anniversary, authors, Books, celebrations, chapterbooks

Lovely anniversary post from Rebecca Fung

Here’s a wonderful tenth anniversary tribute from the fabulous author Rebecca Fung, whose two chapterbooks (Princess Hayley’s Comet, illustrated by Kathy Creamer, and A Very Special Moon Mission, illustrated by David Allan) we have published.

Happy 10th anniversary, Christmas Press! I still remember the rush of excitement when Christmas Press first selected to my short story to be published in a Christmas anthology alongside many other Australian authors. The book was beautifully presented and is a real treasure. Later, Sophie chose my story, Princess Hayley’s Comet, to launch the chapterbook line for Christmas Press. Christmas Press has given me, and manyothers, so many amazing writing opportunities. I wish it many more years of producing gorgeous Australian books for its eager readers.

Announcements, authors, Awards, Book news, middle-grade fiction

Fantastic news for Wanderer!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the very exciting news that Victor Kelleher’s extraordinary novel, Wanderer, which we published last year in our Eagle Books imprint, has just been shortlisted for the very prestigious Patricia Wrightson Prize, which is the children’s category in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards! This is absolutely wonderful news, and a very well-deserved major recognition of Victor’s magnificent book. Here’s what the judges said about the novel:

With danger at every turn and constant action that grinds to a dramatic climax, Wanderer by Victor Kelleher grips the reader from the start, never letting up on the drama, tension, and conflict. This novel stood out for its strong narrative voice and for its child protagonists who remain in control of their own destinies throughout. Theirs is a high-stakes, life-and-death struggle against the decaying, lawless world around them as they must battle and attempt to outwit adults, wild animals, and nature itself. 

This middle-grade novel is set in a dystopian future where ocean levels have risen and society has crumbled. Young Dane and his new friend, Lana, must complete a perilous quest that focuses on special treasures: precious, rare books. And, yet, Wanderer is also much more than this. It’s a tale of friendship, courage, endurance, and a warning of what the future may hold for humanity.

Huge congratulations to Victor! We are so proud to have been able to publish Wanderer, and so delighted that the book has been honoured in this wonderful way.

Winners of the Awards will be announced at the State Library of NSW, Sydney, on May 22. It will also be the opening event for the Sydney Writers’ Festival. #NSWPLA

anniversary, authors, Books, celebrations, Junior fiction, middle-grade fiction

And more from another wonderful author…

This time, it’s the fabulous Jenny Blackford who’s penned some lovely words from our anniversary. Jenny’s published two fantastic books with us: The Girl in the Mirror (2019), a middle-grade mystery novel which won the Davitt Award for Best Crime Novel in the Children’s Category in 2020; and Fil and Harry (2021, illustrated by Kristin Devine), a lively, engaging fantasy novel for junior readers. As well as writing fiction, Jenny is an award-winning poet who has had two books of poetry published plus numerous others in anthologies and journals.

Small presses are beautiful things, and Christmas Press is a particularly beautiful small press, creating gorgeous packages. I am so grateful that they published my spooky middle grade novel The Girl in the Mirror, which won the Davitt Award for Best Children’s Crime Novel, and my junior novel Fil and Harry, complete with snarky talking cat. Thank you, Christmas Press, and happy anniversary!

anniversary, authors, Books, celebrations

And the lovely words keep coming!

We were delighted to receive these lovely words of anniversary congratulations from the wonderful Ursula Dubosarsky, multi-award-winning author and former Australian Children’s Laureate (in 2020 and 2021). Ursula has published two gorgeous books with us: Two Tales of Twins from Ancient Greece and Rome (illustrated by David Allan, 2014) and The Boy Who Could Fly and Other Magical Plays for children (illustrated by Amy Golbach, 2019).

Wonderful congratulations to Christmas Press on the anniversary – such a tremendous, rich achievement – for literature, for children and indeed for Armidale. Sophie Masson is such a creative. generous and imaginative publisher – she seeks stories with resonances deep in cultural history and brings their special and sometimes hidden beauty to children through the many remarkable books published by Christmas Press. Writers, illustrators – and most especially readers – are all in her debt. (Ursula Dubosarsky, 2023)

anniversary, authors, Books, celebrations

More lovely anniversary words…

We really are so lucky to be working with such wonderful authors! In this lovely pair of posts, author Michael Grey , author of Children of the Wild as well as several short stories, writes about how he first came in touch with us and what happened next. Design of both posts by Yasmin Paige. The first one has the shorter version of Michael’s words, the second one the full version.

activities, audiobooks, authors, celebrations, collaborations, Illustrators, Picture books, publishing

The book that launched Christmas Press!

In 2013, we embarked on the adventure that was to become Christmas Press, with the illustrated storybook that was to become our launch. title: Two Trickster Tales from Russia! The book sold out of its first print run in just six weeks, and ten years later, still continues to sell, all around Australia, where it’s available in all good bookshops. Readers certainly seem to love the fun, lively retellings by Sophie Masson and the gorgeous illustrations by David Allan!

It was quite a journey, creating the book: find out all about the fascinating story behind it here. And check out the wonderful free activities and downloads we’ve created around Two Trickster Tales from Russia. And here, is where you can access the fantastic audio edition of the book–for free!

Announcements, authors, celebrations, publishing

Tenth anniversary celebrations continue!

We love working with our wonderful authors and illustrators, and in this tenth anniversary year, have asked them about their experience of working with us. Over the next few weeks you will see their responses, and today we’re starting with some absolutely beautiful and affirming words from Victor Kelleher!

Our lovely intern Yasmin Paige has created the great tiles: on the first one is the short version of Victor’s words, on the second the full one.

authors, chapterbooks, interviews

Lovely interview with Rebecca Fung

Photo of author by Gildus Lam

There’s a great interview with our fabulous author Rebecca Fung, writer of A Very Special Moon Mission and Princess Hayley’s Comet, on fellow author Helen Edwards’ blog. Here’s a short extract:

‘My best memories come from children’s books, which have influenced my writing. I remember how excited I was to read a great story as a child, and I want to create that experience for others. I also think in children’s books, you can be daring and imaginative and simply have fun; more than you can in adult books. If you create a three-headed monster made entirely of jelly and ice cream, who flies off to Jupiter, kids are in it for the adventure, not to ask how this is scientifically possible?’

Rebecca cites Roald Dahl as one of her great writing heroes, because, like Dahl, she likes to create both fun stories for children and darker stories for adults. ‘I love both his adult books and his children’s books. They’re edgy and quirky and he writes well for all audiences.’

Rebecca’s stories feature characters with strong emotions. She says that some include dark humour and some are just dark (usually the more adult ones). She enjoys taking a possibility or a character and following it through – asking why, or seeing what happens – no matter how weird, dark or strange. She enjoys finding that lever to make readers laugh, feel unsettled, or feel strongly in other ways, such as wanting to fight for a character, and says, ‘To me, it’s a challenge to get this just right and so satisfying when I think it works.’

You can read the whole interview here.

Announcements, authors, chapterbooks, Cover reveals, forthcoming books, Illustrators

Cover reveal for Four Up In Lights!

We are delighted to reveal the fabulous cover of Four Up In Lights, the third and final book in the fabulous chapter-book series by Sophie Masson and Cheryl Orsini, about four lovable friends who just happen to have wheels. The book will be released in September, and is a sequel to Four On the Run (2020) and Four All At Sea(2021). Isn’t it a gorgeous cover!

Cover by Cheryl Orsini

And below, look at the series as a set–doesn’t it look good!