The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #10: Kristy and the Snobs – Chan Chau

Text – Ann M. Martin

Colour – Braden Lamb

There’s a part of me that will never forgive Ann M. Martin for making me love a senior dog. If I know a dog isn’t going to survive a book, I refuse to read it and I blame Louie for that.

I ugly cried through the novel this week and now it’s the graphic novel’s turn. I don’t know whether it’s worse to imagine Louie’s final days or see them laid out before you panel after panel.

This is my first Chan Chau BSC graphic novel and they’ve done a really good job of adapting this story but, with all due respect, I don’t think I will ever read Louie’s story again.

Rather than getting the tissues out, here are the main differences I noticed between the book and graphic novel.

Book: Kristy’s alarm goes off at 6:45am.
Graphic novel: Kristy’s alarm goes off at 6:30am.

Book: Kristy says “Poor old Louie” twice, when she feels his cold paws and when David Michael asks her to call Louie to her.
Graphic novel: Kristy only says “Poor old Louie” when David Michael asks her to call Louie to her.

Book: Shannon Kilbourne has thick, curly blonde hair.
Graphic novel: Shannon Kilbourne has straight, dark brown hair.

Book: After saying the neighbourhood kids look like snob clones, Kristy board the school bus. She calls out, “Good-bye, snobs”, to which Shannon replies, “‘Bye, jerk-face”. Kristy pokes her tongue out at Shannon.
Graphic novel: After saying the neighbourhood kids look like snob clones, Kristy board the school bus. Kristy pokes her tongue out at Shannon. Shannon responds in kind.

Book: Kristy talks to Mimi downstairs in the kitchen. Because of Mimi’s stroke, her speech isn’t perfect.
Graphic novel: Kristy calls down the Mimi, who is sitting downstairs having tea (probably special tea), as she goes upstairs to the BSC meeting. Mimi’s speech appears unaffected by her stroke.

Book: Charlie, Kristy and David Michael take Louie to his first vet appointment.
Graphic novel: The three kids and their mother take Louie to his first vet appointment.

Book: Priscilla, the purebred cat, cost $400.
Graphic novel: Priscilla, the purebred cat, cost $4000.

Book: Mary Anne babysits Myriah and Gabbie Perkins. Jamie Newton storms off and goes back home after upsetting Gabbie.
Graphic novel: Logan is at the Perkins’ home as well. Jamie Newton stays for the tea party.

Book: All of the furniture in the Delaney’s family room is white.
Graphic novel: Only the fireplace is white.

Book: Dawn babysits her younger brother, Jeff. It doesn’t go well. She cries about the situation during the next BSC meeting.
Graphic novel: Jeff isn’t mentioned at all.

Book: The fish fountain cost $2000.
Graphic novel: The fish fountain cost $20000. Basically, we’re adding a 0 to every price.

Book: Mallory helps Claudia babysit her siblings.
Graphic novel: Jessi is there, too.

Book: Karen and Andrew are there when Louie gets sicker.
Graphic novel: Karen and Andrew (and Boo-Boo) nap with David Michael and Louie. This is really sweet and doesn’t involve the trauma of seeing Louie get much worse. Louie also doesn’t end up going down the basement stairs.

Book: Watson stays in the car during Louie’s final vet appointment.
Graphic novel: Watson stays in the reception area with Kristy and David Michael during Louie’s final vet appointment.

Book: Brother Louie is played on a tape deck.
Graphic novel: There’s a CD of Brother Louie.

Book: A cross marks the place where Louie’s belongings are buried.
Graphic novel: A gravestone marks the place where Louie’s belongings are buried.

Book: Mary Anne makes the exorcise joke about Ben Brewer.
Graphic novel: Jessi makes the exorcise joke about Ben Brewer.

There’s a lot of sad in this story, so I need to leave you with a smile. Andrew is such a good football in this adaptation.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Kristy’s mum got remarried and their family moved to the ritzy neighbourhood across town. The other members of the Baby-sitters Club think it’s a good opportunity to get some new business, but the kids who live nearby aren’t very friendly. They criticise Kristy’s clothes and make fun of the BSC. And, worst of all, they laugh at Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s getting old and not feeling well. These kids are total snobs! But if anyone can put them in their place, it’s the Baby-sitters Club!

