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’

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

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.

Launch for A Toy Christmas in Sydney!

The second of our celebratory launches for A Toy Christmas will be held in Sydney on Thursday November 17 at the lovely Balmain Library at 6 pm. The book will be launched by the wonderful author Ursula Dubosarsky , and some of the contributors to A Toy Christmas will be there, including the editor and compiler Sophie Masson. And there’ll be light refreshments and door prizes! It’s a free event but you can book at http://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/whatson, see poster below.a-toy-christmas_santa-1-page-001

 

 

 

Launch for A Toy Christmas in Melbourne!

We’re delighted to announce that our beautiful illustrated anthology, A Toy Christmas, will be launched twice, in two cities! First up will be the Melbourne launch, at the beautiful new children’s bookshop, Readings Kids in Carlton, on Thursday November 10 at 6 pm(for 6.30). The lovely author-illustrator Sally Rippin will be launching the book, and four contributors to the anthology: George Ivanoff, Goldie Alexander, Meredith Costain and Michael Grey, will be there to sign books, as will the editor and compiler, Sophie Masson. Official invite below. We’d love to see you there!

a-toy-christmas-melbourne-launch-page-001

(You can RSVP to contact@christmaspresspicturebooks.com, or just turn up on the night!)

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.