New York! New York!

October 14, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Posted in New York, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hello again! I’ve just spent a wonderful week in New York with the Chinese Calendar Tales and it’s been fantastic fun! So I thought I’d write a post all about it to tell you what I’ve been up to!

With the Chinese Calendar Tales series now completed, and our beautiful Boxed Set selling brilliantly in Hong Kong, I thought it was about time that I showed the books off to some important people in New York!

Monday 7 October: The China Institute

Here I am below outside the fabulous China Institute in Washington Street. I met up with Shenzhan Liao, Head of the School of Chinese Studies, as well as Public Programming Manager Aaron Nicholson and the President, James Heimowitz. And I returned there just before the end of my trip to leave them with most of my Boxed Set! It was fantastic to meet everyone and to see their beautiful new facilities! You can read more about the Institute here.

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Tuesday 8 October: The Asia Society, New York

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On Tuesday I spent the afternoon at the Asia Society in Park Avenue with the lovely Lauren Smith, Buyer, Books and Media.

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After our meeting, I was very lucky to see their remarkable exhibition of modern Chinese calligraphy by Wang Donling. You can read more about the Asia Society here.

 

Wednesday 9 October

On chilly, rainy Wednesday, I caught the subway to Long Island City, where I met Xiaoning Wang, CEO of ChinaSprout, a leading supplier of Chinese Cultural Educational Products. I’m very excited to report that ChinaSprout will be supplying the Chinese Calendar Tales to buyers in the United States and Canada! You can find out more about the company here.

Thursday 10 October

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Then on Thursday, I spent a fantastic afternoon with Seph Duong, Director of Programs and Guest Experience at MOCA, the Museum of Chinese in America in Centre Street near China Town in Downtown New York! I also met his colleagues Jeff Van Damme and Jeffrey Reynolds. All of them are gifted performance artists as well as dedicated staff at MOCA and it was a privilege to meet them! You can see me with Seph (right) and Jeffrey (left) below with “our” Zodiac animals! You can find out more about MOCA here!

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It was such a fabulous opportunity to meet everybody, and I’m so happy that they loved the books! I’ll see you all again at Chinese New Year in January 2020!

I cannot close this post without thanking my friend and inspirational guide Alice Mong, Executive Director of the Asia Society here in Hong Kong, for all the wonderful introductions, help, and suggestions which made my visit such a success. Thank you so much Alice! You can find out more about the Asia Society Hong Kong and its fantastic work here.

A fabulous day at The Peak School!

October 14, 2019 at 9:47 am | Posted in Hong Kong Schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Story Readings, The Peak School, Writing competitions for kids, writing workshops for children | Leave a comment
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It’s been a HUGELY busy fortnight, and first of all I have to let you all know about my fabulous day at The Peak School back on Thursday 3rd October! We had a fun day of story readings and workshops for everyone from Year 3 to Year 6! We started with my How to Write a Riveting Story workshop for the Year 6s; next came an Introduction to Poetry for the Year 4s; the Year 5s then learned all the science explaining why Books are a Brain’s Best Friend, and finally the Year 3s had a funny story reading of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig where they learned all about the mighty Yongle Emperor, and cheered as Ping Pong Pig evaded the cunning Minister of Most Important Things! Thank you to lovely librarian Rebecca Rigden Green for being such a wonderful host! And I can’t wait to receive all your entries in my Clever Competition!

Thank you Berkelouw Books, Rose Bay!

August 20, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Berkelouw Books, Book signings, Buying my books, Children's Chinese Zodiac Books, Sydney Bookshops | Leave a comment
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This afternoon I dropped into one of my favourite Sydney bookshops, Berkelouw Books, where I signed copies of Storm Whale. You can buy your very own signed copy there, and you can also order all and any of my Chinese Calendar Tales from them, including our fabulous Boxed Set! A warm thank you to manager Bru Hammer (above) for all the support!

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A funny and fabulous day at Rose Bay Public School!

August 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Australian schools, Poetry Workshops for kids, Rose Bay Public School, Story Readings, Sydney schools, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Today I visited wonderful Rose Bay Public School, where I worked with all the classes from Kindy to Year 6!

The Kindies and Years 1 and 2 heard me read my story Storm Whale, and saw all of Jane Tanner’s beautiful illustrations up on the screen. We shared some fascinating facts about sperm whales, and how we can help them to survive.  Then I introduced them to my Chinese Calendar Tales and the characters of the Chinese Zodiac! They were very surprised to learn that Captain Cook was born in the Year of the Rat, and Winnie the Pooh was born in the Year of the Tiger!

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Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 heard me read my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Ping Pong Pig – and had a lot of fun filling in the missing words! Congratulations to the Bandicoot Team in Years 5 and 6 which narrowly defeated the Echidna Team in filling in the blanks! I hope that this afternoon has inspired you all to have a go at writing your own rhyming verse…I have a feeling that you will be rather good at it!