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #8: Logan Likes Mary Anne! – Gale Galligan

Text – Ann M. Martin

Colour – Braden Lamb

Cam Geary’s lookalike has started attending Stoneybrook Middle School and Mary Anne is all about the swoon.

I love this adaptation, especially seeing Mary Anne’s face when Claudia calls her out for having a crush on Logan.


For some reason, my reviews of the BSC graphic novels started with me playing spot the difference between them and the book, and now I can’t stop. So, here’s some of the differences I noticed and random things I feel compelled to comment on.

The cover image is gorgeous. Mary Anne’s outfit has a bunch of differences.

Book: White skirt with sketchy pink and blue pictures.
Graphic novel: Orange skirt with white pictures.
Book: Pink shirt and baggy pink sweater.
Graphic novel: White shirt.
Book: White slippers with pink and blue edging.
Graphic novel: Pink shoes.
Book: Smushed orange flower pinned to her outfit. I loved the smushed flower!
Graphic novel: Flower tied to her wrist.

Graphic novel: We learn that it’s possible what Kristy learned about decorum in the first book hasn’t stuck.


Book: Because everything is right in the universe, Mallory is not a BSC member yet.
Graphic novel: Mallory is still a BSC member before her time. Yes, I’ll probably mention this every single time until she’s supposed to be.

Book: Mary Anne gets all melty about Cam Geary being on the cover of Sixteen magazine and talks about how the previous issue had an article about him.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne gets all melty about Cam Geary being on the cover of Sixteen magazine and says she’s not usually into it but … 😍, Cam Geary.

Graphic novel: One of the reasons Mary Anne is in love with Cam Geary is because he knits. Very appropriate. I don’t remember this being mentioned in the book.

Book: Mary Anne and Dawn make it to Claudia’s room after only calling out hello to Janine.
Graphic novel: Janine tries to tell Dawn about California’s almond exports on her way to the first BSC meeting of the story.

Book: During the first meeting, Claudia and Stacey are sitting on the bed, while Dawn and Mary Anne sit on the floor.
Graphic novel: Claudia is on the bed and Stacey is on the floor. Dawn joins Claudia on the bed. Also, Mallory is there (see above grumble).

Book: Cam Geary is dating Corrie Lalique. An awkward, not entirely okay discussion ensues about the size of her breasts.
Graphic novel: Cam Geary is dating Corrie Lalique. Corrie is not defined by her breasts. Yay!

Book: Mary Anne’s gym class play field hockey.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne attempts to run in gym class.

Book: Mary Anne always gets home from BSC meetings before her father finishes work. It’s her responsibility to start dinner.
Graphic novel: Mr Spier is home, casually reading a book, when Mary Anne returns from a BSC meeting. Mary Anne and he talk about his love life. That does not happen in the book.

Graphic novel: Mallory is there during the emergency meeting and suggests that Jessi Ramsey could be another junior officer. A trial for Jessi while Stacey is babysitting Charlotte is organised. Jessi shouldn’t be in Stoneybrook yet.

Book: Logan sits next to Mary Anne during the emergency BSC meeting.
Graphic novel: Logan sits next to Dawn during the emergency BSC meeting.

I loved watching Mary Anne spruce herself up for the BSC meeting that Logan attends, even though the outfit she eventually chooses is different than the one she wears in the book.
Book: Bright vest over a white short sleeved blouse.
Graphic novel: Green shirt with cats on it and a light green cardigan.
Jessi is there and that’s when we’re introduced to her. Jessi says her family haven’t found a house yet but in the book, I’m almost positive her family has already moved in before we meet her.

Book: Stacey had to introduce Mary Anne because she can’t speak in front of Logan yet.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne actually finds the words to introduce herself and her role in the BSC.

Book: Awkward bra snapping story.
Graphic novel: There’s no awkward bra snapping story.

Book: Jackie Rodowsky is known for his red hair.
Graphic novel: Jackie Rodowsky has brown hair.

Book: Mary Anne thinks of her own picture she drew of a house but doesn’t say anything.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne makes a quip when Logan says he has a picture just like that one that he drew. Mary Anne should be too overcome to say anything, let alone anything smart, at this point.

Book: Logan’s scar is on his lip.
Graphic novel: Logan’s scar is near his lip.

Book: Logan and Mary Anne remember what they said about how much trouble can one kid be in front of Jackie.
Graphic novel: Logan and Mary Anne remember what they said about how much trouble can one kid be after they finish the babysitting job.

