HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories
Author: Joan Aiken
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Publisher: Puffin Books, republished in 1975
ISBN-13: 978-0756956868 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0756956862 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0140307542 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0140307540 (Paperback)
Related website: www.joanaiken.com
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Aiken, Joan. A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories (originally published in 1968; republished in 1975 by Puffin Books). This book, a spell-binding collection containing eight classic stories to treasure and enjoy, conjures up a world filled with magic where wishes can come true. From “A Necklace of Raindrops” about a birthday present of a necklace of raindrops that keeps its owner dry in the heaviest rainstorm; through a tiger that runs faster than the wind; a huge floating apple pie with a piece of sky in it; a baker’s cat who swells to the size of a whale when his mistress feeds him yeast; and, a house that stands on one leg; to “The Patchwork Quilt” about another birthday present–these are just some of the objects and characters that figure in these delightful stories.
Combining elements of folklore with her own inventive touches of fun, Aiken’s imaginative tales take the reader to places where tigers talk to little girls, people travel by flying carpets, and magic has a way of bringing justice to the world. Of course, those who object to “magic” of any form in children’s reading materials will not care for this book; however, it is not the magic of occultism but of fairy tales. Author Joan Aiken (1924-2004) received England’s MBE from the Queen for her services to Children’s Literature. Perhaps her best-known series is the “Wolves Chronicles” which began with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, recommended highly by Nathaniel Bluedorn in Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Our favorite story in A Necklace of Raindrops is “Elves in the Shelves.”