Saturday, May 22, 2010

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

When I first took a look at the cover, I wanted to love this book. People sitting in umbrellas in the rain riding around a ...well what the heck was that? Forget the old adage, I judge books by their covers all the time. The more interesting the cover, the more I will be willing to give a book a chance. And I am so glad this one followed through in my expectations of Dahl-like fun.

Once I read Drizzle I figured out that these lucky people on the cover have been to eleven-year-old Polly Peabody's family rhubarb farm. And they don't grow just any rhubarb, but they have rhubarb that tastes like chocolate, and their Weeping Willows really weep, and it rains every Monday at 1pm, where you can take the Giant Umbrella Ride around the Giant Rhubarb.

Van Cleve, you had me at chocolate rhubarb.

And not only is Polly's farm special, but Polly herself is too. She can talk to rhubarb, Harry is her particular friendly plant and the insects spell, albeit cryptic messages. But now Polly's beloved farm and family are in danger. The rain has stopped, the rhubarb are fighting back, and her brother becomes mysteriously ill. It all comes down to Polly to save her family and her farm, but can she figure out in time what she needs to to?

I am always up for a good coming-of-age novel, and this one fits the bill. It even throws in a bit of environmentalism with its whimsical magical realism. A truly delicious book.

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