Chapter books and junior fiction

Our chapter book/junior fiction list, for readers 5-9 years old, was launched in November 2018. On this page you’ll find information about the fabulous books, authors and illustrators who are part of a great line-up!

Coming in 2020…

Robin’s Destiny

A junior fiction novel

By Beattie Alvarez, Illustrated by David Allan

To be published by Christmas Press, March 2020

ISBN: 9780648194569

Trim size: 190×128 mm, approx. 120 pages, RRP $15.99

About the book:

Michael just wants to play on his computer. This new game is so cool that he can’t stop playing it. And there’s something in there he can’t quite see. But things aren’t easy at home. Mum is cross. The house is a mess and she needs him to help with his little sister Jenny.  His best friend Jimmy is cross. He found the game first and wants to be the best at it. Plus, it’s Michael’s fault his ball got run over by a garbage truck.

Then, one day, when Michael’s supposed to be looking after her, Jenny disappears into the game, and Michael has to follow. Handy Andy, the housekeeper of the game, helps them to escape. But there’s King John to contend with and he isn’t letting anyone go. Not even Jenny, who thinks that this game is lots of fun, and doesn’t understand the danger they are in.  It takes a best friend, an old enemy-turned-friend, and a lot of memories to shut down the game for good.

With an unusual setting in a retro video game, great pace, and vivid characters, this is a gripping short novel for readers 7-9

About the author:

The most important thing about Beattie Alvarez is that she’s a reader. She reads while she cooks, eats and showers, but NOT in bed. This is mainly due to the fact that she can’t put the book down — just one more chapter, and one after that and one after that until the book is finished and the sun is rising. Her interests in reading and writing haven’t changed much in the last twenty years. Cosy picture books, YA, fantasy (the younger end normally, not so much high fantasy) and a few murder mysteries line her bookshelves, bedside tables and handbag.

When she’s not reading, she’s a writer, illustrator, editor, graphic designer, toy shop owner and dragon maker. She has over half a dozen books with her name on the cover as an editor and author, is half of the up-and-coming author Phoebe McArthur and has had several short stories published in various places.

About the illustrator:

David Allan is an illustrator and artist whose first picture book, Two Trickster Tales from Russia (retold by Sophie Masson) was published by Christmas Press in 2013. Since then, he has illustrated other picture books, as well as short story anthologies, a chapterbook, and storybooks for reading programs. His work is in private and public collections, and he has participated in solo and group exhibitions.




Petal and the Really Hard Riddle

By Kathryn England

Colour cover and black and white internal illustrations by David Allan

Published by Christmas Press, August 2019

ISBN 9780648194545

RRP $13.99, Paperback, Aprox 72 pages, Trim size: 190mmx140 mm.

About the book:

Petal’s father likes to boast about his daughter. According to him she can do anything. One day, a particularly over-the-top boast about her spinning skill makes its way across the land into the King’s ear and Petal is brought to the palace. The King orders Petal to demonstrate her skill. With no hope of doing what her father says she can do, Petal agrees to a deal offered by a tricky old man who will carry out the task if she can answer a really hard riddle. But surely it can’t be that hard, can it?

A lively, funny take on Rumpeltstiltskin.

About the author:

Kathryn England lives in Penrith in Sydney’s outer west. She has been a secretary, part owner of a milk run, farm hand and sales rep for a book supply company. She has had a number of children’s books published ranging from picture books and easy reads to chapter books, novels and non-fiction. Other stories and articles have appeared in children’s magazines here and overseas. Some of her stories come from her imagination while others are based on fact.

About the illustrator:

David Allan is an illustrator and artist whose first picture book, Two Trickster Tales from Russia(retold by Sophie Masson) was published by Christmas Press in 2013. Since then, he has illustrated three other acclaimed picture books for Christmas Press: Two Tales of Twins from Ancient Greece and Rome(retold by Ursula Dubosarsky, 2014); Two Tengu Tales from Japan(retold by Duncan Ball, 2015) and Two Enchanted Tales from Old China(retold by Gabrielle Wang, 2017). He has also illustrated short story anthologies, including The Stuff of Tales, published by Arts North West in 2018, and several Christmas Press anthologies, as well as storybooks for reading programs. His work is in private and public collections, and he has participated in solo and group exhibitions.


You can read a review of Petal and the Really Hard Riddle here.



Lucy Newton, Little Witch

Written and illustrated by Phoebe McArthur

ISBN 9780648194507

RRP $13.99,  Paperback, Approx. 72 pages, Trim size: 190mmx140 mm

November 2018



Lucy’s mum is always busy, going to this meeting and that, leaving Lucy alone in their old house with one strict rule: NO MAGIC.

Lucy doesn’t mean to conjure the giant green slug. She only wanted a friendly kitten to keep her company.

Now, with the help of a talking spellbook and a grumpy cat called Thomas, she must race to get rid of the slug before it eats the prized cabbage garden of the witch next door — and before her mum gets home.

A lively,  entertaining story for young readers.


Read a review here.

About the author:

Phoebe McArthur lives in a run-down, yet cosy cottage in the middle of nowhere.

She’s not at all lonely thanks to her four cats, three chooks, two guinea pigs and her extensive library.

If she’s not tipping cats off her lap as she writes stories, she’s cooking all sorts of yummy food, such as scones with extra cream and homemade blackberry jam, or doing art at the table near the window, which has the best view of her garden.

Lucy Newton, Little Witch is her first book.




Princess Hayley’s Comet 

By Rebecca Fung

Cover and internal illustrations by Kathy Creamer

ISBN: 9780994528070

RRP $13.99, paperback, Approx. 72 pages, Trim size: 190mmx140 mm

November 2018

Princess Hayley has everything a princess could want … except a comet. It’s her only birthday wish. Comets are so sparkly and they shoot through the sky so fast – who wouldn’t want one? But then Hayley realises the only way she’s going to get her wish is to catch a comet for herself. Joined by the very best friends a princess could have, Hayley aims to build the biggest and best – the only – comet-catcher in the world and make sure her birthday dream comes true!

A magical, funny story for young readers by a talented new author.

Read a review here.

About the author:

Rebecca Fung works and lives in Sydney, Australia. She loves to write children’s fiction and several of those stories have been published in Christmas Press anthologies Once Upon a Christmas, A Toy Christmas and A Christmas Menagerie. She likes owls, mandarins and chocolates, and she is often found curled up on the sofa with her face in a book.

Princess Hayley’s Comet is her first book.

Rebecca Fung, pic by Gildus Lam

About the illustrator:

Kathy Creamer is a children’s illustrator and writer who has been published by Oxford University Press, Reed International, Christmas Press and Second Look. Kathy has been illustrating children’s books for a number of years. She has a Master of Arts degree in Children’s Book Illustration from the Cambridge

School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University in England, where she attended lectures given by many prominent illustrators, such as Quentin Blake, James Mayhew, John Lawrence and Martin Salisbury. She works mainly with watercolour, colour pencil, ink and wash. She has a varied style, and enjoys creating humour and movement in her images. Her website is at Her work can also be seen at

Kathy Creamer