Posted in picture books

Review: Abigail, by Catherine Rayner

Today’s review is of Abigail, by Catherine Rayner.

Image courtesy of


What it’s about (from the publishers): Abigail loves to count. It is her very favourite thing. But when she tries counting Zebra’s stripes and Cheetah’s spots, they just won’t sit still. It’s hopeless! What will Abigail do? A beautiful book by award-winning author-illustrator Catherine Rayner, full of gorgeous illustrations of Abigail the giraffe and her friends Cheetah and Zebra. Abigail is a perfect bedtime read with a stunning fold-out night sky ending.

Holly’s review: This book is about a giraffe who likes counting but whatever she tries to count always moves away. But then her friends show her a place where she can always count. The drawings in this book were so beautiful. I was completely blown away by them and I could tell my mum was too. This is a picture book but one of the most detailed I’ve seen. I think I like the pictures more than the actual story. I am not saying I don’t like the story because I did, but the pictures were really impressive. I think this book is very sweet but not too sugary. I would definitely recommend this book as something to read. It was just absolutely incredible.

Sam’s review: I am always excited when we get a new Catherine Rayner book to review as it feels like we’re not only receiving a lovely and gentle picture book but also an incredible work of art. Catherine is, of course, a very well regarded artist in her own right and I think it’s a testament to her talent that she can transfer her images into stories that delight and comfort children. Holly is right – I was completely blown away by the images, from the characterful animals to the gorgeous landscapes and sky scenes. We totally lost ourselves in admiring the depth of each picture and the range of beautiful colours, particularly in the nighttime scene. I was quite glad I hadn’t read the blurb that we included above as the ending was a special treat. Abigail has become a firm favourite here and I know it will be a huge hit everywhere.






Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

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