For years I've enjoyed receiving anthologies of short stories - it's a bit of a Christmas tradition for me to have hiding under the tree something like 'Best Australian Stories 20...' This year, however I've found something even better - an anthology of short stories/poems/illustrations from my most favourite AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN'S authors and illustrators. It certainly is a Rich and Rare feast which I can hardly wait to start (do I have to wait until Christmas day??)
I was fortunate to be able to attend the Sydney launch at the Children Bookshop, Beecroft and meet some of the fabulous contributors to this anthology - Sophie Masson (Wrote the Foreword); Mo Johnson: Susanne Gervay; James Roy; Meredith Costain; and Libby Hathorn.
Sophie Masson shared with the audience the difficulty she found in writing the foreword to a book of such wildly different pieces, and how the analogy of a quilt helped her bring all the disparate stories and forms together - "A patchwork quilt sewn by many hands is a beautiful thing not despite, but because it is made of distinctive pieces, created by different people... [they] form a harmonious whole of many different elements, fitting around each other to create a strikingly unusual and complex yet satisfying and simple thing"
Meredith Costain and Susanne Gervay entertained the assembled crowd with a poetry reading (and performance) from the book.
And Mo Johnson spoke about the anthology while Paul MacDonald from The Children's Bookshop talked about how this would be a great tool for teachers to read aloud in their classrooms. The diversity of stories and forms in this book will appeal to a diverse range of boys and girls of different reading abilities and interests. It's perfect for dipping into before bed, and discovering a new author (or two, or three) to follow. Published by Ford Street, edited by Paul Collins.
I can hardly wait to dig in!
Six authors signing - From L to R
Sophie Masson; James Roy; Mo Johnson; Libby Hathorn; Meredith Costain; Susanne Gervay.