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Book Title: A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories|
The author of the book: Joan Aiken
ISBN 13: 9780440418504
Edition: Dell Yearling
Date of issue: June 10th 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 691 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.2
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Joan Aiken is at her best with this collection of gentle fairytales and fantasy stories, beautifully illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. The pictures are like little jewels themselves, or tiny "raindrops" that reflect the people and events in the stories. An excellent, cosy, curl-up-in-your-favourite-quilt read. I started this book thinking I'd never read it before, but something about one of the stories rang a bell, so I must have done many years ago.
My "acid test" of a good children's book is: does it appeal to adults? If not, there's probably not much there at all. Witness the fact that many, many adults enjoy Beatrix Potter, Milne and other "children's books" all their lives long, while the "fad" books fade away to no one's regret. This is an enduring classic, and I actually think I got more out of it at fifty than at a younger age. That is not to say that it's "over the heads" of children, because it's not.
I enjoyed these short tales rather more than the proto-steampunk novels in the "Wolves of Willoughby Chase" series (after about vol. 3, anyway). They are much more in the line of the Armitage Family series. Read them with someone you love.
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Read information about the authorJoan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and short stories.
She was born in Rye, East Sussex, into a family of writers, including her father, Conrad Aiken (who won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry), and her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge. She worked for the United Nations Information Office during the second world war,and then as an editor and freelance on Argosy magazine before she started writing full time, mainly children's books and thrillers. For her books she received the Guardian Award (1969) and the Edgar Allan Poe Award (1972).
Her most popular series, the "Wolves Chronicles" which began with 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase', was set in an elaborate alternate period of history in a Britain in which James II was never deposed in the Glorious Revolution,and so supporters of the House of Hanover continually plot to overthrow the Stuart Kings. These books also feature cockney urchin heroine Dido Twite and her adventures and travels all over the world.
Another series of children's books about Arabel and her raven Mortimer are illustrated by Quentin Blake, and have been shown on the BBC as Jackanory and drama series. Others including the much loved 'Necklace of Raindrops' and award winning 'Kingdom Under the Sea' are illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski.
Her many novels for adults include several that continue or complement novels by Jane Austen. These include 'Mansfield Revisited' and 'Jane Fairfax'.
Aiken was a lifelong fan of ghost stories. She set her adult supernatural novel The Haunting of Lamb House at Lamb House in Rye (now a National Trust property). This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E. F. Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories. Aiken's father, Conrad Aiken, also authored a small number of notable ghost stories.
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