Book: Stacey reads Happy Birthday to You by Dr Seuss to Charlotte. Paddington Takes to the Air and Tik-Tok of Oz are also mentioned.
Graphic novel: Jessi reads Harriet’s Happy Birthday by P.G. Bunsworth to Charlotte. No other books are mentioned.

Graphic novel: There’s no mention of the underwear or sportwear departments when the girls go shopping for Mary Anne’s dance outfit.

Graphic novel: The dance begins at 7:30pm and ends at 9:30pm. Mary Anne worries that she won’t be able to find enough things to talk about with Logan for three hours. Maybe swooning affects your ability to do math?

Graphic novel: Claudia does Mary Anne’s makeup for the dance. What would Mr Spier have to say about that?

Book: Mary Anne sits in the bleachers after the shoe incident.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne hides in the toilets after the shoe incident before moving to the bleachers.


Graphic novel: We meet Becca Ramsey in chapter 12 and learn the Ramseys are currently staying in a hotel. Not awesome, but they do have a buffet with pizza bites. Maybe it’s not so bad after all.

Book: Jessi’s books are in storage.
Graphic novel: Jessi and Mallory bond over the Off Your High Horse book series.

Book: Stacey says she’ll call Logan to let him know about the change of time for the party.
Graphic novel: Stacey says she’s already called Logan to let him know about the change of time for the party.

Book: Mary Anne arrives late to the party.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne arrives at the party on time, thanks to advice from her father.

Book: Stacey does the whole mood lighting thing before the rec room goes dark.
Graphic novel: There’s no mood lighting.

Graphic novel: Logan asks Mary Anne if it’s okay for him to call her his girlfriend.
Book: This did not happen in the book. Why did this not happen in the book?! This is awesome!

Book: Logan doesn’t want to join the BSC because of the whole embarassing being a boy at a girl club thing.
Graphic novel: Logan’s reason for not wanting to join the BSC is because he forgot he is supposed to babysit his siblings during club times on Monday and Wednesday. I’m glad the original reason was changed but this seems like a pretty lame excuse.

Book: Tigger’s siblings are two red tabbies and “one splotchy, patchy calico”.
Graphic novel: Tigger’s siblings look just like him so there’s no specific reason why he’s the right one.

Graphic novel: Logan goes back to Mary Anne’s house with her and Tigger, and hangs out with her in her bedroom! Not something Mr Spier would have approved of.

Book: Mary Anne and Stacey sort things out over the phone.
Graphic novel: Mary Anne and Stacey sort things out in person.

Book: The BSC members bring Mary Anne the leftovers of the cake and there’s enough for four small slices.
Graphic novel: The BSC members bring over an entire cake. Much better! Also, Logan, Mallory and Jessi are there.

Book: Mary Anne gets a Smash tape from Kristy, socks from Stacey, a shirt from Dawn and jewellery from Claudia.
Graphic novel: the Smash tape becomes yarn and Mallory and Jessi give her books.

Book: Logan becomes an associate member over the phone.
Graphic novel: Logan and Jessi become members at Mary Anne’s house.

Graphic novel: The Chewy Perkins incident doesn’t happen.

Book: Kristy mentions that Louie is getting old, foreshadowing the trauma that is to come.
Graphic novel: Louie isn’t mentioned.

I’m not emotionally ready for the next book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

It’s the first day of a new school year, and while Mary Anne doesn’t know what to expect from the eighth grade, she’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. One thing she definitely doesn’t expect is to meet Logan Bruno, who just moved to Stoneybrook!

Logan has a dreamy southern accent, he’s awfully cute… and he might be interested in joining the BSC. But the baby-sitters aren’t sure if Logan would make a good club member, so they send him on a job with Mary Anne as a test. Logan and Mary Anne hit it off, but Mary Anne isn’t sure of where their friendship could go. Life in the Baby-sitters Club has never been this complicated – or this fun!

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #7: Boy-Crazy Stacey – Gale Galligan

Text – Ann M. Martin

Colour – Braden Lamb

Welcome to one of my childhood favourite BSC books, which is adorable as a graphic novel.

There are a lot of minor changes in this graphic novel. Most don’t make any difference and there are some improvements on the original, but since I’ve already said pretty much everything I need to about the story in my review of the book, here are some of the changes I noticed.

