Co-editions and collaborations

We are delighted to announce that we have formed a new collaborative imprint, UPA Books, with fellow Armidale-based children’s books publisher Little Pink Dog Books. It’s part of our joint United Publishers of Armidale initiative. And our first book under this imprint will be an absolutely fantastic book called Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books, which was published in May 2022. You can read all about Inside Story here. There is also a special Inside Story Facebook page here.

We are proud to be in association with the New England Writers’ Centre, who commissioned writing of the first draft of the book, supported by a generous grant from Create NSW. Printing was partly supported by a crowdfunding campaign. Have a look at the videos below, on different aspects of the book.


The Magic Ball of String

By Chelsea Hardi

Illustrated by Olya Badulina

ISBN: 9781875613069

36 pages, Hardcover, trim size 280x230mm

 RRP: $19.99

Published October 2021 by Richmond Publishing

In association with Christmas Press

Distributed by Peribo

A catalogue record for this book is available from the National Library of Australia

About the book:

A magical fairytale from an exciting new storyteller: seven-year-old Australian author, Chelsea Hardi

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 …

Charmingly told in Chelsea’s distinctive voice, with beautiful illustrations by Olya Badulina, this is a picture book that children and their families will cherish.


From The Pinerolo Newsletter, October 2021: THE MAGIC BALL OF STRING by Chelsea Hardi & Olya Badulina (Richmond). Remarkably, this charming fairy tale was written by a 7-year-old Australian girl. The illustrations, in traditional fairytale style were done by an illustrator who lives in Finland. A fascinating

From Read Plus: Recommended. The front cover will draw any young girl into the story immediately, with the beautiful princess upon the white horse, and the castle in the background. The illustrations throughout the book capture all the subtleties of the story. This Australian, seven-year-old, author has done an amazing job at storytelling. Being aware of this fact may encourage other budding storytellers out there, knowing that if someone else can do it, they can too.

About the author: Chelsea Hardi

Six-year-old 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 during a period she recently spent in hospital in Moscow.

Chelsea’s message to the world is that kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give – to family, friends and strangers. She also exemplifies girls doing it for themselves in a complex world where every child is valued.

Join Chelsea as she sets out on a magic journey to discover how a tiny hedgehog and a ball of string might help her find happiness and fulfilment.

About the illustrator: Olya Badulina

Olya Badulina is an international illustrator living in Finland with her family. Olya’s art is featured in many delightful children’s books around the globe. Olya draws inspiration from everything around her — whether it’s the animals she finds walking through the forest or fairy stories going back over the centuries.

She embraced the Chelsea story and has loved capturing every nuance in it.


Watch the lovely book trailer for The Magic Ball of String: