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 #11: Kristy and the Snobs – Ann M. Martin

Kristy, in her third BSC book, is here to break my heart. Although, to be fair, I should be blaming Ann M. Martin for ruining my illusion that my childhood dog would live forever.

We babysit Jackie, Archie and Shea Rodowsky, Linnie, Hannie and Sadi Papadakis (with Myrtle the turtle and Noodle the poodle), Myriah and Gabbie Perkins, and Amanda and Max Delaney (snobs: kid edition).

Dawn babysits her younger brother, Jeff, who is having problems, one of which may be the fact that their mother is still dating a man named Trip.

Claudia babysits the Pike kids with some help from Mallory, five of whom have chicken pox. Nicky and Vanessa get bent out of shape over the Bizzer sign. They also have cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, which sounds like a somewhat disturbing combination.

Stacey gets Amanda and Max Delaney to clean up their room in a very non Mary Poppins way.

Claudia fails a spelling test. No surprises there.

Tigger has worms. Poor Tigger.

Stacey has an upcoming doctor’s appointment.

“Boy, what a lousy, stinky, rotten day”

Stacey references The Taming of the Shrew. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney was also mentioned when I was pretending I wasn’t ugly crying about a fictional dog.

Kristy has to miss a BSC meeting but I can’t even poke fun at her about it because it was about Louie.

Karen talks about Morbidda Destiny and Ben Brewer.

Andrew is a football.

Shannon goes from being one of the neighbourhood snobs to the BSC’s second associate member.

This book gets sadder every time I read it.

Stoneybrook Central Time: Kristy, her mother and brothers moved in to Watson’s mansion several months ago. Dawn’s brother, Jeff, is now ten years old.

Up next: Claudia makes a new friend, which seems to morph the Baby-Sitters Club into the Baby-Sitters Cult.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Kristy’s mum got married again last summer and now Kristy and her family in a new neighbourhood. The kids aren’t very friendly. In fact, they’re… well, snobs. They criticise Kristy’s clothes. They make fun of the Baby-sitters Club. And worst of all, they laugh at Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s going blind. Nobody does that and gets away with it!

Kristy’s fighting mad – and she’s not going to put up with it much longer. If anybody can beat a Snob Attack, it’s the Baby-sitters Club. And that’s just what they’re going to do.

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 #10: Logan Likes Mary Anne! – Ann M. Martin

Before you get all swoony over Logan Bruno from Louisville, Kentucky (complete with southern accent), make sure you’ve read Kristy’s Big Day, Claudia and Mean Janine, Boy-Crazy Stacey and The Ghost at Dawn’s House as there are spoilers for all of these in the intro.

Mary Anne, the romantic of the BSC, was already pretty swoony about Cam Geary so you can imagine the effect encountering his lookalike at school has on her. It’s essentially love at first drool.

Mary Anne isn’t the only one swooning over Logan, though. All of the BSC members do and if you look at the original cover illustration, it looks like Jackie Rodowsky is a bit swoony as well.

This isn’t the first time Mary Anne’s hormones have kicked in. Remember Sea City? But Logan isn’t a summer fling, even though it would have been all sorts of lovely if he’d been her first kiss.

We babysit Jenny Prezzioso, David Michael Thomas, Karen and Andrew Brewer, Charlotte Johanssen, Buddy, Suzi and Marni Barrett, the Pikes, the Marshalls, Myriah and Gabbie (plus Chewy the dog) Perkins, Jamie (“hi-hi!”) and Lucy Newton, the two Ohdner girls (no, we haven’t met them before), Jackie Rodowsky (the Rodowsky’s are also newbie BSC clients) and four Morgan boys.

Dawn wears a “pretty snappy outfit – hot-pink shorts with a big, breezy island-print shirt over a white tank top.”

Mary Anne comes up with her very own great idea but Kristy comes up with the name “associate member” for Logan. I’d forgotten that he’d said he had some guy friends who might want to babysit for the BSC as well. I don’t remember that ever eventuating.

Claudia serves refreshments junk food. She also almost commits the apparently unpardonable sin of saying “bra strap in front of a boy.”

