acquisitions, Announcements, Book news, Junior fiction

We have acquired Lorena Carrington’s first junior novel!

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.

acquisitions, Announcements, authors, chapterbooks, forthcoming books, Illustrators, News

Announcing the acquisition of Rebecca Fung’s new book

We are delighted to announce that we have acquired author Rebecca Fung’s fabulous new chapterbook for young readers, A Very Special Moon Mission. Rebecca’s earlier chapter book with us, Princess Hayley’s Comet, illustrated by Kathy Creamer, was published in 2018 and this year has also been produced as an audio book by Spineless Wonders Audio.

A Very Special Moon Mission is a standalone title, and features main characters Phoebe, Elliott and Julia. Phoebe and Elliott are best friends but Julia, the unpopular new girl at school, has tagged along with them on them on a visit to the local Space Station. There, they meet the three astronauts competing to be the first woman on the moon, and they’re also introduced to the magnificent rocket known as The Obsession, and its know-all super computer IMP. But when they start the rocket without meaning to, and IMP malfunctions, the adventure takes a real turn for the unexpected! Sure, a moon mission is great: but how do you get back to Earth?

Written with Rebecca’s characteristic verve and humour, this is a really fun read for young readers 6-9. It will also feature pictures by acclaimed illustrator David Allan, and will be published by Christmas Press in July 2022.

About the author:

Rebecca Fung works and lives in Sydney, Australia. She loves to write children’s fiction and several of those stories have been published in Christmas Press anthologies Once Upon a Christmas, A Toy Christmas and A Christmas Menagerie. Her first book, Princess Hayley’s Comet (illustrated by Kathy Creamer) was first published in print by Christmas Press in 2018, with an audio book edition published in 2021. A Very Special Moon Mission is her second book.

Picture of Rebecca Fung by Gildus Lam

About the illustrator:

David Allan is an illustrator and artist whose first picture book, Two Trickster Tales from Russia(retold by Sophie Masson) was published by Christmas Press in 2013. His second picture book, Two Tales of Twins from Ancient Greece and Rome(retold by Ursula Dubosarsky) was listed in Good Reading Magazine’s Best Books of 2014. He has also illustrated Two Tengu Tales from Japan(retold by Duncan Ball, 2015) and Two Enchanted Tales from Old China(retold by Gabrielle Wang, 2017), and the chapterbook Petal and the Really Hard Riddle, written by Kathyrn England (2018), all published by Christmas Press. He illustrated Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff(translated by Stephanie Smee, Eagle Books 2016) and has also illustrated for storybooks and anthologies, including The Stuff of Tales, published by Arts North West. David’s work is in private and public collections and he has exhibited artworks in both solo and group shows. He lives in the New England region of NSW.

David Allan with two of the books he’s illustrated.