Announcements, celebrations, chapterbooks

Publication day for Four Up In Lights

Today is the publication day for Four Up In Lights! It’s the third and final book in the lovely early readers series created by writer Sophie Masson and illustrator Cheryl Orsini, recounting the incredible adventures of four lovable friends who just happen to be–vintage vehicles!

In this latest installment, Maxie, Fergie, Flash and Lady are finally on the set of the movie that will turn them into great stars: but nothing is what it seems, and soon the four friends are flung into an adventure like nothing they’ve ever seen before.

You can watch a fun little trailer for Four Up In Lights here.

The whole ‘Four’ series has had a wonderful response from readers and reviewers. Here’s something of what reviewers have had to say:

With themes of friendship, resilience, and teamwork, a fast-paced story, and fabulously expressive illustrations, young readers will delight in the adventures of these talking vehicle friends (Lisa Hoad, Reading Time)

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. (Anastasia Gonis, Kids’ Book Review)

Sophie Masson’s funny, charming and original adventure story about four friends who just happen to have wheels is a great early chapter book…with lots of excitement, a little bit of peril and bags of friendship and heart …. the story races through its seven chapters and features black and white illustrations from Cheryl Orsini. (Matt Wilson, A Word About Books)

Congratulations to Sophie and Cheryl, and may Maxie, Fergie, Flash and Lady roll into the hearts of many, many young readers!

Announcements, Books, celebrations, collaborations, Inside Story, Launches, New releases, United Publishers of Armidale, UPA Books

Inside Story publishes today!

Today is the official release date of Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books, which is published under UPA Books, the joint imprint we collaborate on with fellow children’s books publisher Little Pink Dog Books. Inside Story is also published in association with the New England Writers’ Centre, supported by a significant grant from Create NSW and generous backers in a crowdfunding campaign. This fully-illustrated book is aimed both at aspiring writers, illustrators, and other book people, and also at anyone interested in contemporary Australian children’s books, as it’s a gorgeous showcase of some of the best work around and, as well, features illuminating quotes from over 70 Australian writers, illustrators, agents, editors, designers and publishers.

Christmas Press is proud to be involved in this beautiful book, and together with our partners Little Pink Dog Books and the New England Writers’ Centre, we hope it will reach many readers and help to inspire many new writers, illustrators, editors and designers in their journey into children’s books.

The book is available in all good bookshops and may also be purchased directly through us or Little Pink Dog Books.

There will be a national online launch of the book to which all are invited. It’s being run by the New England Writers’ Centre: it’s free, but you need to book, please see here.

To give you a bit of a taste about what Inside Story is about, read this interview with one of the compilers of the book here, and watch the little trailer below.

authors, Awards, backlist, celebrations, News, Picture books

Congratulations to Gabrielle Wang, new Australian Children’s Laureate!

Big congratulations to the wonderful author-illustrator Gabrielle Wang, who has just been announced as the new Australian Children’s Laureate for 2022-2023. So well-deserved!

At Christmas Press we are thrilled to have Gabrielle as one of our wonderful authors: her beautiful picture book with illustrator David Allan, Two Enchanted Tales from Old China, which we published in 2017, is an absolute delight. Still available now from all good bookshops! Gabrielle also has a story, Pony for Sale, which she illustrated herself (see illustration below, on right), in our 2017 anthology A Christmas Menagerie. (The anthology is also still available.)

Announcements, Books, celebrations, Christmas, festive season, holidays, short stories, short story

A festive gift for our readers

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.

You can of course get the Lucy Newton books from any bookshop, including our partner Granny Fi’s Toy Cupboard.

We wish everyone a merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a wonderful holiday season! See you next year for more wonderful book news.

Announcements, authors, celebrations, New releases, News, Picture books, publication day

Publication day for The Magic Ball of String!

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.

The book is distributed by Peribo.

Watch the beautiful trailer for the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm1yPC0tOvk

Chelsea with her book
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, 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!