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, authors, celebrations, New releases

Our beautiful new August title has just arrived from the printers!

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!

 

Announcements, Awards, Books, celebrations

Lucy Newton, Little Witch, shortlisted for prestigious award!

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.

Adventure, Announcements, authors, Books, celebrations, New releases

Publication day for Tomodachi: The Forest of the Night!

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!

authors, Books, celebrations, exhibitions, international events, News, Picture books, Uncategorized

Thrilling news: four of our books featured in Hello from Australia!

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.

 

Announcements, authors, celebrations, Competitions, Submissions

A fabulous opportunity for emerging authors in our 2017 Christmas anthology!

dragons-fiona-mouse-dinner-brighter

Boxing Day, and of course it’s the perfect time for us to start working on our 2017 Christmas title, ‘A Christmas Menagerie’!
As usual, it will be an anthology of original Christmas stories by established and emerging authors — this time with an animal theme.
The established author spots are all filled.

BUT in an exciting opportunity, we have five emerging author spots to fill!

The stories need to be between 750-1500 words and be suitable for a 6-10 age group. They should be original, unpublished(including on blogs and websites), and ms should be in Word or RTF (not in PDF please), double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12 point.

We will be accepting submissions for twelve days ONLY, starting TODAY, the 26th of December, and ending on the 6th of January. Any submissions that arrive out of that time frame won’t be accepted.

 Send your story, as an attachment, by email only, to submissions@christmaspresspicturebooks.com , with ‘A Christmas Menagerie submission’ in the subject line, and a few lines about yourself in the body of your email.

Good luck, and happy writing!

authors, Books, celebrations, Illustrators, Imprints

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Illustration by Fiona McDonald, from The Dolls' Nativity, by Natalie Jane Prior.
Illustration by Fiona McDonald, from The Dolls’ Nativity, by Natalie Jane Prior.

It’s that festive time of the year again–and to all our contributors, readers, friends and supporters the Christmas Press team sends the very best of wishes for a merry Christmas and a very happy and successful New Year! Thank you all for your support throughout 2016, and here’s looking forward to a great 2017!

Pictures are from our latest title, the fabulous anthology, A Toy Christmas.

And to all emerging authors: watch this space on Boxing Day for some great news about our 2017 Christmas anthology!

Illustration by Beattie Alvarez for George Ivanoff's 'The Pudding Prize'
Illustration by Beattie Alvarez for George Ivanoff’s ‘The Pudding Prize’
Illustration by Kathy Creamer, for her own story,'What, No Christmas Toys for the children?'
Illustration by Kathy Creamer, for her own story,What, No Christmas Toys for the Children?
Illustration by David Allan for his own story, 'The Fairy Tree'
Illustration by David Allan for his own story, ‘The Fairy Tree’
Announcements, authors, Books, celebrations, Launches, New releases

Launch for A Toy Christmas in Sydney!

The second of our celebratory launches for A Toy Christmas will be held in Sydney on Thursday November 17 at the lovely Balmain Library at 6 pm. The book will be launched by the wonderful author Ursula Dubosarsky , and some of the contributors to A Toy Christmas will be there, including the editor and compiler Sophie Masson. And there’ll be light refreshments and door prizes! It’s a free event but you can book at http://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/whatson, see poster below.a-toy-christmas_santa-1-page-001

 

 

 

authors, Books, celebrations, Illustrators

Fascinating insights from the author and illustrator of Two Troll Tales from Norway

In the excellent Teachers’ Notes that we have just put up for Two Troll Tales from Norway (you can access and download them here, just scroll down the page), there are some fascinating insights from author Margrete Lamond and illustrator Ingrid Kallick about how they approached the creation of words and pictures. Here’s an extract:

margrete-lamond-author-photoMargrete:

I don’t know why I love retelling traditional tales, but something about it makes me feel hugely satisfied. Perhaps it is an ancient thing in my bones, hearkening back to those long-ago days when we told one another stories by the fireside, or while walking or working. Whatever it is, I relish the feeling of retelling, and most especially the challenge of retelling sometimes well-known tales in a fresh and emotionally engaging way. When I set out to retell a story, therefore, I always imagine I’m speaking directly to a group of listeners, and that I’m telling them a story they might know perfectly well, but that they haven’t heard told with this particular emotional flavour.

Norwegian folk tales are particularly satisfying as sources for retelling, because in their original forms (as collected and published by Asbjornsen and Moe) they retain some of the raw folk voice of the old storytellers from whom they were collected.

ingird_picIngrid:

While some people really have trollish personalities, it’s good to remember that although “Trolls are Trolls and there’s nothing anyone can do about it,” the trolls have their own regard for each other. For that reason, the trolls I painted for “Two Troll Tales” are just a little aware of what they are, and maybe they have feelings too – not always the worst possible feelings. They just don’t get along with humans very well.

As for the nitty-gritty of my process, I spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and looking at photos and other art before I start sketching.

I use pencil to make small drawings called thumbnails, about the size of a postage stamp. I choose the ones I like, scan them into a computer and re-draw then larger, with more details. Then I print out the final drawing at the size I would like to paint. Sometime I will print on watercolor paper and paint directly over the print. For “Two Troll Tales”, I transferred the sketch to watercolor paper with pencil and colored it with soft body acrylic paint, which can be made transparent like watercolor or opaque like tempera or gouache.

When I’m finished, I scan the painting into the computer. Then I can adjust the size, color and position of things to make it fit better with the text and page size.

 

You can read more in the full Teachers’ Notes, including Ingrid’s very interesting reminiscences about her Norwegian heritage.

Announcements, authors, Books, celebrations, Illustrators, New releases, News

Publication day for Two Troll Tales from Norway!

Two Troll Tales from Norway coverToday we are celebrating the official publication day for our beautiful new picture-book title, Margrete Lamond and Ingrid Kallick’s gorgeous Two Troll Tales from Norway. 

Retold in lively and authentic style by Norwegian-Australian author Margrete Lamond, and sumptuously illustrated by Norwegian-American illustrator Ingrid Kallick, these stories of magic and mischief from Norway will enthral young readers!

Margrete Lamond is a consummate storyteller with a deep understanding of fairy tales and folk tales. Her books include Tatterhood and Other Feisty Folktales, illustrated by Peter Sheehan, The Nutcracker, illustrated by Ritva Voutila; Frankenstein, illustrated by Drahos Zac; and the Once Upon A Timeless Tale series, a collection of retold folk and fairy tales, illustrated by a variety of leading Australian and international artists.

Award-winning illustrator Ingrid Kallick’s work has been featured in magazines and books, including in the Once Upon A Christmas anthology (Christmas Press 2014). Her work was selected for the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles shows in 2013 and 2015, with a bronze medal in 2015. Her magazine covers won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in 2012 and 2015, while her selection for the SCBWI stand at the Bologna Book Fair in 2014 received an honourable mention. Two Troll Tales from Norway is her first picture book.

Two Troll Tales from Norway is available from all good bookshops around Australia.