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A dazzling 'mystery thriller for children' about how rainbows appear and disappear by award-winning picture book creator Vasanti Unka.

Award-winning picture book creator Vasanti Unka brings us a visually gorgeous 'mystery thriller for children' about what makes a rainbow appear and disappear - and who is to blame!

A razzle-dazzle rainbow suddenly disappears from the sky . . .

What happened?
Was it stolen?
Who will solve the mystery?

Be prepared for a thrilling tale of crime, suspense, sunshine and rain.

This colourful and memorable tale comes with fold-out pages and a QR code taking you to a short animated video in which characters from the book explain how rainbows (really) appear.

Who Stole the Rainbow? is the perfect story for all budding scientists, meteorologists and detectives.


This fun and inventive picture book is pitched as a mystery thriller, with dazzling illustrations and an informational bent to boot...Vasanti Unka has packaged a simple concept — how rainbows occur — into a vibrant parcel of playfulness.

Otago Daily Times

There aren't many mystery thriller picture books, especially ones that provide subtle lessons on meteorology, science and forensics and do it all in vivid neon. But award-winning local writer/illustrator Vasanti Unka has achieved this with her latest humorous story about what makes a rainbow appear and disappear.

Dionne Christian and Zoe Gadd, Weekend Herald

A clever, quirky book for inquiring minds...Vasanti Unka is taking picture books somewhere special and different again.

Maria Gill, Kids Books NZ

Snappy illustrations and humour make this book about how rainbows are made accessible and fun for a younger audience.

Paddy Richardson, Heidi North and Rebekah Fraser., Judges' comments, NZ Booklovers Awards

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 2, 2018

    Picture Puffin

    32 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

Q&A with Vasanti Unka

A Q&A with Vasanti Unka, author/illustrator of Who Stole the Rainbow?

Awards and Recognition

  • New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults
    Best Picture Book
  • NZ Booklovers Award
    NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book