Author: Kate Klise
Publication Date: 1998
One of the reasons I enjoy being a librarian (trainee) is that I get to peddle books I heart onto kids as if they were crack. My library makes it all that much easier to push Regarding the Fountain onto children because we have about a gagillion of copies. No seriously, there are at least ten paperbacks and two or three hardcovers. It is glorious. I found this title by randomly browsing Novelist K-8 and I am so glad that I took that time to slack off from Summer Reading to do so, because this book is amazing.
After slipping in the persistent puddle located at the base of the leaky drinking fountain, principal Walter Russ seeks the creative assistance of fountain designer Florence Waters to upgrade the old model. He strictly indicates that he is only interested in a boring, run-of-the-mill fountain; yet Ms. Waters has other notions in mind, especially after consulting the fifth grade class that resides closest to the dripping fountain. Through the course of various memos, news clippings, and letters, the reader finds that there is more going on to the fountain than just a pesky puddle. Especially once the fifth grade unearths tremendous findings during their town history project revealing the real reason Spring Creek is now referred to as Dry Creek.
Because of the format, there are many delightful surprises as the plot progresses. One of my favorite aspects of this book is the inclusion of everything (and I mean everything) that might enhance the experience of this unique drinking contraption. Such as the page of text supplemented by water ballet instructions, to further illustrate the point of the text:
Genius. While there was an overabundance of illustrations, they were all splendidly executed, further evoking a whimsical atmosphere. My only real complaint with this text is that the word "principal" is used in place of "principle." That's just sloppy copy editing that taints an otherwise enjoyable book.