Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Living in my room is like living in a cotton candy machine. " #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day (1987)

AKA Mary Anne Gets Ballsy

I was really disappointed to not get either of the new versions of this. Mary Anne was my favorite babysitter when I was a kid, probably because we were alike in many ways. I always loved the stories when she stood up for herself (because it didn't happen often.)

In this one, the BSC gets into a big fight that starts because Kristy caught a case of Claudia's job-hogginess. The babysitters all stop talking to each other and set up elaborate schemes so the club keeps running this way. Because Kristy "takes" all of her and Mary Anne's friends, MA's left alone...until she meets a new girl, Dawn, and makes a new friend. Dawn helps MA with a sitting emergency, but she gets upset when she realizes MA's using her to get back at Kristy. MA gets the cojones to organize the BSC back together, and makes up with Dawn, who becomes the fifth member of the Babysitters Club.

Interesting tidbits

Before I even get started, I have to say that the copy I have is one of the ones where they changed the covers. Remember when they re-did the covers and put all the faces down the left hand side? They also changed the picture on a number of the early covers. This one features MA and Jenny with a handsome EMT, getting into the ambulance. Mary Anne's wearing a red cable-knit sweater, white blouse, navy skirt and red tights. She looks like Rachel from Glee, and it's super cute. On the other hand, Jenny is wearing saddle shoes, which does not seem right. She's always shown wearing Mary Janes in the books, and while her blue dress matches the description in the book, is says she wears white shoes.

Heh heh. Kristy wears clothes "only because it's illegal to go to school naked." Leads me to a book title: Kristy and the Nudist Colony.

After the fight, MA deals with her aggravations by slamming things around in the kitchen. I tried that once, but I broke a glass. I don't recommend it.

Real book time: MA is reading A Wrinkle in Time. I read that as a kid, but most of my memories come from reading When I Reach You. Both won the Newbery Medal, and I highly recommend the second.

When MA first meets Dawn, she says she doesn't think she's pretty, but she seems nice enough. I wonder if she ever told Dawn that after they became step-sisters.

Ah, continuity. MA points out Alexander Kurtzmann to Dawn. He's the boy who wears a suit and carries a briefcase. He was mentioned in #2, when Claudia didn't cut in line next to Stacey because Alexander is behind her and he's a tattletale.

Wow, MA is big into playing games. She only makes friends with Dawn, and agrees to go to her house after school, to try to make Kristy jealous. As opposed to doing it to make new friends or be nice to the new girl.

Suck it Dawn! Mary Anne's describes your mom as pretty, even if you're not.

"Trendy and sophisticated" Claudia and Stacey deal with one another by sticking their tongues out. I haven't done that (other than jokingly) since I was about six.

Mrs. Prezzioso's first name is Madeleine and her husband is Nick.

Poor Claudia. She and Mary Anne have just made up when she overhears Mimi call MA "My Mary Anne." Claudia gets horribly upset because, until then, the only person she called MY is Claudia. It might sound terrible, but I completely understand. For a girl like Claudia who always feels inferior to her sister and who always feels like she doesn't live up to her parents expectations, having someone like Mimi--who doesn't judge, just loves--is so vital. Thinking that Mimi is spreading that love has to be very hurtful, to a twelve year old

Claudia misspellings. She is so "made" about the situation with MA that she makes fun of MA's "nitting."

Mary Anne feels sorry for the Pike parents because she and Kristy inadvertently start a game of Telephone that she fears will be played for a long time. In most families, that game would die after about five minutes. It's really the Pikes' own fault for having so many kids.

Oh my. Adam and Jordan want to put on a play of Chuck Norris. This was long before all the CN jokes became popular.

Dawn is either naïve or really stupid--I vote for the latter. She actually believed (or wanted to believe) that MA's friends were all absent for weeks on end.

Oh. Now Dawn and MA are even. Dawn tells MA she's pretty now that her dad lets her wear her hair down. Which kinda means she wasn't pretty before.

Ugh. Pizza toast. I'd forgotten about that disgusting tradition. (Side note: ever notice how in the early books, Stacey doesn't eat processed cheese? She can't have pizza in this book, she ducked out of a BSC pizza party in #1, and in #8 Boy Crazy Stacey, she says she can't have cheese. Yet later on, she eats pizza all the time.)

Baggy shirts and tight pants (I used to wear that too, in the early 90s. It didn't look good on me and I don't think it looks good on anyone else either.)
Dog earring for one ear and bone for the other (My sister and I used to take jewelry making classes. We each made this pair of earrings for ourselves.)
Shirt covered in island print, tight turquoise pants (NOOOOO!) and red high tops (of course)
Mary Anne:
Corduroy skirt, blouse, sweater and penny loafers
Blue jean skirt
Yellow hair clips shaped like flowers

Does anyone really want to hear what the Prezziosos were wearing? In this case, Jenny had a white dress with lavender ribbon, lavender socks and black Mary Janes, and everyone's favorite barrettes with streamers. Mr. P wears an ascot (and now I'm picturing Fred from Scooby Doo.) Later, Jenny wears a pale blue dress with white accessories; her mother is in a cocktail dress and her father in jeans and a polo.

New characters
Dawn (12, almost 13)--38 (It was January and Dawn's birthday is February 5.)
Jenny Prezzioso (3)--28
Byron, Adam, Jordan, Vanessa and Nicky Pike (9, 9, 9, 8, 7)--34, 34, 34, 33, 32

We also learn that Sharon and Richard are 42, which makes them 67 these days. It also means that they were 30 or so when MA and Dawn were born.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is ages after you wrote this post, but I was wondering why you called the pizza toast a disgusting tradition?