Would you please send a catalog of your products to our school? We need a new drinking fountain.
Please send the catalog to the attention of Mr. Walter Russ. He’s the principal of our school.
Thank you very much.
Dry Creek Middle School”
Regarding the Fountain by Kate Klise. Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise.
The drinking fountain at Dry Creek Middle School has sprung a leak and so begins the correspondence between the principal, Walter “Wally” Russ, Goldie Fisch, his secretary, and Florence Waters, the water fountain maker. On the way, the reader starts to encounter a mystery- why did the creek in Dry Creek dry up mysteriously the day that the Middle School opened? There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding the rebuilding of this water fountain, and Mr. N’s fifth grade class at Dry Creek Middle School are determined to figure it out! Regarding the Fountain is another one of the Klise’s gorgeous graphic novels, where the reader experiences the story through letters, faxes, and other written documents, such as the newspaper. Even though I’ve read several of their books by now, the style never tires and their witty writing and illustrations are always fresh. Perfect for any student, especially those in grades 3-5.
“That year for my birthday party, only four girls were coming for a sleepover: my best friend Sophie, plus two other girls from school. With such a small group, Mom thought cupcakes made more sense than a big cake… Those cupcakes turned out delicious. Better than delicious. Amazingly fabulous. And from that day on, all Mom could talk about were cupcakes. Dad and I listened because we were just glad she was talking about something.” It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder, 2010.
I picked up this book because I saw it on the summer reading list put together by the librarians at my school. I skeptically read it- waiting for the entire plot to be out rainbows and cupcakes and all girly things that I usually try to stay away from. But, interestingly enough, It’s Raining Cupcakes has a little bit of a dark side to it. The story is told from the perspective of Isabel, a 12-year old girl whose parents have decided to open a cupcake store. They moved from the comforts of her childhood home to an apartment building, the first floor (an old laundromat) is being converted to the cupcake shop. What grabbed me about Cupcakes is Isabel’s mother- a woman who’s anxieties prevent her from doing much of anything with her family, and anything she enjoys. Often, in the book, Isabel notes that her mother leaves the room and goes to lie down. Her grandmother and father explain that she needs to rest. Isabel’s mother clearly suffers from an emotional disorder, a form of depression most-likely. Who would’ve thought that a book called It’s Raining Cupcakes would have that much depth? For that reason, I really enjoyed this book. It’s refreshing to have a book where the mother isn’t the role model, where she’s flawed herself- I’m sure there are many girls out there in similar situations. I think the book also chronicles living with a person with an emotionally disability very artfully- Isabel is frustrated with her mother, but she never hates her. Most appropriate for students grades 4-6.
From Hattie and the Wild Waves by Barbara Cooney.