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’
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authors, Books, Illustrators, Reviews

Lovely review of Troll Tales in Magpies

Delighted to see that Margrete Lamond’s and Ingrid Kallick’s gorgeous Two Troll Tales from Norway has garnered another lovely review! It’s in the latest issue of the prestigious children’s literature magazine, Magpies, and is by author and bookseller Mike Lucas. Here’s a very short extract:

Christmas Press, a relatively new publisher specialising in fairy tales, folk tales and traditional stories, has brought together a magical storyteller and a perfectly suited illustrator to retell these two Norwegian tales..

The review is below(not available online)

magpies-review-trolls

authors, Illustrators, Reviews

Excellent review for Two Troll Tales in Reading Time

trolls-6Just in, another great review for Margrete Lamond and Ingrid Kallick’s Two Troll Tales from Norway!

Here’s some short extracts: Margret Lamond skilfully retells the two magical tales in this charming picture book displaying her talent as a storyteller….The illustrations by Ingrid Kallick convey the unusual quality of these stories and have a distinctly Scandinavian appearance in the decorative patterns and colours.

You can read the whole review here.

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.

 

 

 

Announcements, authors, Books, Cover reveals, Illustrators, News

Cover reveal for our fabulous Christmas title!

A Toy Christmas Cover Final-jpegWe’re delighted to reveal the gorgeous cover for our Christmas title, A Toy Christmas, which will be released on November 10. That beautiful cover illustration is by Fiona McDonald, design by Beattie Alvarez and David Allan.

Compiled and edited by award-winning author Sophie Masson, this fabulous anthology of new, original seasonal tales, written by some of Australia’s most talented authors, both established and emerging, features the special magic of toys at Christmas. Illustrated in full colour, this is the perfect book to snuggle up with in the festive season—and well beyond!

With an introduction by Sophie Masson.

Featuring:

Natalie Jane Prior—Meredith Costain—Michael Grey—Fiona McDonald—Juliet Marillier–Anna Bell–Ian Irvine—Kathy Creamer—George Ivanoff—Goldie Alexander—David Allan—Rebecca Fung—Beattie Alvarez.

Have a look here at what Natalie Jane Prior, has said on her blog about the experience of writing The Dolls’ Nativity, her story for the anthology.

Book details:

ISBN 9780994234063

RRP: $24.99

Format: Large Paperback

Page extent: 96 pages, illustrated in full colour

 

Announcements, authors, celebrations, Events, Illustrators, New releases

Celebration of Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia

Absolutely fantastic event last night at Walcha Gallery of Art, celebrating John Heffernan and Kate Durack’s gorgeous book with Christmas Press, Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia. The evening featured a great exhibition of Kate’s original art from the book and a fabulous talk by John about the experience of writing the book, and the extraordinary Epic of Gilgamesh, which is the source of the stories he retold. The big,enthusiastic crowd just loved it and all the stock of books went in a flash!

Fiona McDonald and Sophie Masson represented Christmas Press at the celebration, and had a lovely time!
Thank you to the Walcha Gallery of Art, Reader’s Companion, and everyone who helped make this such a great event. And congratulations to that fantastically creative duo, John Heffernan and Kate Durack.