A little video celebrating Christmas Press, and our fabulous titles!
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.’
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!
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for international postage rates.
We are delighted to be part of the many wonderful small publishers to be featured in the 2019 Small Press Network Christmas catalogue. Our five 2019 titles are listed in the children’s books section in this fabulous catalogue, which goes out to thousands of booksellers and libraries around Australia. But anyone interested in the wonderful range of small-press books being published around Australia can consult the catalogue online, here. Have a look!
There’s an excellent new review of Petal and the Really Hard Riddle on the Reading Time blog. Here’s a short extract:
Author of picture books, chapter books and stories for older children England has reimagined this tale with humour and skill.
(We just wish the great review had mentioned the fabulous illustrations by David Allan too–so we are mentioning them here 🙂 –they are fabulous indeed and really add to the wonderful story!)
You can read the whole review here.
The first review for our new chapterbook, Kathryn England’s Petal and the Really Hard Riddle(illustrated by David Allan) has just been published in Buzz Words, and it’s a nice one. Here’s a short extract:
This is a lively reworking of a tale probably unfamiliar to today’s readership of five to nine-year olds for whom it’s intended, but the story is easy to follow with simple text in a well-designed book. Each chapter is illustrated with black and white drawings which make reading easier.
You can read the full review here.
We are delighted to announce that Phoebe McArthur’s fabulous chapterbook, Lucy Newton, Little Witch, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Book of the Year Awards from Speech Pathology Australia, in the 5-8 year old category. This is wonderful news indeed!
Big congratulations go to Phoebe McArthur for creating such an engaging, lively and fun book–and for the fantastic recognition of the shortlisting.
You can see the official announcement from Speech Pathology Australia, and a list of all shortlisted books, here.