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  • Published: 2 July 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143774495
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $21.00

Abigail and the Restless Raindrop

Come with Abigail and her mother on a magical adventure, soaring up into the clouds to discover where the raindrops come from.

Join Abigail on a rainy-day adventure to explore the marvellous movement of water around the Earth.

Abigail is a curious little girl. She likes to discover the answers to really BIG questions. One rainy morning, she thinks of a question that's SO BIG she can't concentrate on anything else until she knows the answer.
"Mummy," she asks, "how did the water get in the clouds?"
To discover the answer, Mummy invites Abigail on an exciting adventure with a tiny drop of lake water. Together they fly up into the sky to explore the marvellous movement of water around the Earth.
By dinner time, Abigail has thought of another big question . . .

Ideal for any child who loves to ask questions, Abigail and the Restless Raindrop is an exquisitely illustrated and beautiful bedtime story doubling as an introduction to the hydrologic (water) cycle.

  • Published: 2 July 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143774495
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $21.00

About the authors

Matthew Cunningham

Matthew Cunningham wrote his first masterpiece in kindergarten. Unfortunately, as he had yet to grasp the concept of writing in straight lines from left to right, ‘The Clock’ (as it was so cleverly titled) read more like a bowl of alphabet soup than a book. Since then, he’s turned his hand to a number of different styles of writing. A passionate and dedicated historian with a Doctor of Philosophy, he has published oral histories, peer-reviewed articles, journalistic and encyclopedic pieces, and Waitangi Tribunal research commissions.
Matthew's desire to communicate, explore and test complex ideas in a way that engages the reader, no matter what their age, has naturally brought him to the best and most challenging genre of all: children's fiction. Abigail and the Birth of the Sun (illustrated by Sarah Wilkins), his first published picture book, won the Best Picture Book Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2020.

Born in Australia, he now lives in Porirua, New Zealand with his wife and daughter Abigail, who, like her namesake, also likes to ask big questions.

Sarah Wilkins

Sarah Wilkins was born in Lower Hutt. The middle child of seven, she dreamt of becoming a solo explorer. Dreaming and drawing, which she loved, go together, so she became an illustrator instead. Her award-winning images can be found on buildings, buses, bags and many other curious places around the world, but they feel most at home on the pages of beautiful books.

She is curious about visually communicating science for young and old, and the first book in her series with author Matthew Cunningham, Abigail and the Birth of the Sun, won the Best Picture Book Award in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2020. She illustrated its sequel, Abigail and the Restless Raindrop, while completing her Master in Science in Society.

Sarah works from a light-filled studio perched high on a hill overlooking the Wellington Harbour. Find out more about her work at www.sarahwilkins.net

Praise for Abigail and the Restless Raindrop

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.

Susannah Whaley, NZ Booklovers

The writing flows so perfectly. The illustrations are captivating.

Paula Green, Poetry Box

Curious Abigail soon gets a weather lesson from her mum via the tale of a restless raindrop that lives in a lake but longs to fly.

Herald Sun

Sarah Wilkins' illustrations are beautiful and engaging, adding a sense of wonder and whimsy to the sweet and informative story.

Emma Wood, Otago Daily Times

An enjoyable tale that successfully explains the science of condensation and precipitation. The colourful illustrations enhance the text and the amount of detail on each page will enchant young readers.

Jenny Millar, Magpies

In this book, curious youngster, Abigail, is off on another magical adventure as she and her mum discover where the raindrops come from and why they are such an important part of our world.


Answering her child’s question, a mother simply explains the water cycle through her story about a raindrop that wants to fly. Elegantly realised by a Wellington-based international illustrator; so simple a puddle-jumping preschooler will get it.

Ann Packer, NZ Listener Best Children's Books 2020

Discover more

Beautiful NZ Picture Books from 2020

Sometimes a story is best told alongside a beautiful picture, Here's a small selection of some of our favourite 2020 picture books from local creators. 

Abigail and the Restless Raindrop colouring page

Colouring in = an eternally reliable rainy day activity. Download our adorable Abigail and the Restless Raindrop coloring sheet for a few minutes of peace today!

Where does the rain come from?

We delve into the science behind Abigail and the Restless Raindrop with this fact sheet about the rain cycle.