Stacey’s hair is quite short. It doesn’t line up with the descriptions in the books, but it looks cute and I think I prefer it this way.

Book: Mallory hasn’t been initiated into the BSC yet. She is not at the party at Kristy’s new mansion.
Graphic novel: Mallory is a BSC Junior Officer. She is at the party at Kristy’s new mansion. I’m never going to be okay with Mallory joining the BSC before her time.

Book: Stacey’s mother offers her apple slices to take with her to Kristy’s new mansion.
Graphic novel: Stacey’s father offers her pretzel sticks to take with her to Kristy’s new mansion.

Book: Stacey’s father is in the garden when she’s leaving for the mansion.
Graphic novel: Stacey’s father is inside sitting on an office chair when she’s leaving for the mansion.

Book: Mimi is in the car when Mr Kishi drives Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey to Kristy’s house. Given Mimi’s recent stroke, this makes sense to me.
Graphic novel: Mimi is not in the car when Mr Kishi drives Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey to Kristy’s house. Is anyone at the Kishi’s house making sure my Mimi is okay?

Book: It’s Kristy’s idea for the BSC members to write to each other while they’re separated for two whole weeks.
Graphic novel: It’s Mary Anne’s idea for the BSC members to write to each other while they’re separated for two whole weeks. While Mary Anne is the sentimental type, I kinda like the idea of this being homework from Kristy.

Book: Stacey’s bikini is yellow and skimpy.
Graphic novel: Stacey’s bikini has flowers on it and no yellow.

Book: Stacey’s mother gives her stamps for postcards.
Graphic novel: Stacey already has stamps for postcards when her mother asks about them.

Book: On the way to Sea City, the Pikes stop for ice cream at Howard Johnson’s.
Graphic novel: On the way to Sea City, the Pikes stop for ice cream at Happy’s Ice Cream.

Book: Nicky makes a VOMIT COMET sign in response to the triplet’s BARFMOBILE sign.
Graphic novel: Nicky doesn’t make his sign. This sign delighted me as a kid. I wish it had stayed.

Book: Scott has blonde hair.
Graphic novel: Scott has brown hair.

Book: Hunky lifeguard Scott is 18 years old.
Graphic novel: Hunky lifeguard Scott is 15 years old. That’s much better!

Book: The Enchanted Tree at Burger Garden has chocolate bars. If you find one with a golden wrapper you win a prize.
Graphic novel: The Enchanted Tree at Burger Garden has mystery eggs. If you’re lucky you’ll find a coupon inside one.

Book: Claire brings Mary Anne butter for her sunburn.
Graphic novel: Claire brings Mary Anne peanut butter when she’s sunburnt because it’s yummy. Good thinking, Claire.

Book: The Pikes go to Fred’s Putt-Putt Course.
Graphic novel: The Pikes go to Marty’s Mini Golf.

Book: Stacey and Mary Anne arrive at Hercules’ Hot Dogs before Alex and Toby.
Graphic novel: Alex and Toby are waiting outside Hercules Hot Dogs when Stacey and Mary Anne arrive.

Book: Stacey has a hamburger at Hercules’ Hot Dogs.
Graphic novel: Stacey has a vegie dog at Hercules Hot Dogs.

Burger Garden was awesome! I need to go there.


Claire is just as skilled at miniature golf as she is in the book.


Scott doesn’t act all creepy with Stacey, which is a huge relief.

I will always love Sea City. I went there so many times with Mary Anne and Stacey when I was a kid that it began to feel like my very own holiday destination.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Stacey and Mary Anne are baby-sitting for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City: There’s a gorgeous house right on the beach, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen!

Mary Anne thinks that Stacey should leave Scott alone and focus on the Pike kids, but Stacey’s in love. Looking for reasons to hang around his lifeguard stand takes up all of her time, which means Mary Anne has to do the job of two baby-sitters. Mary Anne doesn’t like it one bit! How can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested without ruining their friendship and breaking Stacey’s heart?

Dead Weight – Terry Blas & Molly Muldoon

Illustrations – Matthew Seely

Jesse had her hopes set on attending a fashion program this summer. Her parents had other ideas. She’s just been dumped at fat camp for two whole months!

While this is Jesse’s first fat camp experience, some of her fellow campers have endured multiple admissions. It seems that Camp Bloom doesn’t have the best success rate. Maybe someone should speak to the chef…


On campfire confession night, Jesse and Noah witness a murder. There’s nothing like murder to inspire an impromptu cardio session.


