Thursday, February 28, 2013

"How'd a little thing like you end up surviving until the twentieth century?" BSC #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover (1991) --British Edition

Somehow, despite the fact that I read one Dawn book a week, I ended up a week off in delivering them. So, you luckies, you get two, two, two Dawns for the price of one this week! Are you excited? I know I am! (Plus, go back to January and read the review of SS #15, which I apparently never published until last week.)

This is another one of these BSC books in which the club takes on a ridiculously large project and, of course, it goes well. The students at SES have gotten pen pals from a Zuni reservation in New Mexico. A giant fire burns down the school and several of the children's houses. Dawn can't stop thinking about those poor kids, so she organizes a fundraiser and food and clothing drive. The kids really get into it and it's a great success. To reward the kids, they have a giant sleepover with all the kids who got involved. Dawn winds up exhausted but happy when the principal of the school in New Mexico writes a letter thanking them for their donation.
No subplot in this one. Just a lot of "cuteness" as various kids use different schemes to raise money.

Interesting tidbits
I'm so excited to try to catch all the Brit-isms thrown into this book. It does not disappoint. On the first page, Mallory refers to her siblings as "you lot" instead of "you guys" or something American.

Even in England, Dawn still has a case of the italics. I'm barely one page in and she's italicized two, might, long, every, and her. All of that but the first is in one paragraph, where she's describing herself. (This continues throughout the whole book.)
Britishness for Chapter 1 (actually, it's called 1st Chapter): Mum for Mom; they describe Claire as being in nursery instead of in kindergarten; junior school instead of elementary school (although they still refer to SES and SMS); "a brace" instead of braces.

British spellings: storey, programme, jewellery, favourites, favour, pyjamas, theatre, armour, practise, honour, cheque.
Jordan's pen pal asks if they have the new Star Wars film. It's 1991; there hadn't been a Star Wars film in 7 years or so. I want to say the American version mentions Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it's been 20 years since I read it. (BTW, they're called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the U.K.)

The triplets think Pig Latin is their secret language. Yet all the Pike kids know it. Great secret.
Chapter 2: Richard tells Dawn and MA they can "lay the table;" Kristy wears a "polo neck shirt, jeans and trainers;" British candy in Claudia's room, such as Hula Hoops.

Heh. This is during the MA-Logan break up, and Dawn mentions Logan in the past tense, then feels the need to point out that he's not dead.

Dawn's surprised Jessi doesn't get stage fright. She's been performing since she was itty bitty. If she got stage fright, she would have quit dancing ages ago.
One interesting difference it took me until chapter 3 to notice: In the U.S., they always say Baby-Sitters Club. In the UK, it's Babysitters Club, which is, you'll notice, how I always spell it. I've always thought that hyphen was pretty unnecessary.

Chapter 3: Kristy is club chairman, and Claudia is vice-chairman; every Monday, Stacey collects club subs instead of dues (I assume it's short for subscription); the group "quietened" down at one point; Mallory says "you lot" again; a petrol station caught fire.
Dawn and Mary Anne find Claudia talking with her mouth full hilarious. You'd think they'd be used to it by now.

Chapter 4: Richard picks up some Mexican takeaway; a senior teacher from SMS talks to Dawn about her idea.
Dawn gets MA's attention away from a book by giving her spoilers. Nice...
When Dawn tells Kristy her plan, Kristy says they'll need to have an emergency meeting as soon as the school decides to go with it. Since the school meeting would be on a weekday, the longest they'd have to wait for a regular meeting after hearing the news would be one day. (They end up starting their meeting half an hour early. That makes a lot more sense.)
Chapter 5: Nicky once had a paper round (instead of route).

I remember this from when I read the book as a child. They're making a flier about the fundraiser and drive, and Kristy does a Who What When Where Why. They're going through the Ws and Kristy says, "Where's where?" It leads to this:

"What?" Claudia said.
"Where," Kristy repeated.
"Where's what?" Mary Anne said.
I thought it was a lot longer than that, though.

Chapter 6: Dr. Johanssen had to do a casualty shift (I assume this means ER).
Stacey tells Charlotte she can only have some low sodium crackers; later, she's described as eating pretzels.