Stacey does a Porky Pig impressions. That’s all folks.

Mary Anne gets her first bra on the first day of eighth grade. Now Kristy is the only braless BSC member.

Kristy has to take a bus to school instead of walking with ex-next door neighbour, Mary Anne, like every other first day of school. Incidentally, the first day of school is a Thursday.

When I first read this book, I didn’t realise that Chewbacca Perkins was named after someone…

The BSC members hold an emergency meeting (naturally) but this one is called by Claudia. They even cancel a meeting; getting Mary Anne ready for the dance is more important, even for Kristy, who is the one to suggest cancelling the meeting.

“I say we cancel today’s club meeting and go over to Mary Anne’s instead.”

Then Stacey calls a special BSC meeting at Mary Anne’s house on a Sunday. Has Kristy lost all control?

The school cafeteria food includes “a dirty sock that’s been left out in the rain and then hidden in a dark closet for three weeks” and “steamed rubber in Turtle Wax”.

Mary Anne’s classes are English, math, gym, social studies, science, French and she has homeroom, lunch and study hall.

I looked forward to using a folder with looseleaf paper, just like Mary Anne, when I first read this book. At the time it felt like a more mature way of doing school than the exercise books I was used to.

If I was Mary Anne, my favourite birthday present (besides Tigger) would have been the wind-up dinosaur that shoots sparks out of its mouth. Good one, Alan Gray, you pest.

By the numbers: Mary Anne’s locker combination is 132, her homeroom number is 216, the club members each pay $1 per week in club dues, Logan’s phone number (in case you want to call him and swoon) is KL51018, Mary Anne has a 10 minute phone call limit and Stacey has a 5 minute phone call limit when she’s calling Laine in New York (she’s found a loophole, though).

Stoneybrook Central Time: At the beginning of this book, it’s been over two months since the end of seventh grade and it’s the final day of summer vacation. Stacey and her family have lived in Stoneybrook for a year now. Mary Anne, the youngest current BSC member, won’t turn 13 for a few weeks.

Up next: Kristy gets to know some snobs and Ann M. Martin traumatises me for life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

It used to be that Mary Anne had to wear her hair in braids and ask her dad before did anything. But not anymore. Mary Anne has been growing up … and the Baby-sitters Club members aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed.

Logan Bruno likes Mary Anne! He has a dreamy southern accent, he’s awfully cute – and he wants to join the Baby-sitters Club.

The Baby-sitters aren’t sure Logan will make a good club member. And Mary Anne thinks she’s too shy for Logan. Life in the Baby-sitters Club has never been this complicated – or this fun!

The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House – Ann M. Martin

The babysitters have been apart for two whole weeks! During that time, Mary Anne and Stacey found boys at Sea City, Claudia and her family took my Mimi to a resort and Dawn visited her father in California. Kristy? Well, she stayed home, but home is now a mansion so she can’t really complain.

In this book, Dawn plays Nancy Drew, investigating a hunch that her new old house, which was built in 1795, has a previously undisclosed special feature: a secret passage. You know, like The Hidden Staircase, the Nancy Drew book that gave her the idea in the first place.

It’s like a large, creepy dollhouse.

Dawn invites the whole BSC over to help her search. They don’t find anything but they do scream a lot. Incidentally, at one point Dawn lets out a scream I don’t think I’ve heard in real life.


After going to a great deal of effort failing to find the secret passage, Dawn does. By sitting down. I love it when laziness is rewarded.

Claudia, whose life basically consists of art, sugar and forbidden Nancy Drew books, was one of the last BSC members to learn about the secret passage at Dawn’s house. I should not be this disappointed for her but here we are. If I’d written this book, Claudia would have led the investigation, Nancy Drewing her way to success.

Dawn babysits Buddy, Suzi and Marnie Barrett. Mary Anne babysits Myriah and Gabbie “Toshe me up” Perkins. Dawn babysits the Pike kids (all of them, with some help from Mallory) and then they babysit the triplets and Nicky. Kristy babysits Karen, Andrew and David Michael. Claudia babysits Jamie “hi-hi!” and Lucy (who was an “angle” – love Claudia typos) Newton. Stacey babysits Nicky, Vanessa, Claire and Margo Pike – and does housework! She can do my housework as well if she’d like.