And, of course, I hope that you’re all going to enter my next Clever Competition for kids which will be announced on this blog on the 1st of September!

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Huge thanks to lovely librarian Sarah Skelton (above right) and her fabulous assistant Gill Davidson for hosting me today! I wonder if you can guess what year of the Chinese Zodiac we were each born in?

The Chinese Calendar Tales in a Quilt!

August 19, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Chinese Calendar Tales, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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This afternoon I was so excited to collect my very own Chinese Calendar Tales quilt!! My dear friend Jodi Mullen is not only the Students Helping Students Team Leader for my favourite children’s literacy charity Room to Read but is also a very talented quilt-maker! So I asked Jodi if she could make me a quilt featuring all the Chinese Calendar Tales beasties, and here it is! Isn’t it wonderful?

Jodi has very generously donated my payment for the quilt to the Room to Read World Change Challenge. If you’d like to find out more about this fantastic fund-raising challenge to educate girls just click on this link!

Thank you Jodi!!

A fabulous article in The Standard!

May 8, 2019 at 7:21 am | Posted in Book reviews, Hong Kong, media articles | Leave a comment
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Huge thanks to Simon Lau, Chief Sub-Editor (Education) at The Standard, for this fantastic book review about The Chinese Calendar Tales published on 30 April! To see the whole article, click on the link below:

Sarah Brennan article

Ping Pong Pig finds seven more days for entries in my Clever Competition!

May 3, 2019 at 9:32 am | Posted in Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig has been begging me to give everybody an extension in my latest Clever Competition. Finally, she’s dived into her feed bucket and found seven extra days hiding, right at the bottom!

So, courtesy of Ping Pong, the new deadline for my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition is extended to midnight EST on Friday 17th May!

That means that you now have 14 days to get your entries in – and with the fabulous first prize of a Boxed Set of the Chinese Calendar Tales, you’d better get going!

All the rules and special ingredients are here, so click on the link and start writing! I can’t wait to read your entries!

It’s Book Week at DBIS!

May 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Posted in Discovery Bay International School, Hong Kong Schools, Writing competitions for kids | 1 Comment
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This week is Book Week at Discovery Bay International School, and I was honoured to be part of their celebrations today! The whole of primary school from Year 1 to Year 6 met my latest and last Chinese Calendar Tales character, the feisty Ping Pong Pig, not to mention the mighty Yongle Emperor and his crafty Minister of Most Important Things, in three funny and fabulous story readings of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig. Then I spent a fun twenty minutes during the lunch hour with the DBIS Battle of the Books team, who had just come back from the Hong Kong Semi-Finals, where they placed a very impressive Second! Well done to the DBIS BOBS!

You can see me with Head of English, Mr Jonnie Haines’, Class 5JH, above, and below, with my lovely host, school librarian Melanie Foti.

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And below, you can meet wonderful DBIS author and illustrator, Luka Van der Noord, creator of The Adventures of Sticko! He’s already written and printed eight books! Keep up the good work, Luka! You’ll be selling in bookstores soon!

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Last but not least, a message to all you DBIS writers – I’ve decided to extend the deadline for my story competition for just one more week to give you all time to get your stories in! So the deadline will now be midnight on Friday 17th May 2019! Just click here to find out all the rules and special ingredients for your entry!

Phew!! We’ve just packed all the boxed sets!

April 25, 2019 at 11:12 am | Posted in Boxed Set, Boxed Set of Chinese Calendar Tales, Online Sales | Leave a comment
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HOORAY! My lovely office manager Shilpa Patel and I have just finished hand-boxing all our beautiful sets of The Chinese Calendar Tales! It’s been a labour of love to get the right books packed, so that the fabulous red dragon logo sits just right on the spines!

So now all you have to do is click here to purchase your very own boxed set of all 12 Chinese Calendar Tales plus The Tale of Pin Yin Panda!

It’s our best online seller!

And it makes a FANTASTIC gift for birthdays, primary school graduation gifts and other happy celebrations!

Just 24 days left to enter my Practically Perfect Pig Tale story competition!

April 17, 2019 at 8:55 am | Posted in children's literacy, Clever Competitions, Writing competitions for kids | Leave a comment
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Ping Pong Pig and I would like to remind you all that there are just 24 days left to enter your story in my Practically Perfect Pig Tale Competition! Now Easter’s coming this weekend, which gives you loads of lovely time to sit down and write your story! It’s got some fabulously fun ingredients this time – so grab that pen and get writing! All the rules and how to submit are here!

And if you still haven’t bought your copy of The Tale of Ping Pong Pig, just click on this link!

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