Announcements, authors, Books, collaborations, Cover reveals, forthcoming books, Illustrators, News, Picture books

Announcing a special publishing collaboration–and a very special book!

Press Release, Friday December 4

Six-year-old Australian author Chelsea Hardi’s first picture book to be published in 2021

Richmond Publishing, in association with Christmas Press, is proud to announce that in April 2021 it will be publishing The Magic Ball of String, a beautiful picture book with text by a fabulous debut author, six-year-old Sydney resident Chelsea Hardi, who is not only one of Australia’s but also one of the world’s youngest published authors.

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 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 a dream come true for the young author, and one that children and families across Australia will take to their hearts.

Richmond Publishing (a division of Oliver Freeman Pty Ltd) is delighted that The Magic Ball of String will be on the 2021 publishing list of award-winning children’s books publisher Christmas Press, which will be 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.

About the book:

The Magic Ball of String

By Chelsea Hardi

Illustrated by Olya Badulina

ISBN: 9781875613069, 36 pages, Hardcover, RRP: $19.99

Published April 2021 by Richmond Publishing, a division of Oliver Freeman Pty Ltd

In association with Christmas Press

Distributed by Peribo

Three beautiful princesses set out to explore the kingdom, looking for adventure. When they become separated from their father, and cross paths with a hungry bear, they become lost in the midst of a dark forest. The eldest princess is determined to find a way home, and the King is determined to find his daughters. And with the help of a man with a brave and kind heart, the grateful gesture of a tiny hedgehog, and a magic ball of string, everyone may just find what they truly seek …

Author Chelsea Hardi
Illustrator Olya Badulina
Announcements, authors, Books, Illustrators, Junior fiction, News

Delighted to announce our new Junior Fiction list!

We are delighted to announce our new Junior Fiction list, for young readers who want to graduate from chapter books, but aren’t ready yet to move into middle-grade fiction, and who still like illustrations in their reading! And we’re even more delighted that Fil and Harry, the debut book on this list, is by the award-winning team of author Jenny Blackford and illustrator Kristin Devine. Jenny’s previous novel with us, The Girl in the Mirror (published last year in the Eagle Books imprint) won the 2020 Davitt Award for Best Children’s Crime Novel, while in 2019 Kristin won first place in the New England Illustration Award, which is open to illustrators all over Australia.

Can Fil’s cat Harry really talk? And can he find a way out of the tangle she’s in? Read more about this fresh, lively and touching novel here. We’re publishing it in May 2021. Watch this space!

Jenny Blackford with her Ragdoll cat, Felix
Illustrator Kristin Devine
authors, chapterbooks, Illustrators, Reviews

Another lovely review of Four on the Run

There’s another lovely review of Four on the Run, this time on Kids’ Book Review. Here is a short extract:

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.  

You can read the whole review here.

Illustration by Cheryl Orsini from Four on the Run

authors, chapterbooks, Illustrators, Reviews

Lovely review for Four on the Run at ReadPlus

There’s a lovely review of Four on the Run on ReadPlus, review is by Kathyrn Beilby. Here’s a short extract:

This is a perfect read aloud for Junior Primary students as it is short and will appeal to children who could easily imagine that vehicles may be able to talk. Those younger readers who are progressing to independently reading novels will find the larger text and repetition of key words an asset to reading fluently. The clever illustrations by Cheryl Orsini provide extra interest and support to the reader.

You can read the whole review here.

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)

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’

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.