Australian Author Visits AISHK

by Claudia Wong, Year 6W

Primary students were fortunate to have one of Hong Kong's most well-known children's authors, Sarah Brennan, visit AISHK last week. She introduced her new book The Tale of Rodney Ram, which is about the Year of the Goat.

Sarah Brennan writes a series called Chinese Calendar Tales. These books contain poetry, illustrations by Harry Harrison and information about Chinese history. Every year a new book is published by Auspicious Times Limited to celebrate that year's zodiac animal.

The Tale of Rodney Ram is about a sheep named Rodney, who leads a flock of ewes and acts bravely in public but whose personality is shy, just like the characteristics of people born in the Year of the Goat. After he gets kicked off his farm, Rodney discovers rice, one of the most-eaten foods in the world, and becomes famous. In the pictures of the book, Harry Harrison has hidden two insects, Hip and Hop, that can be found on every page.

As well as a fabulous story and wonderful illustrations, there is also some Chinese history in all of her books. Sarah says that the plot of this book was formed around a legend where in a flooded village, five sheep floated down to earth with gods on their backs. The gods taught the villagers to grow rice, who then shared this method with the world. There is a stone statue of five sheep in the centre of Guangzhou, symbolising the legend.

On Sarah Brennan's blog, there are the rules of her latest Clever Competition: A Shaggy Sheep Poem. All students are asked to check the blog and consider submitting a poem.

Everyone enjoyed Sarah Brennan's visit to our school and hopes she visits the School again next year with another fantastic story about the Year of the Monkey.