To be fair, if someone told me I couldn’t eat chocolate for two months, I might get a bit stabby too.

Jesse, Noah, Tony and Kate take it upon themselves to solve the murder mystery.


This was an entertaining read. I loved the characters, the representation, the sleuthing and the lack of body shaming.

Throughout the story you discover why each of the main characters are at the camp. My favourite backstory was Kate’s.

Matthew Seely’s illustrations complemented the story well, adding to the humour. The characters are expressive and I loved the colour palette.

I’d like to see Jesse, Noah, Tony and Kate solve another mystery together.

Welcome to Camp Bloom, where you can transform from a crying, fat caterpillar to a happy, skinny butterfly. If someone doesn’t kill you first.


Thank you so much to NetGalley and Oni Press for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Deep in the Oregon wilderness sits Camp Bloom, a weight-loss camp where “overweight” teens can “get in shape.” Jesse would rather be anywhere else, but her parents are forcing her to go. Noah isn’t sure if he wants to be there, but it’s too late to turn back. Tony is heartbroken at the thought of giving up his phone and internet. And Kate… well, she likes the hikes, at least. As far as these four teens are concerned, it’s just another boring summer.

Until one night, when Jesse and Noah witness a beloved counsellor’s murder. The body’s gone by the next morning, but a blurry photo leads to one clue – the murderer is one of the camp’s staff members!

But which one? As Jesse, Noah, Kate, and Tony investigate, they quickly discover that everyone’s got their secrets… and one of them would kill to keep theirs hidden.

Sacred Lamb – Tim Seeley

Illustrations – Jelena Đorđević

We meet Kellyn West in a graveyard. She’s a social media influencer doing a livestream when Clay Coogan decides it’s time for her viewers see what her insides look like.


Maybe if Clay wasn’t so verbose, he would have finished the job before Detective Olivia Hubbard arrived.

“I … I’m the dreaded creature, gliding beneath the water, hidden behind tints of azure.”


“They’ll put a box in a box in that box, and none of it will matter.”

Oh, just die already, Clay!

End flashback.

Clay has been classified as a Sequel Killer because, you know, they never stay dead! Kellyn has been awarded a designation of E.V. (Endemic Victim) and a place in the Endemic Victim Protection Program. She’s on her way to Sacred Lamb, not that that sounds ominous or anything.

There she meets such famous E.V.‘s as Bambi Mondale and the Babysitter. They’re not all thrilled to be getting a new neighbour.

“You’re weak. You’ll break. You may be safer here. But we aren’t safe from you.”

To be fair, the bloodshed does begin fairly soon after Kellyn’s arrival.

In theory, having a bunch of E.V.‘s living in the same town is supposed to keep everyone safe. In reality, if you’re planning on going on a final girl rampage, Sacred Lamb is the ideal destination. I’m only surprised it took forty years for the carnage to arrive at Sacred Lamb.

“… There’s nothing to see here.”

I love slashers and was hoping for The Final Girl Support Group vibes. I really liked the concept and the story had a strong start.

I expected to get even more into the story once the blood started to spill but instead it lost me. Thanks to group therapy, we learn the backstories of some of the other final girls but I didn’t connect with anyone in particular.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and TKO Studios for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A meta-horror story about survival, obsession, men, women, and chainsaws.

Sacred Lamb is a secret town where the survivors of endemic slasher killers (think real-world Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger) reside in a ‘witness protection’ to stop innocent people from being murdered when the inevitable ‘sequel’ occurs and the slasher returns from the dead.

Social media influencer Kellyn West, who just recently dispatched “her” own slasher killer Clay Coogan on a live stream, is the newest resident. Feeling more locked away than protected behind the barbed wire fenced-in town, where the government has hidden away these E.V.s (“Endemic Victims”) since the slasher spree started in the 1970s, Kellyn has to team with an old woman, and the original Survivor Girl, known only as “The Babysitter” to rally the EVes and survive as an army of slashers start showing up, seemingly back from the dead, and back for blood.

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels, Book Two – Serena Blasco

Translator – Tanya Gold

I was introduced to Enola Holmes in the first graphic novel collection, which are based on the first three books of Nancy Springer’s The Enola Holmes Mysteries. This collection adapts the final three books in the series: The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline and The Case of Baker Street Station.

