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19th October 2015 | by Rachael Rogan
“…he pulled out a fine, fine silver chain. On the chain were three bright, shining drops.”
Anyone who has come along to Bedtime Stories, or Storytime, or has basically ever met me, will recognise this book as my all-time favourite. A random childhood purchase from a second hand book stall at a church fair, it became the book I returned to again and again. I hadn’t heard of Joan Aiken, but I fell in love with her other-worldly storytelling and, as an adult, I searched and searched for the book for many years. My copy is a battered old hardback I eventually found on eBay, so I was delighted to discover that it has been reprinted. Delighted for those who can now share in my joy. I’m keeping my old copy. I like the smell of old books.
The book is composed of eight tales, each beautifully and impishly written – but for me it has always been Pieńkowski’s illustrations that made the book so magical. I’ve since bought his other work, but A Necklace of Raindrops will, for me, forever capture the essence of his haunting work.