Books in a book: Dawn reads Ghosts and Spooks, Chills and Thrills: Stories NOT to Be Read After Dark, which she reads after dark (obviously), freaking herself out. She also reads about a Stoneybrook legend in A History of Stoneybrooke. Apparently the e at the end dropped off over the years. Of course, this legend freaks her out even more.

Dawn and Jeff freak out about having to block off a wall so the ghost can’t get in the room. So much freaking out in this book. Also, don’t they know that walls aren’t a problem for ghosts?

Dawn’s mother dates a man named Trip. I have yet to meet a man named Trip.

Claudia magics chocolate from a hollow book. Which is the exact moment I decided I needed to buy a hollow book. Why haven’t I done that yet?

Gabby has a Cabbage Patch Doll. At the time I was reading these books I’d never heard of most of the junk food Claudia found in her room so it was a relief to come across something familiar.

Mary Anne’s crush on Cam Geary is mentioned a couple of times. Hello, foreshadowing.

There’s no emergency BSC meeting in this book but there is a slumber party at Dawn’s house. Kristy wants to watch Ghostbusters, Claudia wants to watch Star Wars, Stacey wants to watch Mary Poppins, Mary Anne wants to watch Sixteen Candles and Dawn wants to watch The Parent Trap. I want to watch Jaws.

Consistent with the responses of the BSC members, this book freaked me out as a kid. The idea of living in a haunted house terrified me, made worse by the fact that my neighbour decided to tell me that their home had a resident ghost around this time.

This book inspired me to borrow a bunch of books featuring ghost stories from the library that remained unread because my imagination was big and my courage was small.

I loved the idea of a secret passage. I looked for one at my home, despite it being less than fifteen years old at the time. I decided right then and there that one day I would live in a home with multiple secret passages. It would also have a secret reading room behind a bookcase, but I digress.

Because my childhood BSC books didn’t come with me into adulthood, I’ve repurchased them. The previous owner of this new old book completed the Notebook Pages. My favourite response was when the 8 year old reader said the BSC member they’re most like is Stacey because they’re “fashion sensitive”.

I want to give Nicky Pike a hug.

About the cover: The secret passage can be accessed through either a trapdoor in the barn or a wall in Dawn’s bedroom. Are Dawn and Jeff heading up to the attic together in this image, something they don’t do in the book? Or did someone in marketing forget to tell the artist how to find the secret passage?

Stoneybrook Central Time: At the beginning of the book, it’s the third week of August, two weeks until eighth grade begins. The babysitters are back after their various adventures of the past two weeks. You’ve already read about Mary Anne and Stacey’s time in Sea City. At the end of the book, school will be starting again in a few days.

Up next: Mary Anne meets Cam Geary in the flesh. Sort of.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Dawn has always thought there was a secret passage hidden in her house. But she never thought there was a ghost… until now. All kinds of creepy things go on whenever Dawn’s at home. There are even spooky noises behind her bedroom wall!

Dawn is sure there’s a ghost in her house. And so are the other Baby-sitters. But they’re so busy with their baby-sitting jobs that they hardly have time for a ghost hunt. Will Dawn and her friends ever solve the mystery, or will Dawn have to share her house… with a ghost?

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?

The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey – Ann M. Martin

Stacey and Mary Anne are spending two weeks together as mother’s helpers, babysitting for the Pike kids. But that’s not all. They’re all going to be on vacation in Sea City, New Jersey. 

“We’re back, we’re here, we’ve come once more, to our gingerbread house by the white seashore!”

The Pike kids are:

  • Mallory – 11, future BSC member
  • Jordan – 10
  • Byron – 10, loves to eat, has some fears
  • Adam – 10
  • Vanessa – 9, poet who speaks in rhyme all the time
  • Nicky – 8
  • Margo – 7
  • Claire – 5, calls her mother ‘Moozie’ and her father ‘Daggles’, adds ‘silly-billy-goo-goo’ to the end of everyone’s names.

