20
Oct 14

The Frankfurt Book Fair – 2014

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The Frankfurt Book Fair this year was fantastic, as always. What a busy time it was with over 140,000 trade visitors meeting and mingling with just as many exhibitors. It was a marathon just to walk through the book fair, which was housed in 8 different enormous buildings and accessible by “people movers” or shuttle buses which connect each of the buildings.

FLTRPPublishing professionals the world over, look forward to meeting every year in Frankfurt. I made sure to stop by the FLTRP stand to meet Jason Wang from the Children’s Planning Department. Our Phonics Series, which FLTRP has licensed to sell across mainland China, was on display.

YELCChatting about business, over coffee, is a great pastime too. Pictured here, is Alexander Lushkov of YELC in Russia. Alexander has been selling our titles in his store but is now gearing up to start digital sales from his website.

lovelockA Saturday afternoon walk around Frankfurt included a visit to one of my favorite places, the Eiserner Steg Bridge known as the “Love Lock Bridge”. This is a destination for sweethearts who come to lock a padlock on the bridge as a public showing of their affection.

23
Sep 14

Travels to Beijing – 2014 Beijing International Book Fair

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I was in for quite the surprise during my first day of exhibiting at the Beijing International Book Fair this year.

Carole Ji of FLTRP (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press) stopped by to show me the brightly colored Phonics Series, which FLTRP was about to launch during the fair. The most amazing thing about this series was that it was really our series that FLTRP had licensed earlier in the year with the help of Wanda Chou of Big Apple Agency. Carole had told me about the very high quality of their work, but now I could see it for myself!

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Not only did the series look beautiful, but each of the pages had been chemically treated so that if touched by one of their “talking pens” all of the actual words, phrases and songs could be heard aloud (coming out of a speaker built into the pen).

Later in the week, FLTRP held a special event to launch their new titles. Of course I was invited where I proudly posed with the series and with Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Zhang Siying.

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It was at Siying’s invitation that I was able to visit the headquarters of FLTRP. I have many, many photos. All I can say is that it’s a beautiful building which, besides housing meeting rooms and offices for 1500 employees, also offers 2 complete floors of lodging for international visitors as well as private dining rooms for important meetings and several cafeterias to feed the 1,500 employees who eat in shifts.

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Apparently, FLTRP also owns another even bigger building which is used as a training center for teachers in China. The second building boasts an indoor pool, lodging and meeting rooms for all of the teachers as well as hot springs which are located on the property.

During my visit to the FLTRP headquarters, I was shown all around their building, from the impressive lobby, to the many meeting rooms, the recording studio, and even a television studio which is sometimes used by the government to produce television shows.

Colleagues Lang Song and Tang Zhihong joined Siying, Carole and me for a six course luncheon which was cooked onsite and served by female servers wearing crisp white and red uniforms.

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If you ever have the chance to do business with China, it makes visiting the country much more meaningful. Over the past two years, besides licensing our Phonics Series to FLTRP, we have also produced over 100 curriculum-based songs and chants to be used with various FLTRP series. I found it wonderful to meet and chat with the people I’ve been working with. Everything seems to come together and the world seems much smaller!

30
Jul 14

We Did It!

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sing_sing_phonics1Our Phonics Series, which was licensed to FLTRP last year, is now in the major bookstores across mainland China. How cool is that? They’ve incorporated talking book technology too!

When I started producing these educational resources twenty four years ago, I never imagined they would be used as far away as China. Technology allows us to work and collaborate in so many ways we only dreamed of before. Nice  :-)

 

28
Jul 14

Preparing for the Beijing International Book Fair

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Nothing is more exciting than preparing to exhibit at an international book fair. Especially when said fair is on the other side of the world!

See you soon at the Beijing International Book Fair! Last year we successfully licensed our Phonics Series to FLTRP in China. Of course we have many more great titles we are planning to license this year!

Many thanks to Vivian Xu, Eric Yang and Darryl Taylor for helping me to prepare on this side of the world. And to Wando Chou and Big Apple Agency for taking care of everything in China. Click on the image to view our brand new catalog in Mandarin!

21
Jul 14

Bilingual Songs: English-Mandarin Recording Session in Toronto

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sara_street2Finally! After months of preparation, we all met in Toronto last week to record Bilingual Songs: English-Mandarin, vol. 2.

They say that a change is as good as a rest, and for me that proved true. Rather than battle the traffic back and forth from St. Catharines, I stayed in Toronto and felt like a tourist (at least at night when I wasn’t working).

 

A big thank you to Vivian Xu, Winona Xunuo, Steven Xu, Eric Yang and Mark Shannon for spending endless hours to make sure that this recording will be outstanding.

Vivian Xu [left] and Winona Xunuo [right].

Vivian Xu [left] and Winona Xunuo [right].

Steven Xu

Steven Xu.

 

Now I can hardly wait! This album will be travelling in my handbag to the Beijing International Book Fair. I think that my friends and colleagues in China will be really impressed!

18
Jul 14

Review: Bilingual Songs English-French

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Bilingual Songs: English-French, vol. 1 CD Book KitMany thanks to homeschooling mother, Leanne Seel, for writing this great review of our Bilingual English-French series! http://frenglishlearning.com/sara-jordans-bilingual-songs-cd-set-product-review/.

Leanne, mentioned that her favorite song on Volume 2, is about counting to 30 and the rabbits that keep multiplying in my backyard. That song makes me laugh too, Leanne, because that is exactly what things seemed like when I wrote that song!

13
Jun 14

We Are All Global Citizens

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Many years ago, I was a street busker. I knew all of the best places in Toronto to perform. I even knew which pieces of music would be the most popular. It was a really great introduction to becoming a performer.

Now, street busking has become very global. I was admiring the playing of a great guitarist on YouTube. Some viewers said that if they had seen him, they would have emptied their pockets, just to hear him play.

In case you don’t happen to be in Europe where he’s performing, I noticed that he includes his bank account and paypal information for international donations. How far we have come! We are all truly global citizens.  :-)

27
May 14

New Bilingual English-Mandarin Songs Coming Soon

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We have some exciting news. After months of collaborative work with Eric Yang and his wife Vivian (both from China and now living in Toronto) we will soon be recording the second volume of Bilingual Songs: English-Mandarin. We’ll also be releasing new Learning Kits (for both volumes one and two) which will include 64 page resource books, with group activities and individual exercises reinforcing everything learned in the songs. Last weekend, Vivian, Eric and I enjoyed a walk in the sunshine after a hard day’s work on volume 2!

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06
May 14

Inside the Creative Minds of kids and artists on the Autism Spectrum

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What an amazing and interesting article!
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/04/28/drawing-autism-book/

Drawing Autism: A Visual Tour of the Autistic Mind from Kids and Celebrated Artists on the Spectrum

16
Jan 14

Silvia’s Story

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We’ve just finished producing a new video about our friend and inspiration, Silvia Saga de Pineda who, in 2004, started a school in her garage to teach underprivileged children in her poor Guatemalan community. The school, Centro Educativo Amigos de Jesús, has since grown and moved out of her garage. But now, because of new government regulations, it is in danger of closing. Silvia and the children her school serves need your help.

To help Silvia’s school please contact:

silvisaga@gmail.com