It all happened just before Christmas in December . . . the Make Believe Ideas office was filled with a festive buzz, with Christmas tunes blaring from the radio, and tinsel draped across every desk. The Christmas excitement had reached its peak . . . or so we thought!

Suddenly, emails simultaneously pinged throughout the office and squeals of excitement could be heard – an announcement was made and we all found out that CBeebies HQ wanted to use our book, ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’ in their Bedtime Stories show on Christmas Day!! We couldn’t contain our excitement, especially when we heard that the book would be read by British singer and The X Factor contestant, Olly Murs!

At 6.50pm on Christmas Day the whole MBI team settled down with their families to listen to Olly Murs’ reading of ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’. The story, written by the wonderful Rosie Greening and illustrated by the brilliant Clare Fennell, tells the tale of Alfie the elf and his quest to win Santa’s selfie contest. Alfie is determined to take the prize for himself, but he soon realises that teamwork always works best.

See for yourself how the story ends . . . ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’ is available to purchase now!

Watch ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’ on CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories here!

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy and Cookies Policy.
I Accept

Author and Illustrator Interviews

We spoke to the author, Rosie Greening and the illustrator, Clare Fennell to find out how it felt to see their book on TV, and to get a little more insight into the creation of this beautiful book.

An interview with Rosie Greening . . .

Hi Rosie! When did you know that you wanted to be a children’s book author?

I’ve always loved reading and rhyming, but it wasn’t until I got a job at MBI that I thought about writing children’s books. Now I spend my time writing rhymes about unicorns, llamas and even a family of Brussels sprouts!

Where did you get the idea for Alfie and ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’?

My colleagues and I were brainstorming ideas for a new Christmas book when I suddenly thought: “Elfie selfie!” That little rhyme sparked the rest of the story, all about an elf who wants to take the perfect selfie.

How did you feel when you found out that your book had been chosen by CBeebies?

I felt so excited! This book is one of my personal favourites, so it was great to hear that others like it too. I had heard of CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories before, and I couldn’t wait to find out which celebrity would read the story.

Did you watch ‘Bedtime Stories’ on Christmas Day? How did you feel seeing Olly Murs read your book?

All of my family gathered around the TV to watch it on Christmas Day, so it was a really lovely moment. It was very surreal to hear my book being read by Olly Murs, but I think he did a really great job. I hope he liked my story too!

An interview with Clare Fennell . . .

Hi Clare! When did you know that you wanted to be a children’s book illustrator?

I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator when I was really young and read the Winnie the Pooh books again and again. I used to practise drawing Pooh Bear. Also, when I read the Roald Dahl classics that Quentin Blake had illustrated I was so inspired, and that was that exact reason that I went on and did my university degree in illustration! I couldn’t think of a better way to make living!

Where did you get the inspiration for Alfie in ‘The Christmas Selfie Contest’?

I wanted Alfie Elf to have a cheeky look as that’s how I think Rosie (the author) put him across – so I had a kind of toddler look in mind.

How did you feel when you found out your book had been chosen by CBeebies?

I was over the moon when I heard that Christmas Selfie was on CBeebies’ bedtime hour, and for it to be on Christmas Day was the icing on the cake. I love Christmas anyway and to have your work picked and acknowledged by such an institution is really rewarding.

Did you watch ‘Bedtime Stories’ on Christmas Day? How did you feel seeing Olly Murs read your book?

My whole family l watched the CBeebies Bedtime Story on Christmas Day. Everyone cheered when Olly said my name and I actually blushed . . . maybe it was the wine! Then I had a flurry of texts from other family members and friends who had watched. It made my Christmas Day super special – and what a great job Olly did!

We hope you enjoyed hearing all about our exciting Christmas news, and here’s our very own MBI Christmas selfie!

A huge thank you to CBeebies and to Olly Murs, and of course thank you to Alfie the elf for showing us how anything can happen if you work as a team!