Monday, February 11, 2013

“This is the kitchen and this is the refrigerator.” BSC #23 Dawn on the Coast (1989)

I think I've read this twice before. It wasn't one I owned as a child, and it also wasn't one I read a couple years ago when I rediscovered the series. So, it's like reading it for the first time. Until I reread #31 a couple months ago, I thought this is where we met Carol for the first time. I guess Dawn meets her for the first time during SS #5 (which I also didn't own as a kid.)

Dawn heads back to California for spring break. While hanging out with Sunny, the We <3 Kids Club, Jeff, Disneyland Daddy and so on, she gets the idea that it might be good to move back to California permanently. Eventually she decides she could never leave her mother--we all know how long that lasts.
There's not really a subplot--just a few chapters where we get to hear about Stoneybrook sitting jobs.

Interesting tidbits
The cover is kinda hilarious. First, the tagline says, "Dawn's a California girl!" As if fans of the series didn't know that anyway. Dawn looks like she's sixteen, and Jeff like he's thirteen. I used to have a swimsuit that looked almost exactly like Dawn's, circa 1990, so the fashion's pretty accurate.

Dawn is picking through her clothes, deciding what to bring. Clothing she considers: white cotton skirt, bikini, jeans, sneakers, yellow cotton overalls.
At this point, they're still saying Jeff went back to California "for six months" instead of permanently.

Dawn says that things between Richard and Sharon have "cooled" since they started dating again.
Dawn's got a case of the italics again. Apparently, being an eighth grade makes you a very experienced babysitter, emphasis hers.

Dawn says she needs to bring suntan lotion to California with her, because, I guess, her dad won't have any.
Why in hell are they having a goodbye party for Dawn? She's only going to be gone for two weeks! (Of course, they do the same thing in the California Diaries when Dawn goes to Stoneybrook for the summer...) Speaking of, why do the kids of Stoneybrook get a two week spring break? I know that East Coast kiddoes tend to get a week off in February (which we never got in the Midwest) but it's kinda silly.

Oh gawd. Shannon the puppy gets loose, and Jessi makes a grand jete, surprises her and catches her collar. They couldn't just make her graceful and quick and have her sneak up on the dog, could they?
They decide to order pizza (surprise, right?) Dawn wants broccoli pizza, because she can't be normal or anything; the only other thing everyone agrees on is no anchovies, though in at least one other book (#95), Kristy likes anchovies.

The BSC watches Fright Night at Spook Lake (which sounds as if it would be dreadful) and they let Karen watch with them. Set aside, for a moment, the idea of letting a six year old watch a horror movie; imagine letting Karen, with her ghosts and witches and ridiculous imagination, watch garbage like that.
Reading about Dawn at the airport was a flashback: Remember when getting to the airport an hour before your flight was being "early?" Remember when people not going on the flight could go to the gate? Remember when you called flight attendants stewardesses? Dawn says the "stewardess" looks like a Kewpie doll because she has caked on makeup, attempts to redefine the shape of her lips with lipstick, and has drawn in eyelashes. (I wonder if she also shaves her eyebrows and then draws them back in with eyeliner...way above where they're supposed to be.)

The ditzy flight attendant gives Dawn's vegetarian meal away. She bitches that she can only eat the salad and cornbread. Honestly, that's about all you get with vegetarian meals on flights these days anyway. Besides, there was cole slaw that she should have been able to eat if she wasn't so picky.
Dawn's family still lives in Anaheim at this point.

There's a waaaaay too detailed description of Disneyland. It literally goes on for pages, with very little plot in between. And they're only there for about eight hours!
Dawn says Sunny lives down the block. By California Diaries, they're next door neighbors.

Clover Austin, one of Dawn's babysitting charges, has an even crazier imagination than Karen does. It's a good thing they never got together in a room...
A little pedantry...At the party before Dawn leaves Stoneybrook, Karen and Andrew are spending the weekend at "the big house." They go to their dad's every other weekend. Dawn is gone for two weeks. Why are Karen and Andrew back at Watson's during that time?

Dawn calls Kristy the babysitting police because she follows her mom and Jessi around, pre-sitting job; she asks Jessi why she didn't ask where the first aid kit is.
Foreshadowing: When the Brewer/Thomas kids are acting like monsters (Sam booby-trapped the third floor to scare Karen, who's all keyed up, etc.), Elizabeth asks how another child would fit into all of it. Of course, she and Watson adopt another child in the very next book.

Mistake! Sam is referred to as Sam Brewer. Maybe Watson adopted him when no one was looking?
The next few chapters consist of Dawn being pensive and boring...even the one about Mallory and Kristy babysitting the Pikes.

Dawn wonders whether her hot seatmate from the flight to California will be on her same flight back. Instead, she finds the same Kewpie flight attendant she hated on her previous flight. She actually changes seats to avoid her.
Real movie: On the flight back, Dawn watches Adventures in Babysitting.

Oh Lordy. Not only does the whole BSC come to the airport to pick Dawn up, they make a banner for her. She's only been gone for two weeks, people!
Yet again, the entire BSC crams into a small car without seatbelts.

My copy of the book is a "first edition"--it was actually printed in 1989. I had forgotten that, in the early books, there's actually a paragraph long description of each book at the end of the books. By this point, there's actually eight pages just listing the other BSC books.

Kristy: jeans, sneakers, turtleneck
New characters

Sunny Winslow, Maggie Blume, and Jill Henderson, 13 (38)
Daffodil and Clover Austin, 9 and 6 (33 and 30)

Next week: Probably Mystery # 26 Dawn Shafer, Undercover Babysitter

No comments:

Post a Comment