When we catch up with Enola at the beginning of this collection, she has yet to find her mother.

And finding someone who doesn’t want to be found is complicated.

In her first case, which begins in an unusual location (London’s first ladies’ public lavatory), Enola encounters a lot of pink. She also meets a man who’s the spitting image of Gomez Addams.


Enola’s second case involves a kidnapping. The victim? Her landlady, Mrs. Tupper. If you believe Florrie, the list of suspects includes anarchists and Jack the Ripper. Assisting Enola with this case is none other than Florence Nightingale. Enola makes a hasty exit.


Continuing with the Addams Family references, Lurch makes a cameo in the second case.


I kid you not. The character’s name is Lurch!

In her final case, Enola needs to find Lady Blanchefleur. Along the way, she learns her fortune.

“I see a dagger in your heart and a raven on your shoulder.”

Sounds kinda ominous.

Enola discovers the price of fashion and deciphers the most important message of her life. I haven’t found anything Addams adjacent in this story. Yet.

I’ve enjoyed getting acquainted with Enola in these graphic novels. While I’m confident I now know the basics of her story, I’m keen to read Nancy Springer’s books to get to know her better. Hopefully by the time I get to the final novel the way the big mystery of the series resolved will only be a fuzzy memory.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In Book Two of the series, Enola is back on the case, deciphering clues and developing leads in each of three new mysteries. What she doesn’t know is that she, too, is being pursued – by her own brother! Once again, Sherlock Holmes’ brilliant, strong-willed younger sister takes centre stage in this delightfully drawn graphic novel based on Nancy Springer’s bestselling mystery series.

London, 1889. A woman is being held prisoner while she awaits a forced marriage. Another has been kidnapped, and yet another disappears…

As Enola seeks to rescue the three women, her brother embarks on a quest of his own. When Sherlock receives a mysterious package, he knows he’ll need Enola’s help to decipher its meaning. In the end, the three Holmes siblings will have to work together to answer the question that started it all: What happened to their mother?

Book Two contains three engrossing mysteries: The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, and The Case of Baker Street Station.

Unfamiliar Volume 1 – Haley Newsome

Planchette and her familiar, a rabbit called Winston, have just moved to a new town, one where she’s not the only witch. She hopes to meet new witchy friends.

It isn’t long before she realises why her new home was such a bargain; it turns out it’s haunted.


Really haunted.

In her quest to exorcise her home, Planchette meets some new friends: Pinyon and Ari the pigeon, Babs and Marlow the cat, and Sun and Petra the lizard.


The witches all have their own insecurities and backstories. Planchette can only do magic related to food. Pinyon has only just found her magic. Babs is an introverted siren. Sun is cursed.

They may not have all known each other for very long but they’re already demonstrating that their friendship is going to be supportive and caring, with each witch using their strengths to help the others.

I enjoyed meeting some of the ghosts haunting Planchette’s new home. I particularly liked how the witches are helping the ghosts move on, although I hope some stay. What’s a haunted house without the haunts?!

I didn’t realise this was Volume 1 until the story stopped quite abruptly. This series has a lot of potential. I’ll definitely be reading Volume 2.

I would very much like the instructions for pizza potion.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Based on the wildly popular webcomic from Tapas, Unfamiliar is an endearing and whimsical story full of magical mayhem, offbeat outsiders, and the power of friendships and found family. 

Young kitchen witch Planchette gets an incredible deal on a new house in a magical town. Turns out, there’s a reason: it’s haunted! After unsuccessfully attempting to get these unwanted ghosts to leave, she realises the only thing to do is to help them with their problems. Along the way, she befriends a shy siren who hates being popular, a girl battling a curse, and a magically-challenged witch from a powerful coven.

Nick the Sidekick – Dave Whamond

Nick has super hearing and believes he’s ready to become a superhero. Currently, though, Nick is a sidekick. He’d much prefer you refer to him as a superhero assistant.

Nick was recruited by Super Fantastic Guy, who is big on superhero clichés. Nick hates superhero clichés.

Nick also isn’t a fan of doing all of the work and getting none of the credit.


