So the plot of this one is pretty simple but silly. Stacey has just left, and Mallory and Jessi have just joined the club. (For some reason, I almost wrote clove there. Sometimes, my brain makes NO sense.) Dawn's all jealous and insecure for a variety of reasons, so when Mrs. Pike asks her to help coach Margo and Claire for the titular pageant, she jumps at the chance to show everyone she's a good sitter. Claudia, Mary Anne and Kristy also find girls to coach and make the whole thing into a contest. Problem is, most of the girls they're coaching really have no shot at winning--they're not particularly polished or talented.Meanwhile, Jeff's been acting like a little butthead for several books now, and he begs Sharon to be allowed to move back to California with his dad. Eventually she agrees, and Dawn sulks and acts like a butthead herself for a while before he leaves.
Interesting TidbitsIs that supposed to be the girls from the book on the cover? They seem awfully tall for five, six and seven year olds.
I love how, in most of the books, they're all like, "Claudia's the vice president but mostly just because she has her own phone, not because she has any talents or anything."Heh. This is pre-Bart, and Dawn says Kristy thinks boys were put on the planet to annoy her.
Dr. Johanssen calls and specifically asks for Claudia to sit for Charlotte, which leads to Kristy, Dawn and MA getting all jealous and listing all the "awesome" sitting things they have done in the past.Kristy makes up an oath Jessi and Mallory take to be inducted into the club. Claudia and Dawn roll their eyes but Mary Anne bursts into tears because it's so beautiful. Yeah...
Jeff's teacher called because Jeff gave another kid a black eye for the second time. If Jeff were in school these days, he'd probably spend more time suspended than in class.Claudia likes to read the crime watch in the newspaper. She tells Dawn that last Halloween, 42 pumpkins were smashed. I don't even think a pumpkin smashing would show up in my local paper.
Here's what cracks me up about the whole pageant thing. Usually, it's Dawn going around talking about how stuff is sexist; instead, it's Claudia making that point about the pageant.At one point, Jessi is spelled as Jessie.
Mrs. Pike says she doesn't see any good reason why Claire and Margo can't enter the contest. Well, what about the cost? My sister wanted to enter a teen pageant and the cost just to enter was $500. That didn't include any of the attire, shoes or other accessories she would have had to buy.Dawn describes Karen as "funny, daring, imaginative [and] outspoken." How about "hammy, irritating, annoying and loud-mouthed"?
Kristy tells Karen about the pageant because she knows it's right up her alley, and then Kristy will have someone to prepare like Dawn does.Claire, Margo and Karen's "talents" are truly awful. They all stubbornly insist on particular ideas. Margo peels bananas with her feet. (Dawn has her saying a recitation while doing it during the pageant.) Both Claire and Karen sing, but their choice of songs are silly. Claire does the Popeye song while Karen sings thirty billion verses of the Wheels on the Bus and bores the judges.
At this stage in the series, the rule is "two sitters for more than five kids" and it applies only to the Pike household.Anytime AMM describes the Perkins girls, I roll my eyes. Ever since I learned they really exist and are the daughters of her friend, I get annoyed by how perfect she makes them in the book. It's hardly surprising when MA talks Myriah into joining the pageant, because she actually has real talent. But what is she doing suggesting a pageant to a little girl who definitely would want to get involved, without asking the parents first?
Mrs. Perkins agrees to let Myriah be in the pageant, but she gives her and MA the speech that all of the girls needed to hear: that there are more losers than winners, and she'll probably lose, but her parents will be proud of her either way. Of course, Myriah actually comes in second, and all the girls agree she should have won.Claudia spelling! dosnt, babysiting, becuase, shold, begining, Johanssin, gues, hapened, whith, abot, pagent, realy, whants, Piks, Maria (instead of Myriah). She also uses taked for talked, your for you're, and well for we'll. The kickers? She spells Charlotte as both Charlitte and Charlite and then spells Stacey wrong!
Dawn says Claudia's not a slob, because Kristy's a slob. It's one aspect of Kristy's personality they drop after the early books, probably mostly because Claudia really is kind a slob.Claudia really bullies Charlotte into agreeing to enter the pageant. Of all the parents, hers are the ones I'm most surprised agreed to let her be involved at all. They know she's shy and they could probably guess how the whole thing was going to end. (I knew when I read it when I was ten.)
If Claire can't tell time, why does she wear a watch?During their dress rehearsal, Dawn asks Margo what her greatest hope is, and she says "global peace." Next, she asks Claire what three things she would rescue if her house caught on fire, and she answers, "My family, global peace, and the fire extinguisher." Later, when asked how she would make the world a better place, Claire says she'd make everyone be friends and give them all free McDonald's French fries.
Jeff likes playing with the "plasticizing machine." I honestly don't remember those at all. I'm completely blanking on what they look like.Margo picks out Sabrina Bouvier just by her name. I'm convinced that AMM must have known a Sabrina Bouvier in real life, because there's two of them in the series and neither one is a very pleasant character. (This Sabrina is a JonBenet Ramsey clone; the other's a bitch at the middle school.) This one made me want to turn on some Toddlers and Tiaras...
The head judge is named Mrs. Peabody and she used to own a charm school. There's almost no other career someone named Mrs. Peabody could have.Poor Charlotte memorizes as recitation for her talent, but forgets the words and runs offstage crying. Claudia has to find her parents.
During the pageant, Claire gets asked what she hopes for most, and she says that she hopes Santa is real. Karen gets the fire question and tries to rescue five things, including all her toys. Margo gets a question where she can use her "global peace" answer--at least she could if Sabrina hadn't use it as her answer right before Margo. (BTW, Margo gets asked what she hopes will happen by 2010. It's very weird reading that now. It's like the episode of the Simpsons where we see Lisa's wedding, also in 2010.)Cheese-tastic ending: Claire calls Dawn (how does she know her number anyway?) and wants her to help her enter a Beautiful Child contest. (One of the prizes is a supply of Turtle Wax. Why does any child need that?)
Next month: Happy Birthday, Shannon!