Chapter 7: Dawn calls her homeroom teacher her registration teacher; the head teacher (principal) at SES approves the assembly; Mallory and Jessi sit in the boot seats in the car on the way to SES (I assume these are the rear-facing seats in a station wagon); they park in the car park.
The school secretary drives the BSC over to the elementary school. Unless she's a registered bus driver and her car is a licensed school vehicle, this is illegal.

Dawn takes questions from the audience and conveniently knows all the kids who have questions. Then one of the triplets plays a trick on Mallory...ending the assembly.
The notebook entries are the same as the U.S. version, with a few slight changes--mostly the spelling.

Chapter 8: Margo and Claire make a fish pond in paddling pool; Marilyn and Carolyn arrange a "hoopla" involving plastic skittles (bowling pins).
Dawn asks the triplets why they call it a "free throw" when it costs a quarter, and they just roll their eyes. You can't tell me she never played basketball in school. I'd have rolled my eyes too.

Linny is helping at the Pikes'  carnival, even though he doesn't go to SES and therefore, doesn't have a penpal. It happens again later, when the Kilbournes and Delaneys, who also go to private school, are involved in the yard sale. I guess the kids could still go to the slumber party and everything, but I imagine the liability would be different for that.
Claire references Fraggle Rock.

Spelling error: The book mentions Gabbic Perkins.
How does the carnival make money? They charge money for the games, but I can't imagine a quarter per game even covers the price of the prizes, and I assume they have to pay the young man (Goober) doing the dinosaur show. Are they charging admission?

Claudia spelling: yestirday, Rudowskis, carnavel, remeber, assined, supervize, Jacky, Rudowsky, disastr, mest. She also uses sail for sale.
Chapter 9: the Rodowskys have a garden sale instead of a yard or garage sale.

None of the girls wants to work the Rodowsky yard sale, so they actually draw straws to decide who has to take the job. It ends up being a borderline disaster, as none of the kids were asking for permission for the wares they donated. Some of the parents decided to let their items go, while others paid some money to buy them back.

Dawn and MA realize the downside to having a contest for the donations. While some of the items donated are pretty junky, others are really nice...too nice almost. Dawn discovers that many of the items, like those at the yard sale, were donated without the parents' permission.
Haley puts on a gypsy costume and reads fortunes. Alan, Pete and their friend Justin come by, and Alan decides to have his fortune read. First Haley mentions a handsome young man and Pete makes a gay joke. Then, Haley, sensing a sucker, only gives Alan half his fortune and insists on another quarter to finish.

Dawn shames the pizza man into getting flour from the grocery store when his flour shipment doesn't arrive in time. Later, she says all the pizza went really quickly, except for the slices with anchovies. Who thought anchovy pizza was a good idea with kids?
Chapter 12: the BSC clears up the mess left by the pizzas. (there were no good Britisms in 10 and 11.)

Real book: One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey.
We don't get to hear how much money was raised, just that Dawn couldn't believe the amount.

Chapter 14: Various kids keep saying they have to go to the toilet, rather than the bathroom (which in Britain would have a bath or shower in it.) I was rather hoping they would want to use the loo or WC (water closet).
Dawn says the Barretts were the last parents to arrive. Was that Mrs. Barrett and Mr. Barrett together? I can't imagine.

By the way, why do they call her Mrs. Barrett, while Stacey's mom (also divorced) is Ms. McGill?
Very cheesy ending: Haley mentioned she had written a letter to her pen pal from her psychic alter-ego saying that a mysterious package would come from the East. The pen pal replies, saying that everything came true. She wanted to know how "Madame Levoux" knew all of this, how she got her (the pen pal's) address, and so on...then ends the letter, "Next time, Haley, disguise your handwriting better!"

Claudia: oversized yellow man's jacket, orange ski pants (instead of stirrup pants, which I *know* it was in the U.S. version), and a hideous, wide paisley tie, ankle boots, hoop earrings; more damn Pebbles hair, with a bone "hair slide," pink, off the shoulder shirt with polka dots, tights (no pants, apparently)

Next week: #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook...and Dawn

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