I expect young readers will enjoy the action sequences and Nick’s superhero training fails. This story is full of superhero clichés, often pointed out by Nick. The ending would have worked better for me if Super Fantastic Guy had realised the error of his ways and voluntarily given some credit to Nick.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When Nick signed up to be a superhero, it seemed like a terrific idea. He was flattered to be chosen by Super Fantastic Guy – picked for his intelligence, his investigative skills and his super-amazing hearing abilities. But as Super Fantastic Guy’s assistant, Nick (who, by the way, hates being called a sidekick) didn’t realise that he would have to do all of the work – and get none of the credit. All Nick wants is an opportunity to prove himself. So, when he overhears a group of criminals planning an enormous bank heist, he knows his big chance to save the day has finally arrived. Or has it?

Everything Is OK – Debbie Tung

As far as I can tell, Debbie Tung’s Quiet Girl in a Noisy World and Book Love were essentially her way of not so subtly telling me she’s been stalking me for my entire adult life. She tried to throw me off the trail by focusing on the ‘aww, aren’t they adorable?’ relationship she and Jason have in Happily Ever After & Everything In Between. Now, in her fourth graphic novel, Debbie takes a deep dive into my mental health.


From telling people you’re fine when you’re anything but to sleepless nights spent questioning every decision you’ve ever made, Debbie speaks honestly about mental health. Depression. Anxiety. Panic attacks. Suicidal ideation. You not only hear the thoughts that accompany them, you see what they feel like.


Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is enough and that’s what this graphic novel does. Debbie’s story acknowledges the darkness but also provides hope.

Asking for help was the most courageous thing I ever did.

It meant that I refused to give up and I wanted to give myself a chance to heal.

It’s one thing to know the types of things that can have a positive impact on your mental health – counselling, self care, celebrating the small wins, gratitude, mindfulness – but hearing how those strategies have helped someone with lived experience gives them more weight.

I’m not an artist so can’t explain this very well but some art feels lofty and unapproachable to me, like I’m being kept at arm’s length. Debbie’s style, though, feels relatable and down to earth. She draws me in with her art and her words.

One thing I really loved about this graphic novel was the use of blue throughout. It’s such an appropriate choice given the subject matter and the muted tones somehow both set the tone and made the content feel non-threatening. The bursts of colour, when they did make an appearance, had a greater impact.


Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Everything Is OK is the story of Debbie Tung’s struggle with anxiety and her experience with depression. She shares what it’s like navigating life, overthinking every possible worst-case scenario, and constantly feeling like all hope is lost.

The book explores her journey to understanding the importance of mental health in her day-to-day life and how she learns to embrace the highs and lows when things feel out of control. Debbie opens up about deeply personal issues and the winding road to recovery, discovers the value of self-love, and rebuilds a more mindful relationship with her mental health.

In this graphic memoir, Debbie aims to provide positive and comforting messages to anyone who is facing similar difficulties or is just trying to get through a tough time in life. She hopes to encourage readers to be kinder to themselves, to know that they are not alone, and that it’s okay to be vulnerable because they are not defined by their mental health struggles. The dark clouds won’t be there forever. Everything will turn out all right.

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #4: Claudia and Mean Janine – Raina Telgemeier

Text – Ann M. Martin

After successfully avoiding reading about Mimi’s stroke for a year and a half, I’ve now read about it twice in one day; first in the original book and now the graphic novel. I’m more convinced after reading them back to back that this adventure in babysitting should have actually been called Claudia is Mean to Janine. Maybe it’s not as catchy but it is more accurate.

So, the graphic novel. When it was released I’d hoped that Raina would be adapting the entire series. The torch has now been passed to other artists and they’re all really talented as well, but I’ve got a soft spot for the Raina ones. They came first and they’re just wonderful.

I always have fun finding the main differences between the books and their graphic novel adaptations.

The main difference I picked up here isn’t between the book and graphic novel but between Raina’s graphic novels and the ones that followed. Here, Mallory isn’t a BSC member before her time and it’s such a relief. I never knew I was a BSC purist until I saw Malory at BSC meetings before she was supposed to be there.

So, the differences I picked up on between the book and graphic novel.

Book: Begins with Wednesday morning breakfast. It’s summer vacation and Claudia is going to art class, babysit Jamie Newton, shop with Stacey and attend a BSC meeting.
Graphic Novel: Begins with Janine tutoring Claudia in maths because she has an exam. It’s the last week of school. Claudia’s mother’s name is Rioko, which I don’t think I knew before.

Book: Boys don’t feature in the book.
Graphic Novel: We learn that Pete Black held Stacey’s hand on the way home from school. Stacey and Claudia are most excited about this development.