Back in Stoneybrook, Kristy babysits David Michael, Karen and Andrew. Dawn has been babysitting in California and Claudia has babysat some kids at the mountain resort in New Hampshire, including Skip.

The house the Pikes rent at Sea City has three levels and is right on the beach. The lifeguard stand is in front of it. That’s where Stacey is going to spend the majority of her time. 

Mr Pike makes sure he knows what Stacey can and can’t eat when he’s cooking breakfast the first day in Sea City, which is great. What wasn’t so great was that he did it on the sly, lowering his voice so his kids didn’t hear him. This just reinforced to me as a kid how unimaginably scary diabetes was. Adult me can’t understand why the Pike kids couldn’t know about Stacey’s diabetes.

Mary Anne, who until a few books ago had to wear her hair in braids and wasn’t allowed to wear pants to school, has her first bikini! She also ends up looking like a “tomato with hair”.

Mary Anne meets a boy mother’s helper, Alex. Stacey meets Toby, Alex’s cousin.

Stacey, 13, is in luv with Scott, 18, the lifeguard with the wavy blonde hair. He lets girls do favours for him, like buying him sodas, getting him lunch and picking up things that fall off the lifeguard stand. Wow, what a prize that guy is.

Random bits:


It was Stacey’s pink shirt with the big, bright green and yellow birds that I was thinking of when I bought a pair of bird earrings when I was on holidays with my parents as a kid. Yes, I still have them.

The hunky, chauvinistic lifeguard’s full name is Scott Foley. That’s the name of the actor who played Noel Crane on Felicity.

Millionaire Watson has three cars: an old black Ford, a red sports car and a fancy new car. Kristy’s mother has a green station wagon.

Claudia threw a pot. I originally took that literally.

Kristy learned you should never let kids wash a car without supervision.

Mary Anne learned that boys aren’t scary.

Stacey learned that boys aren’t supposed to use you. Well, I hope she learned it anyway.

Books in a book:

  • Mallory reads The Secret Garden, one of my all time favourite books.
  • Mary Anne reads A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Further proof that Stacey’s parents have more than enough money: We already know that they lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York and that the building had a doorman. Now we learn that their apartment had four bedrooms. That’s gotta be worth a fortune!

This was one of my favourite BSC books as a kid. Naturally, one of my many reads took place at the beach. I kept not so subtly glancing up from my book to see if there was a cute lifeguard in the vicinity. This would have been pretty impressive if it happened, especially considering the fact that we were on an unpatrolled beach…

When I wasn’t attempting to find non-existent lifeguards, I was daydreaming about summer romances. I decided that I, too, was going to have one. Spoiler: it was not as advertised.

I was absolutely obsessed with Sea City. I wanted to go everywhere Mary Anne and Stacey did: Trampoline Land, Fred’s Putt-Putt Course, Ice-Cream Palace, Candy Heaven, touristy shops, Burger Garden, Candy Kitchen (they have fudge), If the Suit Fits (they sell bikinis), Hercules’ Hot Dogs and the boardwalk with the arcade.

As a kid, having an 18 year old boyfriend when you’re 13 felt like peak dating. Adult me can’t get over how creepy that is.

Kid me mostly sided with Stacey in this book, even though Mary Anne was my favourite babysitter. Adult me stands 100% with Mary Anne. How dare Stacey leave her to take care of so many kids alone?! Sure, the Pike kids are unnaturally well behaved most of the time but there’s an entire team of them.

Word of the book: kerflooey, which is how Stacey’s blood sugar levels can go if she’s not careful.

Stoneybrook Central Time: It’s the beginning of August when we start this book and the summer holidays between seventh and eighth grade. On the first Tuesday back at school it will have been a year since Kristy had her great idea.

Up next: Dawn goes ghostbusting.

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 old house, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and
the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen!

Mary Anne knows that Scott the lifeguard is way too old for Stacey, but Stacey’s in love. She fixes Scott’s lunch, fetches his sodas, and spends all her
time with him… instead of with the Pike kids.

