Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks

Kate Klise, Author, M. Sarah Klise, Author, M. Sarah Klise, Illustrator
Kate Klise, Author, M. Sarah Klise, Author, M. Sarah Klise, Illustrator HarperCollins Publishers $16.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-380-97538-9
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-380-79347-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-16342-2
Prebound-Other - 135 pages - 978-0-613-17849-5
Prebound-Glued - 135 pages - 978-0-7569-4228-1
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What Dry Creek Middle School needs is a plain, functional drinking fountain to replace its leaking old one. What it gets is Florence Waters, impresario fountain designer who has in mind something with exotic birds, an ice skating rink, geysers and chocolate milk dispensers. This rollicking story, told entirely through letters, memos, newspaper articles and transcripts, escalates into a hullabaloo involving a fifth-grade class, an evil school board member, a sinister water company executive and an increasingly bewildered principal who fruitlessly attempts to scale back Florence Waters's grandiose plans (""Do you all have scuba gear? What about ice skates?... Also, I'm sending a parcel containing cyperus papyrus. This is the famous Egyptian paper plant,"" Waters jots in one postcard). The artist's somewhat primitive illustrations add to the scrapbook effect of this novel, but in the final illustration not enough is made of the eccentric new fountain to satisfy the anticipation brewing for the previous 100-plus pages. Still, it's a good-natured story with an irrepressible main character who won't take no for an answer. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
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