Rich and Rare: A Collection of Australian Stories, Poetry and Artwork lives up to its title admirably. Sophie Mason sets the scene in her Foreword, a story in its own right, as she explores the collection as an intricate and varied quilt – with different sized, shaped, and colourful stories that combine into a warm and heart-warming array of stories, cushioned between poetry and illustrations that enrich and embellish. The contributors to this collection are as rich and varied as the tales told and will bring laughter, tears, joy and sadness to readers young and old.
Well deserved to be placed on the Children Book Council of Australia’s 2016 Notable list for Book of the Year: Older Reader there are also many gems to share with younger readers but not all are aimed at this younger audience. Paul Collins has a done a masterful editorial job, just like a quilt maker, in placing the stories in an intricate and varied sequence that pulls the emotions in multiple directions with highs and lows, sighs and chuckles. Grouped loosely by genre, the reader can dip and dive into contemporary family dilemmas, mad cap adventures, romance, fantasy, crime, and so much more. Do I have a favourite? Too hard to choose based on quality and rich writing, so my pick reflects my own attachment to our feline friends. Shaun Tan’s celebration of ‘The Greatest Cat that Ever Lived’ is masterful, and such a telling window into the soul of a cat.
It really is Rich and Rare – grab a copy from INT Books today – your life will be richer for the experience.