Drizzle

Drizzle

4.6 65
by Kathleen Van Cleve
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Eleven-year-old Polly Peabody knows her family's world-famous rhubarb farm is magical. The plants taste like chocolate, jewels appear in the soil, bugs talk to her, and her best friend is a rhubarb plant named Harry. But the most magical thing is that every single Monday, at exactly 1:00, it rains. Until the Monday when the rain just stops. Now it's up to Polly

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Eleven-year-old Polly Peabody knows her family's world-famous rhubarb farm is magical. The plants taste like chocolate, jewels appear in the soil, bugs talk to her, and her best friend is a rhubarb plant named Harry. But the most magical thing is that every single Monday, at exactly 1:00, it rains. Until the Monday when the rain just stops. Now it's up to Polly to figure out why-and whether her brother's mysterious illness and her glamorous aunt Edith's sudden desire to sell the farm have anything to do with it. Most of all, Polly has to make it start raining again before it's too late. Her brother's life, the plants? survival, and her family's future all depend on it.

Kathleen Van Cleve has woven an unforgettable comingof- age tale with all the heart and wonder of a Roald Dahl novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a sense of magic that recalls Ingrid Law's Savvy, this bighearted coming-of-age story stars 11-year-old Polly Peabody, who lives with her family on a farm like no other. At Rupert's Rhubarb Farm, magic abounds: chocolate rhubarb flourishes; it rains at 1 p.m. every Monday; there's a lake in which no one can drown; and tourists clamor for rides on the giant umbrella. But when a mysterious mist descends, things go haywire: Polly's brother, Freddy, gets sick, her Aunt Edith threatens to sell the farm, and Polly gets in a fight with her best friend, Harry (a chocolate rhubarb plant). While Aunt Edith encourages Polly to read Emerson and look for opportunities away from the farm, in her heart Polly knows that she belongs nowhere else, and she must overcome her numerous fears (like of the farm's giant insects and slimy “slugsand”) to discover her own gift and save the farm. “I have to believe that something good can always happen. In other words, I believe in magic,” says Polly, whose oddball traits and sensitivity make her a lovable, sympathetic narrator. Van Cleve's debut is emotionally subtle and action packed with a highly memorable setting. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
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)
Bulletin for the Center of Childrens Books
Magical realism meets Midwestern sensibilities in this charming coming-of-age tale…
Booklist
The water conservation message at its core will make young, activist readers cheer.
From the Publisher
"Van Cleve+s debut is emotionally subtle and action packed with a highly memorable setting." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
Polly Peabody and her family have lived on a rhubarb farm for generations. Although many people question its mysterious phenomena—the lake in which no one can drown, the rain every Monday at one o'clock, and chocolate rhubarb—Polly knows that nature has kept her farm this way for a reason. She feels so much a part of this place that she finds it difficult to fit in anywhere else. But one Monday when it does not rain, she knows that things are about to change. Suddenly her brother becomes sick, the plants are making weird signals at her, and her Aunt Edith decides that she wants to sell the farm. Polly is sure that these events are in some way linked to the absent rain, and as one rainless Monday leads to countless Mondays, things steadily get worse. Polly must solve the mystery of the rain that somehow ties her to generations of Peabody women before it is too late. Van Cleve's first novel for younger readers is sure to be an instant hit. Readers will be drawn to Polly, not only pulling for her on her quest but also rooting for her in her personal life. This book is complete with magic, mystery, and the all-too-familiar coming-of-age with a twist. This heartwarming tale will appeal to all ages, and it is made memorable by a main character who will be missed as the story comes to an end. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
Tamara Fyke
Polly Peabody is an unusual girl growing up in an extraordinary place—her family's magical rhubarb farm. Although she's at home with her best friend Harry, the chocolate rhubarb plant, and the other creatures on the farm, Polly feels like an outcast at school. When Grandmom dies, everything begins to unravel. Aunt Edith returns to manage the farm. Although the farm and family thrive for years, trouble erupts when Aunt Edith suddenly decides to sell the farm. The rain stops. The plants wilt. Polly's brother Freddy becomes deathly ill. It's up to Polly and her organic friends to solve the mystery linking the unfortunate events and save her loved ones from disaster. This fantasy tale combines faith, science, and magic as Polly discovers the farm's secrets and her true identity. Reviewer: Tamara Fyke
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Polly Peabody, 11, lives on an unusual rhubarb farm where it rains at exactly 1 p.m. every Monday, and some of the plants taste like chocolate. Like her parents and her grandmother before her, Polly loves the farm with all her soul. When Aunt Edith shows her a secret room, a library, filled with writhing ivy and bugs that fly in patterns that spell out words, she is thrilled. But then the weekly rain stops, plants start to die, Polly's older brother becomes ill, and Aunt Edith pressures Polly's dad to sell the property. Now Polly must interpret the farm's signs and symptoms to figure out both the problem and the solution. Why won't those insects just spell out what she needs to do rather than give her vague and puzzling hints? Polly's anxiety and lack of self-confidence—she is reading Emerson's "Self-Reliance"—keep her from making friends and dealing with a bully at school, although for readers, as for Polly, it's the stuff that happens on the farm that is most compelling. In general, Polly's insect and plant acquaintances are more developed than most of the humans, who never quite become convincing characters. However, Polly's gradual discovery of her own strange power and the joy she takes in her ability to help those she loves best is both entertaining and gratifying. Give this whimsical fantasy to fans of Ingrid Law's Savvy (Dial, 2008).—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142411131
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
03/17/2011
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
191,286
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.75(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >