Text – Ann M. Martin
Raina did such a fantastic job translating the third BSC book into a graphic novel. But was there ever any doubt? I’d be on board if she made the entire series into graphic novels.
Given that I’ve read both the book and graphic novel today and because the graphic novel remains so true to the source material, there’s not a lot I can say that I didn’t already say in my review of the book.
Instead I’ll mention some of the changes I noticed between the two. I loved that all of the changes were minor, so the story you’ve known for over three decades is the story you’ll find here.
Book: Everyone goes home to get their own box before returning to Claudia’s house to decorate the Kid-Kits.
Graphic Novel: Claudia gets empty boxes for everyone from her basement.
Book: Kristy is usually sprawled out on Claudia’s floor during meetings. This changes for the emergency meeting, when she’s all official with her clipboard, visor and pencil over her ear.
Graphic Novel: Kristy begins the story sitting in a chair during BSC meetings. She does hang out on Claudia’s bed later in the story.
Book: Stacey gets her money out before deciding not to buy anything at the candy store.
Graphic Novel: Stacey doesn’t get her money out at all. She simply thinks about it and tells Charlotte she shouldn’t have any sweets.
Book: The babysitters put on a record for Jamie’s Big Brother Party.
Graphic Novel: The babysitters put on a CD for Jamie’s Big Brother Party.
The Baby-sitters Agency set up a recruitment table inside the school. The babysitters head to the school bathroom to strategise.
Book: The babysitters talk in the bathroom, then decide to hold a meeting at Kristy’s house after school.
Graphic Novel: The entire conversation takes place in the school bathroom.
Book: Stacey and Dr Johansenn have their talk about the new doctor Stacey’s parents want to take her to in the den.
Graphic Novel: Stacey and Dr Johansenn have their talk about the new doctor Stacey’s parents want to take her to in the kitchen.
Book: Pete asks Stacey to the Snowflake Dance when they’re in the cafeteria.
Graphic Novel: Pete asks Stacey to the Snowflake Dance when they’re in the hallway in front of the lockers..
Book: Mary Anne answers the phone call from Mr Kelly and then hands the phone to Kristy once she finds out why he’s calling.
Graphic Novel: Kristy answers the call.
Book: Stacey babysits for Jamie (Hi-hi!) Newton and he tells her about his other babysitters.
Graphic Novel: Mary Anne babysits for Jamie (Hi-hi!) Newton and he tells her about his other babysitters.
Book: Stacey talks to Dr Johansenn a second time in the Johansenn’s home.
Graphic Novel: Stacey talks to Dr Johansenn a second time while Dr Johansenn is driving her home.
Book: The babysitters discuss their concerns about Jamie with their parents before talking to Mrs Newton.
Graphic Novel: The babysitters wait out in the snow until Cathy has left and then go talk to Mrs Newton.
The babysitters quiz members of The Baby-sitters Agency about the kids they babysit.
Book: They ask what Charlotte’s favourite TV show is.
Graphic Novel: They ask what Charlotte’s favourite game is.
Book: When Stacey and her parents arrive at Laine’s family’s apartment, Laine is in her bedroom.
Graphic Novel: When Stacey and her parents arrive at Laine’s family’s apartment, Laine is in the same room as her parents.
Book: The popcorn and diet soda Stacey buys at the movies costs $1.75.
Graphic Novel: The popcorn and diet soda Stacey buys at the movies costs $9.25.
Book: Makeovers Inc. sounds as though it’s going to be a moneymaker.
Graphic Novel: Makeovers Inc. sounds as though it’s going to be a flop.
The illustrations are the usual Raina awesomeness, with characters whose expressions tell the story just as well as the words. One of my favourite scenes was when Kristy calls The Baby-sitters Agency to find out how they operate and says she has a date with Winston Churchill.
I really enjoyed the flashback scenes in the graphic novel that give you an idea of what Stacey’s life in New York was like. The text that’s added to those panels felt like it belonged in the story. I loved Stacey and Laine’s ideas for the apartment they planned to get together when they were in the fifth grade.
I read the black and white version of this graphic novel. Sorry about the dodgy photos I took of it. To give you an idea of what the colour version looks like, here are the first three pages:
Once Upon a Blurb
Poor Stacey. She just moved to a new town, is still coming to terms with her diabetes, and is facing baby-sitting problems left and right. Fortunately, Stacey has three new friends – Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne. Together they’re the BSC, and they will deal with whatever’s thrown their way … even if it’s a rival baby-sitting club!