Christmas Press is delighted to announce that we have acquired world rights in Leaf Letters, a unique interactive short novel for young readers that is award-winning creator Lorena Carrington’s first junior fiction title as an author-illustrator. With a background in fine arts, photography and design. Lorena has previously worked as an illustrator for story collections, anthologies and picture books, and has also created a number of cover illustrations and designs.
Christmas Press publishing director Sophie Masson said, ‘As soon as I read Lorena’s proposal for Leaf Letters, I was hooked. Told in words and pictures, this is a story of friendship, the pleasures of the natural world, and the pleasures of mystery! Plus it’s an invitation for young readers to join in the fun through coded messages and puzzles to solve. What’s not to love?’
From the beginning, readers are drawn into the world of nine-year-old Hazel Bird as she roams her neighbourhood bushland, photographing its tiny wild worlds. But then she meets Cole, a boy with a hundred pockets and a strange and marvellous way of talking. Together they find hidden treasure and a handwritten book of secret codes…Will they solve its mysteries?
Lorena Carrington said, ‘Hazel Bird is undeniably a young version of my adult self, happily lost in the tiny worlds of the undergrowth, camera in hand and twigs in her hair. She loves puzzles of all kinds, whether they involve constructing pictures, deciphering words, or figuring out the world around her. I’ve been wanting for a long time to create a story, told in words and pictures, that includes secret codes and a mystery. When Hazel and Cole popped into my head, I knew it was the perfect chance. I was so thrilled that Christmas Press felt the same way, embracing the idea of Leaf Letters. They are the perfect publisher for this book, and I am ever grateful to Sophie and the team for their enthusiasm and support. It means I get to dream up weird and wonderful enigmas, and spend a whole lot more time crawling around the damp mossy ground.’
Leaf Letters will be published by Christmas Press in July 2024.