We are delighted to announce our new Junior Fiction list, for young readers who want to graduate from chapter books, but aren’t ready yet to move into middle-grade fiction, and who still like illustrations in their reading! And we’re even more delighted that Fil and Harry, the debut book on this list, is by the award-winning team of author Jenny Blackford and illustrator Kristin Devine. Jenny’s previous novel with us, The Girl in the Mirror (published last year in the Eagle Books imprint) won the 2020 Davitt Award for Best Children’s Crime Novel, while in 2019 Kristin won first place in the New England Illustration Award, which is open to illustrators all over Australia.
Can Fil’s cat Harry really talk? And can he find a way out of the tangle she’s in? Read more about this fresh, lively and touching novel here. We’re publishing it in May 2021. Watch this space!
There’s another lovely review of Four on the Run, this time on Kids’ Book Review. Here is a short extract:
Cheryl Orsini’s delicate pen illustrations depict the cars in their prime and through their challenges. The dialogue between the cars is humorous and entertaining. This is a perfect chapter book for younger readers.
There’s a lovely review of Four on the Run on ReadPlus, review is by Kathyrn Beilby. Here’s a short extract:
This is a perfect read aloud for Junior Primary students as it is short and will appeal to children who could easily imagine that vehicles may be able to talk. Those younger readers who are progressing to independently reading novels will find the larger text and repetition of key words an asset to reading fluently. The clever illustrations by Cheryl Orsini provide extra interest and support to the reader.
Christmas Press is absolutely delighted to announce that Jenny Blackford’s fabulous middle-grade novel, The Girl in the Mirror, which we published in our Eagle Books imprint in 2019, is the winner of the Best Children’s Crime Novel category in the 2020 Davitt Awards.
The Awards, which were presented by legendary Scottish crime writer Val McDermid in a virtual ceremony yesterday, Saturday September 26, featured a shortlist of 24 books across six categories. You can find the video of the ceremony here.
Prestigious annual awards with a 20-year history, the Davitts are run by the Sisters in Crime Australia literary organisation and showcase the best crime novels by Australian women writers.
The Girl in the Mirror, an enthralling mix of murder mystery, time slip and ghost story, is the debut middle-grade novel of acclaimed poet and short story writer Jenny Blackford. Illustrated with atmospheric black and white pictures by Fiona McDonald, the novel has received wide acclaim, with reviewers praising its ‘clever storytelling’ (Buzz Words), ‘silky smooth prose’ (Compulsive Reader) and its ‘enjoyable and revelatory’ qualities (ReadPlus). As Geoffrey McSkimming writes in the back cover quote, it is truly a ‘spine-tingling winner.’
Publishing director of Christmas Press, Sophie Masson, said, ‘Jenny initially submitted her novel to us some time ago in one of our open submissions period, and it immediately caught the eye of our commissioning editor Beattie Alvarez, for its haunting atmosphere, gripping narrative and sharp, evocative writing. We loved working with Jenny and are very proud to have published The Girl in the Mirror. We warmly congratulate Jenny on this very well-deserved win and thank the Davitt Awards judges and Sisters in Crime Australia for supporting the best in crime fiction by Australian women writers.’
There’s a great new video reading by John Heffernan of his beautiful book with Kate Durack, Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia. It’s on Camp Quality’s Happiness Hub, and it’s a lot of fun! Watch it below.
The United Publishers of Armidale website features a number of books from each publisher, with free activities and resources to go with each, as well as information on each title. Activities and resources include audio and video presentations by creators, puzzles, quizzes, word searches, printable colouring pages, teachers’ notes, and more. The Featured Books page will be updated regularly with new, upcoming and backlist titles and their associated activities, while the About page gives information about the UPA partner publishers.
‘The idea behind United Publishers of Armidale is that in these difficult times, it makes sense for publishers, especially small, regionally-based publishers like us, to pool our efforts and resources in order to promote and showcase our books and help to support our creator communities, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Little Pink Dog Books on this,’ said Sophie Masson, co-director of Christmas Press. ‘But it’s also very much about supporting the wider community, especially children, their families, teachers and carers, by offering free resources and activities through a dedicated website.’
‘We are delighted to be partnering with Christmas Press in this new enterprise and we hope that everyone will have lots of fun discovering our featured books and the activities around them,’ said Kathy Creamer, co-director of little Pink Dog Books. ‘And we warmly thank our authors and illustrators for getting so enthusiastically behind the project and creating such fabulous and diverse activities for our readers.’
Books featured for the website launch are, for Christmas Press, middle grade historical fantasy novel, The Phantasmic Detective Agency, by Julian Leatherdale (out May 2020) and Australian Children Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky’s recent collection of plays, The Boy Who Could Fly and Other Magical Plays for Children(2019); and for Little Pink Dog Books, author-illustrator Trish Donald’s picture book Tissy Woo and the Worry Monsters(2018) and Parmesan, The Reluctant Racehorse, written by Jacqui Halpin and illustrated by John Phillips (2017).
We were excited to receive stock this week of our gorgeous new August title, the lovely chapterbook Petal and the Really Hard Riddle, written by Kathryn England and illustrated by David Allan! For young readers 5-8, it’s a real delight of a book, with a funny, engaging story and absolutely beautiful illustrations. Available in all good bookshops from August 1!
Congratulations to Rebecca Fung, author of the fabulous Princess Hayley’s Comet, who has just had a short story for children, Homecoming, published in the prestigious and popular School Magazine! The story is in the May issue of the Orbit edition of The School Magazine. Here’s a sneak peek:
You can also read about the ‘batty’ inspiration for Homecoming, as well as a few words about the inspiration for Princess Hayley’s Comet, on Rebecca’s website.
We are delighted to announce that today is the official publication day of our newest Eagle Books title, Simon Higgins’ fantastic adventure novel, Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!
Beautifully-written, excitingly-paced and with a deep understanding of one of the most interesting historical periods and fascinating cultures in the world, this is a superb novel that we are very proud to publish, with its beautiful cover and internal illustrations created by Simon’s wife, artist and animator Jenny(Yuxiao) Wang.
To whet your appetite for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night, we are thrilled to present this lively and atmospheric trailer, created by Crane Animation and scripted and narrated by Simon Higgins. Enjoy!
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that four of our beautiful picture books have been selected for featured inclusion in the catalogue of the very prestigious Hello! from Australia exhibition which will be held at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, April 3-6. As well, an illustration from one of the featured books, Margrete Lamond and Ingrid Kallick’s Two Troll Tales from Norway, has been selected to be hung as part of the exhibition itself.
The four books featured in the exhibition catalogue are: Duncan Ball and David Allan’s Two Tengu Tales from Japan; Adele Geras and Fiona McDonald’s Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France; John Heffernan and Kate Durack’s Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia; and Margrete Lamond and Ingrid Kallick’s Two Troll Tales from Norway. Warm congratulations to all our wonderful creators!
You can see the catalogue here. And below you can see the fabulous selected illustration from Two Troll Tales. Bravo, Ingrid!
Here’s more about the exhibition, from the catalogue:
Hello! From Australia is an exhibition that aims to promote Australian literary culture, drawing attention to the creativity of Australian children’s book illustrators and the diversity and excellence of the Australian Children’s Book Industry. The exhibition also aims, specifically through the catalogue, to support publishers in the promotion and sale of rights of Australian books and facilitate contact between Australian publishers and international publishers, agents and promoters. Since 2009, eight Hello! From Australia exhibitions have been curated by Books Illustrated for the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Many have then toured to events and festivals in Australia and particularly into Asia.