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Abigail and the Restless Raindrop by Matthew Cunningham, Illustrations by Sarah Wilkins

Abigail is back, and she has another question!

Abigail has such a big question she can’t think about anything else. Where does rain come from? And if it comes from the clouds, then… how does it get in the clouds in the first place?

Luckily, Abigail’s mum knows things like that. As she and Abigail splash through the puddles, she reveals the answer to Abigail’s question. And the answer comes in the form of a story about a restless water drop who lives in a big lake but has always dreamed of flying high up into the sky.

This is the second Abigail picture book. The first, Abigail and the Birth of the Sun, was a finalist for the best picture book at the 2020 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Abigail and the Restless Raindrop reprises the first with its inquisitive heroine and her many questions. Abigail has an innate curiousity about the world around her. I love the way an ordinary rainy day walk is turned into an opportunity for her imagination to expand. The book is also replete with lush, lively illustrations that involve the reader in Abigail’s sense of wonder. From traipsing the galaxy in the first book, the reader is now taken on a watery, wonderful ride of blues and greens, deep lakes and rustling grasses, ducks, fish, starry nights and summer days. Reading this book really does feel like entering another world, and I can imagine eager eyes being drawn to the pages – I know mine were.

The story gives a simplified, imaginative version of the water cycle. It follows the journey of one little water drop as she flies up to the sky and then falls back down to the ground. The personification of the natural world gives Abigail a unique way of interacting with it and imagining that she too is a raindrop. It is a beautiful way of helping children to discover the magic that is the real world around them. Its creators should be commended.

And, of course, we are all looking forward to finding out Abigail’s next question!

Reviewer: Susannah Whaley

Penguin Random House, RRP $19.99


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