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!

Announcements, authors, chapterbooks, Illustrators, New releases

Publication day for A Very Special Moon Mission!

Today is the publication day of A Very Special Moon Mission, Rebecca Fung’s fabulous new chapterbook for young readers, illustrated with lively pictures by David Allan. Available now in all good bookshops.

Here’s what an advance review, from Buzz Words, said about the book:

This chapter book for readers aged 7 to 10 years is lively, easy to read, and well-designed with quality paper. It is frequently illustrated with black and white and grey drawings and should be enjoyed by young readers interested in space adventure.

Congratulations to Rebecca and David, and happy publication day!

authors, Books, chapterbooks, forthcoming books, Illustrators, Reviews

First review of A Very Special Moon Mission

Even before the book’s official release, the first review of Rebecca Fung’s A Very Special Moon Mission has appeared, in Buzz Words. And it’s a good one! Here’s a short extract:

This chapter book for readers aged 7 to 10 years is lively, easy to read, and well-designed with quality paper. It is frequently illustrated with black and white and grey drawings and should be enjoyed by young readers interested in space adventure.

You can read the whole thing here.

authors, Awards, backlist, celebrations, News, Picture books

Congratulations to Gabrielle Wang, new Australian Children’s Laureate!

Big congratulations to the wonderful author-illustrator Gabrielle Wang, who has just been announced as the new Australian Children’s Laureate for 2022-2023. So well-deserved!

At Christmas Press we are thrilled to have Gabrielle as one of our wonderful authors: her beautiful picture book with illustrator David Allan, Two Enchanted Tales from Old China, which we published in 2017, is an absolute delight. Still available now from all good bookshops! Gabrielle also has a story, Pony for Sale, which she illustrated herself (see illustration below, on right), in our 2017 anthology A Christmas Menagerie. (The anthology is also still available.)

Announcements, authors, chapterbooks, Reviews

Lovely first review for Lucy Newton, Cat Trouble!

A lovely first review of Phoebe McArthur’s Lucy Newton, Cat Trouble, has just been published on the Read Plus blog. Here’s a short extract:

This is a short but charming story that is full of magical ingredients, apprentice witches, spell books and talking cats, a world that is part ordinary and part magic. Lucy has a habit of ignoring adult warnings and then having to solve the problems she creates. Her spell book is also a ‘learner’, hence the well-intentioned chaos that ensues.

You can read the whole review here.

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. www.davidallanart.com

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