Book: Kristy appears to be over her jealousy of Dawn.
Graphic Novel: Kristy and the green eyed monster are still hanging out. Dawn invites Kristy over to her new-old house and smoothes things over with her. I’m pretty sure it’s the scene from Dawn and the Impossible Three, which hasn’t happened yet in graphic novel world.

Book: We learn that Charlie will drive Kristy the three miles to BSC meetings and back for half the price that Kristy offered him.
Graphic Novel: Charlie isn’t mentioned.

Book: It costs $3 a day per kid to attend the BSC play group.
Graphic Novel: It costs $5 a day per kid to attend the BSC play group.

Book: The play group will be held from 9am to 12:30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Graphic Novel: The play group will be held from 9am to 12pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book: The BSC members drop off flyers for their play group to all of the usual suspects.
Graphic Novel: The BSC members drop off flyers for their play group to the usual suspects, but also mention the Davises’. Who are they and why hasn’t anyone introduced me to them yet?

Book: Jenny Prezzioso needs to wear a smock to cover her pristine clothes but no one figures that out until the dreaded grass stain on the first day of play group.
Graphic Novel: Dawn comes up with the idea for smocks before play group commences. The grass stain incident happens regardless.

Book: Janine easily wins the trivia game she plays with Claudia and Mimi.
Graphic Novel: The game doesn’t finish because Claudia quits.

Book: While she’s waiting for her parents to get home from the restaurant, Claudia packs a suitcase for Mimi. She runs out to meet her parents before they get into the driveway.
Graphic Novel: Claudia is freaking out too much to think of packing a suitcase. Her parents make it to where Claudia is sitting on the front step of their house before she realises they’ve gotten home.

Book: Dawn’s BSC notebook entry for the first day of the play group mentions how wild Buddy Barrett, Nicky Pike and David Michael Thomas are when they’re together.
Graphic Novel: Dawn’s BSC notebook entry for the first day of the play group mentions how wild David Michael Thomas, Nicky Pike and Marcus are when they’re together. Who’s Marcus? Is he from the Davis family? What happened to Buddy? Is it because the graphic novels were adapted in the wrong order and we haven’t met Buddy yet in this alternate BSC world?

Book: Claudia gets scared when she first visits Mimi. The next day she is able to talk to Mimi and show her the cards the kids at play group made for her.
Graphic Novel: Claudia gets scared when she first visits Mimi. After her parents and Janine visit Mimi, Claudia tries again the same day. She is able to talk to Mimi and show her the cards the kids at play group made for her.

Book: Claudia doesn’t make Mimi a get well present.
Graphic Novel: Claudia works on a get well present for Mimi.

Book: The Thomas-Brewer wedding happened last week. Karen and Andrew are officially a part of Kristy’s family.
Graphic Novel: Karen and Andrew are almost Kristy’s step siblings.

Book: Louie needs to attend play group because the Thomases are moving tomorrow.
Graphic Novel: Louie needs to attend play group because the carpets are getting cleaned.

Book: Mary Anne cares for Mimi one day because Claudia has a babysitting job.
Graphic Novel: Mary Anne cares for Mimi one day because Claudia needs to help prepare for Lucy Newton’s christening.

Book: Claudia and Janine have a talk and understand one another a bit better afterwards.
Graphic Novel: Claudia and Janine have a talk and understand one another a bit better afterwards. We learn Janine also has a secret stash of junk food in her room. That is awesome!

Book: Janine and Mimi go for a walk.
Graphic Novel: Janine and Mimi go for a walk. Claudia decides to join them. Aww!

Book: During the final BSC meeting of the book, the call comes in that will be sending Mary Anne and Stacey to Sea City with the Pikes.
Graphic Novel: During the final BSC meeting of the book, Claudia says she might need to cut back on her babysitting hours to focus more on school. This leads to talk about Mallory joining the club. Ugh! The current BSC members take a photo to memorialise the BSC’s first anniversary. Yay!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her art than her grades, feels she can’t compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, makes straight A’s, and even takes college-level courses. The girls are nothing alike, and they can’t agree on anything. While Janine devotes all her time to working on her website, The Baby-Sitters Club is busy with their new summer play group. But when something terrible happens to their grandmother, Mimi, the two sisters discover they’re more alike than they originally thought.