Announcements, authors, Books, collaborations, Cover reveals, forthcoming books, Illustrators, News, Picture books

Announcing a special publishing collaboration–and a very special book!

Press Release, Friday December 4

Six-year-old Australian author Chelsea Hardi’s first picture book to be published in 2021

Richmond Publishing, in association with Christmas Press, is proud to announce that in April 2021 it will be publishing The Magic Ball of String, a beautiful picture book with text by a fabulous debut author, six-year-old Sydney resident Chelsea Hardi, who is not only one of Australia’s but also one of the world’s youngest published authors.

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 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 a dream come true for the young author, and one that children and families across Australia will take to their hearts.

Richmond Publishing (a division of Oliver Freeman Pty Ltd) is delighted that The Magic Ball of String will be on the 2021 publishing list of award-winning children’s books publisher Christmas Press, which will be 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.

About the book:

The Magic Ball of String

By Chelsea Hardi

Illustrated by Olya Badulina

ISBN: 9781875613069, 36 pages, Hardcover, RRP: $19.99

Published April 2021 by Richmond Publishing, a division of Oliver Freeman Pty Ltd

In association with Christmas Press

Distributed by Peribo

Three beautiful princesses set out to explore the kingdom, looking for adventure. When they become separated from their father, and cross paths with a hungry bear, they become lost in the midst of a dark forest. The eldest princess is determined to find a way home, and the King is determined to find his daughters. And with the help of a man with a brave and kind heart, the grateful gesture of a tiny hedgehog, and a magic ball of string, everyone may just find what they truly seek …

Author Chelsea Hardi
Illustrator Olya Badulina
Announcements, authors, Books, Illustrators, Junior fiction, News

Delighted to announce our new Junior Fiction list!

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!

Jenny Blackford with her Ragdoll cat, Felix
Illustrator Kristin Devine
Books, chapterbooks, collaborations, videos

The magical journey of Lucy Newton, Little Witch

It’s Children’s Book Week in Australia this week, and to celebrate, we at Christmas Press are featuring a brand-new video in the fabulous ‘Journey of a Book‘ series which you can find on the United Publishers of Armidale website. This Journey of A Book is centred around the gorgeous chapter book for young readers, Lucy Newton, Little Witch, written and illustrated by Phoebe McArthur, the pseudonym of mother-daughter duo Fiona McDonald and Beattie Alvarez. The book, published by Christmas Press in 2018, was shortlisted for the 2019 Speech Pathology Australia Awards.

Announcements, Books, international events

Christmas Press on Books from Australia website

We are very pleased to announce that Christmas Press is taking part in the Books from Australia website, an initiative from the Australian Publishers’ Association, supported by the Australia Council, to help present Australian books to international publishers for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which this year is being held online.

You can check it all out here.

Announcements, authors, Awards, Books, celebrations, Eagle Books, News

Very exciting news!

PRESS RELEASE

September 27, 2020

 

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.’

Announcements, Books, Launches, New releases, United Publishers of Armidale, videos

Virtual launch of Four on the Run!

We are delighted to join with United Publishers of Armidale in bringing you the virtual launch today, Friday August 28, of Four on the Run, a lively, funny chapter book for young readers written by Sophie Masson and illustrated by Cheryl Orsini. The Virtual Launch, hosted on the United Publishers of Armidale website,  features a series of fabulous videos for you to enjoy. The book is being launched by Lesley Gibbes, author of acclaimed junior fiction and picture book, and you’ll hear from her in the first video. Then in the second video, you’ll hear from author Sophie Masson, introducing the book and its inspiration and process, and in the third video, Sophie reads the intriguing first chapter of the book. The final video is a little book trailer.

You can view these today, or on any day!  Thank you for joining us in the celebration of Four on the Run, and we hope you enjoy. And don’t forget to visit the book’s Featured Pages on the UPA website for more information, and wonderful activities!

Illustrator Cheryl Orsini

Author Sophie Masson

Announcements, Books, United Publishers of Armidale, videos

Watch this great ‘Journey of A Book’ about Two Trickster Tales from Russia

On the United Publishers of Armidale website, there’s a great new feature called ‘Journey of a Book’ which looks at the creative and production process behind several of the books published by UPA member publishers, Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books. And we’re delighted that the first Journey of a Book to be released is centred on a very special book indeed: Sophie Masson and David Allan’s Two Trickster Tales from Russia, which was the launch title for Christmas Press in 2013. You can watch it below. Enjoy!

Announcements, authors, Books, Business, celebrations, collaborations, Eagle Books, free stuff, Illustrators, Launches, Second Look, small press

Announcing United Publishers of Armidale!

                                                                ANNOUNCEMENT

Armidale-based children’s book publishers, Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books, are delighted to announce a brand-new joint initiative, United Publishers of Armidale, with the launch of a new website, www.unitedpublishersofarmidale.net, and associated social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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).

Check it all out here!

Directors of Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books in Armidale, Christmas 2018.
L to R: Kathy Creamer(LPDB); Sophie Masson (CP); Fiona McDonald(CP); David Allan(CP) and Peter Creamer(LPDB)

Announcements, audiobooks, Books, free stuff, Picture books

In times of trouble, a free gift for our readers and supporters

In this difficult and troubling time  that we are all facing now, we’ve been thinking of ways in which we can support not only our wonderful books community but also the wider community, and soon we’ll be letting you know about an exciting development we are working on. In the meantime, we’d like to offer all our readers, supporters and friends a free gift: the full digital audio book of Two Trickster Tales from Russia, accessible either below on this post (for mobiles) or on the right-hand side of this site(for laptops and tablets)–simply click on the audio player for the full audio book and enjoy! (There’s also samples, if you want to just check it out briefly). Great for children and families homeschooling!

And if you’d like to have the full audio book to keep, just head on over to our Bandcamp store, where we are making the digital audiobook of Two Trickster Tales from Russia available anywhere in the world for whatever you would like to pay, from AUD $1 up.  If you’d like the print book to go with it, if you live in Australia, head on over to your favourite bookshop online, or post free from our partner business, Granny Fi’s Toy Cupboard. 

If you live overseas and would like the print book, contact us at contact@christmaspresspicturebooks.com for international postage rates.