Suddenly Mary Anne’s doing the work of two baby-sitters, and she doesn’t like it one bit. But how can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested – without breaking Stacey’s heart?

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.

The Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine – Ann M. Martin

“Time is change”

When I finished reading Kristy’s Big Day, I knew I needed some time to prepare myself for the beginning of Mimi’s story. That was over a year and a half ago. It turns out that no amount of time can prepare me for the my Mimi heartache.

So, this is me jumping in and protecting my heart as best I can. What? No, you didn’t see me getting misty eyed when I visited Mimi in the hospital.

Moving on. Reading this book for the first time in maybe five or six years generated a bunch of random thoughts.

The Wednesday we begin this book, Claudia has a busy day. She has art class in the morning. After lunch, she babysits for Jamie Newton for a couple of hours, shops with Stacey and then there’s the usual Wednesday BSC meeting. When Stacey rocks up to BSC Central that afternoon at 5:15pm, Claudia is surprised by Stacey’s new haircut and perm. So, what we need to know is this: is Stacey a time traveller? How did she have time to get her hair done between shopping till she dropped and 5:15pm?

We find out how impossibly far away Watson’s mansion is from Kristy’s old house. Three miles. That’s 4.8 km. Huh. My high school was further away from my home than that. It felt like Kristy was being shipped off to another planet when I was growing up.

We learn that Kristy and Mary Anne get Janine’s hand me downs because Claudia’s too cool for them. I kinda think we’re all too cool for them though.

This book got me thinking about how much money Claudia must fork out on junk food and pretzels. She hands out a variety of goodies to her fellow BSC members three times a week, more if there’s an emergency meeting, which there almost always is. Although not in this book which involves an actual emergency! I don’t remember having ever seen a single friend either chip in with some funds to pay for their share or take a turn supplying the snacks. It’s almost enough for me to forgive Claudia for being so mean to Janine. Almost.

Claudia almost hits Janine in this book. Claudia almost hits Janine in this book? How had I forgotten about this?!

Did we know before this book that Buddy’s name is Hamilton Barrett, Junior?

Jenny (“our angel”) Prezzioso declares that Louie Brewer is a “messy-face”. We learn Jenny has a phobia of dogs. The BSC members, professionals that they are, work hard to give Jenny a new fear: of monstrous boys. Okay, they maybe had a little help from Karen but Karen doesn’t charge for her services.

Related to this, Karen Brewer temporarily trades her witch stories for monsters, sort of. Morbidda Destiny cast a spell that’s going to turn someone into a monster, because that witch is all powerful.

Louie gets a makeover (poor Louie) and the Thomases move across town to Watson’s. The Perkins family moves into Kristy’s old house from somewhere that was probably more than three miles away.

Kristy comes up with the idea of running a play group a few mornings a week. Kristy says that Mallory can come and help out as a babysitter-in-training but, nope, we’re not paying her for the privilege. Reader and writer Mallory probably should have noticed the foreshadowing; things aren’t going to get any easier for her when she tries to join the BSC after being invited to do so.

I found Janine annoying when I was a kid but, looking back, I think it was only because the BSC members told me she was. Now, I think she’s somewhat of a kindred spirit. She’s a socially awkward nerd who doesn’t know how to belong in the world outside of her books and computer. And, I’ve got to admit, this broke me a little.

“You’re always pushing me into my world and out of yours.”

In this book, we babysit for Jamie (“hi-hi”) and Lucy Newton, Charlotte Johanssen (can you imagine only needing a babysitter for two hours if you were attending a cocktail party?) and Nina and Eleanor Marshall. We even arrange a time to babysit Myriah and Gabbie Perkins, Stoneybrook’s newest newbies.

With all of the drama surrounding Mimi, we don’t get to tag along to many babysitting gigs but we are invited to the Newton’s a couple of times to babysit and attend Lucy’s christening. Her big brother is forced to get all dressed up for the occasion.

He looked like a real boy.

