I think I literally have not read this book since 1991. I picked it up and got to chapter 5 before I realized I hadn't made a single note or tidbit about it. Had to start all over again.
Jessi takes a sitting job for the Mancusis, who have no children but lots of pets--three dogs, five cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, a snake, etc. There's not too much plot involved in that, but one of the hamsters is fat and short tempered. When Jessi takes her to the vet, she learns she's pregnant. Jessi, the Pikes and Jackie R. all get to have a hamster baby.
The B plot gets more action than the A plot in this one. Kristy, Dawn, Claudia and MA are fighting because Kristy's being very bossy. The BSC decides to have elections to decide who should be president, vice president and so on. After Jackie Rodowsky tells Kristy she's bossy, she starts to realize she's been rude to her friends. They have the elections, and every single member votes the girls back into their old office.
Is it really dorky of me that I'm going through all the BSC titles and trying to see if ALL the babysitters have their last names in the title of a book? This was the first one. Let me pull up my title list:Kristy: #118
Claudia: #85 and #101
Mary Anne: #114
Dawn: mystery #26
Mallory: #80 and #126
In this one, Jessi says she may want to be a dancer someday, and Mallory might want to be a writer, but they have plenty of time to decide. I wonder when that changed to them definitely wanting to go professional.
Jessi describes Kristy as sounding "cross as a bear." It sounds very British.
When Jessi rings the Mancusis' doorbell, she hears a large number of animal noises from within. I'll buy the dogs and birds going nuts and even the guinea pigs (I used to have one that "wheeked" whenever someone came in the room.) But Jessi can hear cats meowing and mewing. Most cats I know either run from the doorbell, or run to the doorbell, but they aren't vocal about it.
Mrs. Mancusi makes Jessi talk to all the animals, and she can't think of anything to say to them.
Claudia spelling: waht (twice), babbysat, invinted (invited...the hell?), thoght, amials (animals), Mankusees (Mancusis), afriad, ginny (guinea), Chewey (Chewy). She also uses now for know, but she manages to spell trouble right, which is not normal for her.
Claudia takes two four year olds (Jamie Newton and Nina Marshall) to visit Jessi at the Mancusis', and they take the three dogs for a walk. Chewbacca, the Perkins' monstrosity of a dog, joins them and actually behaves himself for once.
Sort of off topic, but when I read these books as a child, I'd never seen Star Wars and had no idea where the name Chewbacca came from, but it's highly appropriate for that dog as he's described.
One of the Mancusis' birds says "Where's the beef?" I bet a number of readers didn't remember the commercial. I only remember it because there's an old family joke about my uncle stealing the beef.
Even Jessi seems annoyed by the girls groaning every time Dawn (or, of course, Stacey) asks for dues.
It seems really unprofessional of Jessi and the other babysitters to bring various charges to the Mancusis, when they never asked for permission to do so.
When has Myriah Perkins ever heard of the mumps? I've never even known someone with the mumps.
Jessi says that because she and Mallory are the youngest, they belong on the floor. I guess it's supposed to be a counterpoint to the fighting going on between the thirteen year olds, but it just sounds kinda silly. What would happen if they came in and sat on the bed one time?
Kristy is really insensitive in this one. Usually, she's bossy but not too over the top. But after all five other members all told her that a checklist that proves they're reading the club notebook was unnecessary, she made one anyway. And tacks it up on Claudia's bulletin board...over pictures of Stacey.
Of course, they have to have a special meeting outside normal hours to have the election.
Jessi describes Mallory as usually being cheerful, which doesn't quite sound right. Maybe because in the book right before this one, she spent the whole time whining...
If they're going to bother with "new" elections, why couldn't Jessi and Mallory run for the offices also? Apparently, being secretary or treasurer is too hard for an eleven year old or something.
AMM must have known someone with a deaf white cat. Not only was the second cat in mystery #3 (the one the Craines adopted after the first was returned to his owner) deaf, but there's a deaf white kitten in this one.
Jessi tries to name the pregnant hamster (for some reason, I keep trying to type hampster...) and the first thing that comes up is Suzanne. Yep. She decides to call her Misty, but the hamster's real name is Snicklefritz.
Even though I didn't plan it this way, it's perfect to read a book about elections right before the real elections. If I'd been a real dork, I'd have read #53 Kristy for President instead.
Oh, ha ha ha. Jessi says if she were in a cage giving birth to hamsters, she wouldn't want faces peering at her. Mallory tells her if she were giving birth to hamsters, she'd be a miracle of science.
Dawn says she used to have a parakeet that could talk and flew into a bowl of mashed potatoes. I wonder if that is ever mentioned in any other books, like Dawn's autobiography.Claudia spelling: she had boxes under her bed labeled: skeches, pantings and calage supplies.
Dawn was a lot funnier in the earlier books than she became later on...she, Claudia and Jessi were rummaging under Claud's bed when Mallory, Kristy and MA came in. Kristy says she wants to start every meeting by seeing them backing out from under beds, and Dawn replies, "My backside is my best side."
Dawn is eating potato chips in this book, because she throws one at Kristy.
I'm not surprised to learn that AMM had a cat named Tigger growing up. When I was a kid, I knew she modeled Mary Anne after herself, and I thought for a while that her name might have been Ann Marie Martin, and that's where the name Mary Anne came from. (Of course, the info on the back page tells us that her middle name is Matthews.)
My copy of the book is one of the redone ones with the photos in the back. In Jessi's case, she looks like a totally different person in every photo. And Aunt Cecelia looks like Urkel.
Claudia: shirt covered in leaves, green leggings, yellow push down socks, purple hightops, headband with purple bowJessi: white sweatshirt with ballet shoes on it, jeans
Next week: Now that I actually have a couple Stacey titles (yaaaaay!) we will be visiting New York next week with #18 Stacey's Mistake.