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DRIZZLE by Kathleen Van Cleve

DRIZZLE

By Kathleen Van Cleve

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3362-6
Publisher: Dial

Narrating this rambling fantasy is 11-year-old Polly Peabody, whose family owns a magical rhubarb (chocolate and medicinal varieties) farm, open to the public with a lake, umbrella ride and other attractions. Although the surrounding farmland is dry, the Peabody farm is watered by a rain shower on Mondays at precisely one p.m. But one Monday, the rain stops, the rhubarb wilts and Polly’s brother falls mysteriously ill. It’s up to Polly to figure out the cause and heal the farm, but she has plenty of help. All the plants, plus assorted insects and slugs, are her friends, spelling out words and pointing their leaves to guide her. As children, we fantasize that the world revolves around us; in Polly’s case, it’s true. And with infantile selfishness, Polly uses her godlike powers only to benefit her family’s farm and business. The farm plants and animals bear no resemblance to their real-world counterparts. Despite references to genetics, laboratory research and classroom-science experiments, the novel ignores fundamentals of the natural world—chief among them, the interconnected and vulnerable web of life. (Fantasy. 8-12)