As opposed to…

The kids who attend the play group are David Michael Thomas, Charlotte Johanssen, Jamie (“hi-hi”) Newton, Nicky, Claire, Margo and Vanessa Pike, Suzi and Buddy Barrett, Jenny (“our angel”) Prezzioso (how much therapy is this kid going to need when she grows up?!), Andrew and Karen Brewer, and Nina and Eleanor Marshall. Mallory begins her unpaid BSC internship and Louie is chased around the yard by pretty much everyone.

Fun fact: Most of my childhood books didn’t come with me into adulthood so adult me repurchased a bunch of them. The edition of this book that I bought has a section at the end called Notebook Pages where the reader can fill in the blanks. The reader before me filled in most of the answers. I absolutely love two of their responses.

I have 0 sisters and 1 brothers.

If I could have any number of brothers and sisters that I wanted, I would want to have 2 sisters and 0 brothers.

Thanks for the smile, Lisa.

Stoneybrook Central Time: it’s July and school’s out for summer. Kristy’s mother married Watson last week. Stacey has lived in Stoneybrook for about a year. Lucy Newton is about seven months old. By the end of the book, July is over.

Up next: Sea City, here we come!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Claudia’s sister is mean! She’s too busy being smart to be nice. Even Claudia’s grandmother, Mimi, can’t get close to Janine. Plus, Mean Janine puts down the Baby-Sitters Club. And that makes Claudia MAD!

This summer the members of the Baby-Sitters Club are starting a play group in the neighbourhood. Claudia can’t wait for it to begin. But then Mimi has a stroke … and the whole summer changes.

Now Claudia has to spend her time “Mimi-sitting” instead of baby-sitting. And things with Janine are going from bad to worse. One of the Kishi sisters has to start being nicer. And it’s sure not going to be Claudia!

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #5: Dawn and the Impossible Three – Gale Galligan

Text – Ann M. Martin

Colour – Braden Lamb

It’s the BSC adventure where Dawn gets away with being super judgy about how a BSC client lives her life. Single parent, Mrs Barrett, is desperately trying to keep her family afloat – caring for three kids under 10, job hunting, managing a messy divorce. So what if the house is kinda messy? Okay, so it’s very messy but the poor woman is dealing with a lot. Let’s cut her some slack.

Usually I try to read the graphic novel as soon as I’ve finished the book. I was unable to jump the library queue so the people who actually reserved this graphic novel before me got to read it first (shock horror!) so it’s been several weeks since I read the book. I still remember the basics fairly well but the differences I would usually point out between book and graphic novel have faded from my mind. So I’ll just focus on the two big ones.

Book: Mallory is more than capable of helping out but she’s still counted as one of the kids the BSC babysit.
Graphic Novel: The beginning of the graphic novel marks the first day that Mallory is a BSC Junior Member. The BSC meeting that afternoon is when the great interrogation of Mallory’s knowledge of anything even remotely related to babysitting takes place.

My currently unresolved question: How is book #14, Hello, Mallory, going to be adapted to a graphic novel if the main plot point has already happened?

Book: Mimi is all good.
Graphic Novel: Janine is helping Mimi with her flash cards.

I’m guessing this is different because book #7, Claudia and Mean Janine, was graphic novel #4. Why has this series been adapted out of order?

I’ve actually been avoiding reading #7 because I’m not ready to face the rest of Mimi’s story yet. I’ll try to summon some brave in the near future.

On a happier note, I finally got to see the bizzer sign, which the Pike kids invented, in action. It was worth the wait, although (just between you and I) it doesn’t look quite as trauma inducing as I’d hoped.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Dawn Schafer is the newest member of The Baby-Sitters Club. While she’s still adjusting to life in Stoneybrook after moving from sunny California, she’s eager to accept her first big job. But taking care of the three Barrett kids would be too much for any babysitter. The house is always a mess, the kids are out of control, and Mrs. Barrett never does any of the things she promises. On top of all that, Dawn wants to fit in with the other members of the BSC, but she can’t figure out how to get along with Kristy. Was joining The Baby-Sitters Club a mistake?