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.
Announcements, audiobooks, authors, backlist, chapterbooks

Audiobook edition of Lucy Newton, Little Witch out now!

Following the recent publication of Lucy Newton: Cat Trouble, the second book in Phoebe McArthur’s fabulous Lucy Newton series, we are very pleased to announce that the audiobook edition of the first book in the series, Lucy Newton, Little Witch, is now out and able to be purchased from many retail platforms. Beautifully narrated by the wonderful Aimee Smith, with sound design and effects by Gio Sancho, and production by Spineless Wonders Audio, it is an absolute pleasure to listen to and conveys so well the warmth, fun, and humour of this lovely title.

Check it out at the Spineless Wonders Audio shop at Authors Direct, a platform which allows a greater percentage of sales royalties to go to authors: https://shop.authors-direct.com/collections/spineless-wonders-audio/products/lucy-newton-little-witch

You can also buy it at the following other retailers:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/lucy-newton-little-witch

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Phoebe_McArthur_Lucy_Newton_Little_Witch?id=AQAAAEC8DmJOzM

Chirp: https://www.chirpbooks.com/audiobooks/lucy-newton-little-witch-by-phoebe-mcarthur

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/528307153/Lucy-Newton-Little-Witch

Libro: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781667020747

Nook: https://www.nookaudiobooks.com/audiobook/1054887/Lucy-Newton-Little-Witch

Announcements, authors, chapterbooks, New releases, publication day

Publication day for Lucy Newton, Cat Trouble

We are delighted to announce that today is publication date for our latest fabulous chapterbook title, Phoebe McArthur’s Lucy Newton, Cat Trouble. It’s the fun sequel to Phoebe’s earlier title, Lucy Newton, Little Witch, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards. An enjoyable story full of twists and turns, some unusual characters–like a talking spell book and a gossipy library–as well as bright, engaging Lucy, and lively black and white illustrations combine to make this a real treat for young readers.

Want to know more? Here’s the fantastic trailer for the book:

Announcements, authors, Business, collaborations, Crowdfunding, forthcoming books, Inside Story, News, United Publishers of Armidale, UPA Books

Crowdfunding campaign for Inside Story launches today!

We are delighted to announce that the crowdfunding campaign has launched today for the fantastic non-fiction book Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books. Published by UPA Books, our new collaborative imprint with Little Pink Dog Books under the United Publishers of Armidale banner, it will be released in May 2022. A full colour, fully-illustrated production, the book will be an absolutely invaluable resource for aspiring children’s writers, illustrators, editors and designers, and also be of great appeal to anyone interested in the wonderful Australian children’s book world. The crowdfunding campaign will help to fund a significant print run, enhanced marketing, and much more, and campaign contributors can choose from a great range of perks. Check everything out on the campaign page, and consider being part of Inside Story: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/inside-story-children-s-books-demystified/x/3485227

authors, New releases, Picture books, Reviews

First reviews for The Magic Ball of String!

In its first week of publication, there’s been two great reviews already for The Magic Ball of String, one on Read Plus, the other in Margaret Hamilton’s fabulous Pinerolo Newsletter.

Here’s the full review in the October edition of the Pinerolo Newsletter:

THE MAGIC BALL OF STRING by Chelsea Hardi & Olya Badulina (Richmond). Remarkably, this charming fairy tale was written by a 7-year-old Australian girl. The illustrations, in traditional fairy
tale style were done by an illustrator who lives in Finland. A fascinating collaboration.

And here’s an extract from the Read Plus review:

Recommended. The front cover will draw any young girl into the story immediately, with the beautiful princess upon the white horse, and the castle in the background. The illustrations throughout the book capture all the subtleties of the story.This Australian, seven-year-old, author has done an amazing job at storytelling. Being aware of this fact may encourage other budding storytellers out there, knowing that if someone else can do it, they can too.

You can read the whole Read Plus review here.

Announcements, authors, celebrations, New releases, News, Picture books, publication day

Publication day for The Magic Ball of String!

In association with Richmond Publishing we are delighted to announce that today is publication day for The Magic Ball of String, a beautiful picture book written by young Sydney resident, seven-year-old Chelsea Hardi.

Chelsea was born to tell stories and narrates them to her mother, Irina, before going to sleep every night. She has always been in love with Russian fairytales which comforted her when at the age of four and a half, suffering from pneumonia, she was in hospital in Moscow for an extended period.  It was during this difficult time that, influenced by those fairytales, she created the first version of The Magic Ball of String, telling it to her mother who wrote it down for her. Since then, the story has evolved through the normal editing process, which Chelsea was fully a part of, to become a fresh and charming tale of adventure, family love, the power of kindness, and the unexpected magic of a certain ball of string.

With beautiful pictures by acclaimed international illustrator Olya Badulina, this book is one that children and families across Australia will take to their hearts.

Richmond Publishing is delighted to be publishing the book in association with award-winning children’s book publisher Christmas Press, which is promoting and marketing the book across its networks.  And Christmas Press is delighted to be working in association with Richmond Publishing on the release of this very special book which so exemplifies the magic of stories in the lives of children.

The book is distributed by Peribo.

Watch the beautiful trailer for the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm1yPC0tOvk

Chelsea with her book