This book was a recommendation from a friend. We have similar interests in children's literature, and as expected it was a great book to get hold of. Plus this book is one of her favourite childhood stories which makes it even more special to look at. The story is called A Necklace of Raindrops and also comes as part of 8 stories about magical adventures.
This story is really something (I'm sure I am going to say that about every book - I love them all!) It tells the story of a little girl called Laura who gets a raindrop necklace given to her by the North Wind, how magical. Each year for her birthday she gets another raindrop added to her necklace. Each raindrop she gets allows her to do something else (rain related). For example on her 4th birthday (I think it was) she would be protected from rain and would never get wet. The North Wind tells her never to take the necklace off otherwise she will have bad luck. The necklace gets stolen at one point by a girl called Meg and the story continues. It's a good ending don't worry!
The author Joan Aiken plays with the imagination and creates a world around Laura that is so believable. She uses magical ideas in her book, such as a book that you can read forever because it has no last page.
The illustrations in the book are limited, but if anything it makes them more noticeable. Illustrator Jan Pienkowski has combined both colour with what appears to be black ink to create some clear fantasy-like images. The illustrations almost appear as print because they are so clearly defined. They are really lovely.
As for teaching purposes, well there is already a link to a lesson plan that had been created around this book: http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/english/pdfs/necklace.pdf
You could also follow something along the lines of the image above, 'if I were a raindrop..' and ask the children to tell their own adventure story. Also this could link nicely to environmental studies and looking at where water comes from and where it goes (the water cycle).
A really lovely and magical adventure story.