It’s that lovely festive time of the year again and to mark it we are offering a gift to our friends, supporters, readers: a fabulous Christmas short story from the magical pen of Phoebe McArthur, featuring everyone’s favourite little witch, Lucy Newton! First published in our 2019 anthology A Christmas Cornucopia, this fun tale of fun, magic and food is now available right here on our website to enjoy free. Download the PDF from the button below.
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.
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.’
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!
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.
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.