Christmas Press Illustrator Panel at Booked In festival!

Christmas Press had a big presence at the recent Booked In children’s literature festival in Armidale, NSW. Our latest book, Duncan Ball and David Allan’s gorgeous Two Tengu Tales from Japan, was launched. As well, two of our authors–Sophie Masson, author of Two Trickster Tales from Russia, and John Heffernan, whose book with us, Two Tales from Ancient Mesopotamia, is coming out next year–were on a panel on retelling traditional tales, chaired by Tom Penrose from the New England Writers’ Centre. And no less than four of our illustrators were on an Illustrator Panel in the afternoon, discussing the illustration life:  chair Trish Donald(who had illustrations in Once Upon A Christmas); David Allan(illustrator of Tricksters, Twins and Tengu) Fiona McDonald(illustrator of Selkies and Fearsome Fairy Tales) and Kate Durack(who is illustrating John Heffernan’s book of Mesopotamian tales). It was an exciting and interesting time, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it! Here are a few photos from the illustrator panel.



Lovely review of Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France!

A lovely review of the beautiful book by Adele Geras and Fiona McDonald recently appeared in Reading Time, the online journal of the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Here’s an extract:

The language is fluent and vividly descriptive with storytelling skill which propels the stories forward with suspense and mystery towards a satisfying conclusion. While Beauty and the Beast reveals a beast who is genuinely good and ultimately handsome, Bluebeard is ironically about an intriguing man who is truly a beast at heart. Both stories are full of tantalising elements and memorable scenes.

Lovely illustrations by Fiona McDonald capture the heart of each fairytale sometimes in rich colour and sometimes in black and white sketches.

The full review can be read here.


Congratulations, Ingrid!

Ingrid Kallick Cricket coverOne of our wonderful illustrators, US artist Ingrid Kallick–whose illustrations were in our anthology Once Upon A Christmas, and who’ll be illustrating a picture-book title for us next year(Two Troll Tales from Norway, retold by Margrete Lamond) has just won a prestigious award in the US. Her cover for the September, 2014 issue of Cricket magazine won the 2015 Magazine Merit Award for Illustration from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Congratulations, Ingrid!
Above is her winning cover illustration, and below her gorgeous illustrations from Once Upon A Christmas–the colour one for Charlotte McConaghy’s Wolfskin and the Huntress, the black and white for Michael Grey’s The Boar’s boars head cardHead. You can buy both of these as greetings cards and postcards(see our merchandise page)

wolfskinfinal Large


Launch of Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France

It was a rainy afternoon in Armidale on Saturday May 2, but that didn’t deter the lively crowd of Christmas Press friends and supporters who turned out to help us celebrate the launch of our newest title, Adèle Geras’ and Fiona McDonald’s beautiful  Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France.

The launch was held in the congenial surroundings of Fiona’s fabulous toyshop, Granny Fi’s Toy Cupboard, and Fiona herself was present to sign books and Adèle couldn’t of course be there–she lives in Cambridge, UK–she sent her best wishes from abroad. Christmas Press co-director, author Sophie Masson, launched the book, pointing out that it’s the first of our titles to be written by an international author, introducing the stories and talking about the process of publishing, and showing the enthusiastic crowd the five star review of the book that appeared in the May issue of Good Reading magazine. Fiona then spoke about her experience of creating the beautiful illustrations, and also paid tribute to designer David Allan and editor Beattie Alvarez.

Then it was time for chat and refreshments and book signings! It was a great afternoon. Thank you to all who came.


Guest post: Adèle Geras on retelling fairy tales

Feathers of the Firebird

FEAgerasToday I’m delighted to feature the wonderful Adèle Geras on my blog. Adèle is a renowned British author who has written more than 95 books for children, young adults, and adults. Her best-known works for young people are Troy(shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal); Ithaka; Happy Ever After(previously published as the Egerton Hall trilogy) Silent Snow, Secret Snow, and A Candle in the Dark. Her novels for adults include Made in Heaven, Cover Your Eyes, and A Hidden Life.

This week, her latest book, Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France, with gorgeous illustrations by Fiona McDonald, comes out with Christmas Press, and to mark it Adèle has written about why she loves retelling fairy tales.

Retelling Fairy Tales

by Adèle Geras

 This week, two fairy tales, retold by me, are going to be published by Christmas…

View original post 565 more words


Countdown to Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France launch!

Cover.inddHere at Christmas Press, we’re very excited: we’ll soon be officially launching our new title, the gorgeous picture book, Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France, retold by Adèle Geras and illustrated by Fiona McDonald.

The launch will be on Saturday May 2 at 3pm, at Fiona’s beautiful toy shop in Armidale, Granny Fi’s Toy Cupboard. Fiona will be there of course to sign. We’d love Adèle to be at the signing table too but maybe it’s a bit far for her to come all the way from Cambridge, UK 🙂

The book has already gone out via our distributor to bookshops all over the country, so make sure you order your copy now! And if you happen to be in the Armidale area on May 2, come in and join the celebration!


Two years and five titles already!

It’s just over WP_20150407_004two years since we started Christmas Press, and our fifth title, Two Fearsome Fairy Tales from France, by Adèle Geras and Fiona McDonald, will very soon come out. We are so proud of all our titles, and warmly thank our wonderful authors and illustrators, and all our friends and supporters, who have made taking the leap from creators to publishers such a wonderful experience!

It’s all looking good–our fifth title, great reviews, and a new imprint starting next year!

Here’s to many more years and many more titles!



Congratulations to our wonderful author Ursula Dubosarsky!

Ursula with David, signing books at the Sydney launch of Two Tales of Twins last year.

We at Christmas Press are absolutely thrilled to hear that our friend and wonderful author Ursula Dubosarsky, who wrote the beautiful Christmas Press title, Two Tales of Twins from Ancient Greece and Rome (illustrated by David Allan) is one of two Australian creators nominated for the incredibly prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Awards. These international Awards are regarded as being like the Nobel Prize for children’s literature, and it is a great honour to be nominated. We wish Ursula and her fellow Australian nominee, the fantastic illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft, the very best of luck for the final judging–and many congratulations! And we are so proud to be one of your publishers, Ursula!

You can find out more here.