Mr. Russ, the principal of Geyser Creek Middle School, is scheduled for an evaluation, which sets his nerves on edge. Hoping for a positive review so he can keep his job, Mr. Russ decides that the trees scattered across the school grounds desperately need a trimming to look their best. So he calls on Ms. Florence Waters, the multi-talented woman who recently had installed a new fountain for the school. Even though she lives all the way over in California, she feels delighted to help out her old friends again. While they work out the details of the job, a slight misunderstanding leads Ms. Waters to believe that Mr. Russ is proposing marriage, when in fact that's the last thing on his mind!
Meanwhile, the new middle school's Italian chef is causing quite a stir in town as well. He and the town's café owner, Angel Fisch, are bashing heads on who is the better cook. Their feud soon spreads to include the entire town, dividing the population down the gender line, boys versus girls. Ms. Fisch suggests the obvious solution of a cooking contest, and everyone agrees --- but then someone steals the favorite recipe from both! Who is the culprit?
Meanwhile, some of the students are very upset with Mr. Russ deciding not only to prune the giant willow on the school grounds, but also to remove it entirely. Minnie O. starts up a protest to save all the trees. During her campaign, she learns about an old Geyser Creek club who called themselves The Maids of May, dedicated to saving and planting trees all over the world. Through The Maids of May meeting minutes, Minnie O. discovers some very interesting facts about Geyser Creek and her inhabitants.
REGARDING THE TREES is an ingenious story filled with hilarious puns and misunderstandings. The entire book is a collection of newspaper articles, letters, phone messages, faxes, meeting minutes, and a video transcript. Also sprinkled in are tiny Italian lessons and helpful hints on how to plant trees, and how to explore and construct a family tree. The author and illustrator, Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise, have done an awesome job with this unusual series, and fans can look forward to REGARDING THE BATHROOMS: A Privy to the Past.
--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman, author
Click here now to buy this book from Amazon.com.