square Central! You can just turn up…but it would really help planning if you would register first! Here’s the link! Just put Ping Pong Pig Launch in the subject box and say how many people are coming!

Here’s a reminder of all the fun we’re going to have!

ping pong pig bookazine book launch 26 jan 2019

Happy 2019! And a special date for your diary!

January 5, 2019 at 10:39 am | Posted in Book launches, Bookazine Exchange Square, Buying my books, Chinese New Year, Hong Kong events | 2 Comments
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ping pong pig bookazine book launch 26 jan 2019

A very Happy New Year to all my lovely followers! I hope that Father Christmas brought everybody all they wished for, and that you look forward to your best year yet!

Speaking of which…here is the BEST POSSIBLE way to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is just around the corner, and of course the new Year of the Pig! Our annual launch party will be the BIGGEST and BEST ever, because this year, we’re launching our very last Chinese Calendar Tale in the Chinese Calendar Tales series, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig!

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You’re going to love our feisty little Pig! She’s kind, she’s pretty, she loves to dance and sing…and she’s also VERY tasty! Everybody loves her, but the problem is, the mighty Yongle Emperor loves PORK even better! Come and listen to me read her funny, exciting story, set in Ming Dynasty China in the brand new Forbidden City, and then watch Harry Harrison draw his amazing pictures! And of course, you can buy your very own copy and have me and Harry sign it!

And this time, it’s a costume party! So if you come dressed up in a costume for your year of the Chinese Zodiac, you’re in the running for a fabulous new Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales as first prize, worth HK$1199! Wow!

NB Please note that this year’s launch is at Bookazine Exchange Square NOT Bookazine Princes Building, as we’re expecting a big crowd!

All the details are on the invitation above, and don’t forget to RSVP on this link or by calling 2542 1133!

And if you want to purchase your very own copy of my new book to read Ping Pong’s story before her big day, just click here right away!

A wonderful visit to UISG in Guangzhou!

October 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Guangzhou schools, Utahloy International School of Guangzhou, workshops | Leave a comment
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This week I made the train journey up to Guangzhou to visit the beautiful Utahloy International School of Guangzhou! (Utaloy is the rough pronunciation of Great Virtue in Chinese, I was told). There I was hosted by the lovely Head Librarian Chrissy Erwin (above), and we started the day with a latte on the balcony overlooking a river beside a forest, in the prettiest setting I have EVER seen for a school, in China or anywhere! It also had wonderful open air playing space for the kids, including a fabulous Dr Seuss tree for the little ones, and a pirate ship for the older kids! Here it is, crammed with P3 and P4 pirates and me!

Year 3 and 4 students on the "Pirate Ship" with author, Sarah Brennan

Thanks Chrissy, and Kelly Phillips, her librarian colleague, for hosting me for a very special day of story readings from the Chinese Calendar Tales with all the primary school students, as well as the Grade 7 and Grade 8 students who learned How to Publish a Picture Book from Brilliant Idea to Final Product.

Above left, you can see me with Kelly Phillips, Chrissy Erwin, and the lovely new Primary Principal Michelle Jones to her right. On the right, you can see me with the fabulous library assistants team Betty Zheng, Haiqing Sun and Judy Li and “our” Chinese Zodiac animals! Below left, I am interviewed by the staff of the high school newspaper The Howl, while below  right, you can see the wonderful Dr Seuss tree playground for the younger students.

 

And finally, just a couple of fun photos with the P3s – we had great fun with a Tale of Desmond Dog story reading and swearing the solemn oath to look at my website!

 

A Book Week visit at MLC in Melbourne!

August 28, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Melbourne schools, Methodist Ladies College, Story Readings, workshops | Leave a comment
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The subject of this year’s Book Week in Australia was Find Your Treasure, and what better book to introduce to the fabulous girls of Melbourne Ladies College on 16th and 17th August than my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Desmond Dog, a story of pirates, treasure and an infamous Pirate Queen!  On the 16th, all the girls from Grade 4 to Grade 6 joined the crew for a story reading, followed by a hearty lunch with the Book Bugs (top photo) who heard some Top Secrets about my next (and final) Chinese Calendar Tale for next year’s Year of the Pig! In the afternoon I was delighted to meet wonderful Grade 3 student Hannah Thompson, the winner of the Grade 1 to 3 Category in my Dashing Dog Story Competition earlier this year (middle photo above), followed by a delightful Grade 1 student who is already writing lots of stories in her spare time (bottom left). The future of great writing from MLC alumni is clearly bright!

Then on the 17th, the Grade 6s took part in my brand new workshop entitled Geography is History: How topography shaped China’s remarkable history! We talked about China’s grasslands in the North (from which invaders came on horseback); its mountains and deserts in the West and North West (which formed a natural barrier both inwards and outwards); its fertile deltas in the East (which formed the first united China under Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi) and the seas beyond (from which trade came and went, and ultimately the incursion of foreign powers, and invasion of the Japanese navy, which together precipitated the End of Empire). I hope the girls found the subject as fascinating as I did!!

Huge thanks to my friend, and fabulous Junior School Head of Library, Tracey Ricchini, who you can just see at the back of the Book Bugs in the top photo! She made a fantastic Ching Shi, the evil (and real life) pirate queen from The Tale of Desmond Dog! More photos to come!

Temujin the Tiger visits Book Week in Panama!

March 10, 2018 at 10:03 am | Posted in Book Week, Fabulous fans!, Panama schools, The International School of Panama | Leave a comment
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Wow! Just look at the photo I just received all the way from Panama! Here is a fabulously fierce young tiger, a.k.a. Renzo Gomez Schumacher, who went to Book Week at the International School of Panama dressed up as Temujin, the terrifying tiger who marauds through Mongolia and China eating human beings left, right and centre before meeting the equally terrifying Princess Precious in the Imperial Palace in The Tale of Temujin! I bet the kids at school kept a very respectful distance! A big thank you to Renzo and his Dad Luis for sending it in!

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