Some years ago Daughter begged a copy of Joan Aiken’s A Necklace of Raindrops from my friend Pippi when we visited her. It was an old battered paperback, and she just had to have it. I didn’t forget about it, but I must admit to not having looked at it carefully enough to realise it was illustrated. Daughter was past needing it reading to her, so I just didn’t get involved.
That’s why I was so keen to see a copy of the book now that it’s being published again. I somehow thought the illustrations by Jan Pieńkowski were new. They are, in fact, original, and were in the 1968 version as well.
Oh, well. This is a lovely book, and two copies can be better than one – old and battered.
I love Joan Aiken, although I’ve not read much of hers for this age range, which is younger than the Wolves Chronicles. There are eight short stories, which are all perfect either to read to a child or to have them read on their own. I was going to say nicely old-fashioned, but perhaps they were simply normal forty years ago. They are the sort of stories we read when I was young.
This is a larger size hardback, so Jan Pieńkowski’s pictures look marvellous. They have that authentic 1960s half modern, half old style feel to them. If you know what I mean?