In case you couldn’t tell by the informative title, Mary Anne’s kitten has disappeared. The BSC has emergency meetings, put up flyers and search all over the neighborhood. They get a ransom demand from a little kid who has no idea where Tigger really is.
Meanwhile, Logan’s been distant and crabby. When Mary Anne discovers that his sister Kerry, lonely because she hasn’t made friends yet, was hiding Tigger in her closet, she accuses him of knowing about it. But it turns out he’s just a crappy ball player and that’s why he’s been such an ass recently. He and Mary Anne make up and Tigger is safe, so happy ending.
I’ve always wondered about why MA’s cat is named Tigger. Did AMM have a cat named that as a girl? And more importantly, did they have problems with Disney for using the name?
The cover. First, Logan’s never looked more like Zack Morris than in this shot. Also, check out his awesomely 80’s high tops. Speaking of awesome, Mary Anne’s outfit is the best. Grossly oversized sweatshirt, spandex pants with tubular 80’s design down the side tucked into her socks. Makes me almost glad this is sorta coming back into fashion. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am being as sarcastic as I know how with this statement.) This is also the first cover where Mary Anne has two pigtails, something that becomes her trademark for a while.
Also, the boy on the cover looks totally bored. He’s like, “Forget this. I’m gonna go play some Nintendo.”
Ha! Mary Anne describes Claudia’s room as a ‘rat hole.’ Accurate, but not as nice as MA usually is.
I love that Mary Anne knows she could take Logan inside her house, even though it’s against her father’s rules, because he’d never know, but she won’t. She can’t bring herself to break the rules. We all know someone like that…some of us (ahem) are that person.
Aww, MA also wonders what Logan possibly sees in her that makes him like her. Get that girl some self-esteem.
Real book: Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle. I guess she finished reading A Wrinkle in Time.
Bruno family description time: Logan and Hunter have the same curly, dark-blonde hair, but Hunter looks like Mr. Bruno, while Logan and Kerry look like Mrs. Bruno. Kerry’s hair is straight, thick and lighter blonde.
Kerry calls Hunter Huntie, which just makes me laugh.
Hunter’s list of allergies is pretty long, and his room is bare of toys and anything else that could collect dust. I remember my cousin’s bedroom used to look like that when we were kids. He outgrew all his allergies, and we were joking some time back that I grew into mine. (Mine are nearly as extensive as Hunter’s.)
Of course, when you have a missing kitten, there’s only one thing to do: call an emergency BSC meeting!
Ooh, a thirty dollar reward for the return of your cat. If someone stole him, that’s bound to make them return him! (Here goes the sarcasm again.)
Why is Jessi giving Squirt whole grapes? You’re supposed to cut them at least in half so they’re less likely to make him choke. Bad babysitter! (The title quote is what Jessi says to Becca after Squirt spits a grape right at her.)
Wait…what? We’re given the red herring that maybe Charlotte took Tigger because she loves him. (She was playing with him earlier in the story.) Becca says Charlotte wishes Tigger were hers, and Jessi says that Charlotte doesn’t have any pets. But in the very first sitting job with Charlotte, Stacey freaks out because the lights go out and she keeps hearing noises, but it’s just Carrot, the schnauzer. And I know Carrot is around later, so he’s not like the Pike family cat who is never seen or heard from again.
Aww, Squirt needs to stop being cute. First he fake sneezes, and then he poses like a muscle man.
More real books: Baby Island, which Jessi reads with Becca, and Sounder, which Jessi reads by herself.
Mallory is running down the street throwing Tigger’s missing flyer into mailboxes and MA asks if she’s in training for the “poster Olympics.”
Mary Anne is supervising Jamie, Myriah and Gabbie as they search for Tigger. She’s concerned that one of them will find him…dead. But she’s worried because she doesn’t want him to be dead, not because of the trauma to a 2, 4 or 5 year old at being the one to find a dead cat.
Ha! I’d forgotten about the ransom attempt! Some kid who MA talked to when putting up the Tigger flyers sends a ransom demand for $100. She takes it seriously despite the fact that the handwriting looks like a kid’s. She briefly considers telling her dad, but then changes her mind because she thinks he won’t let her pay the ransom. Honey, even the FBI suggests you don’t pay ransoms without proof of life.
A disturbing but surprisingly accurate sentence: “Kristy loves emergencies.”
Heh: Logan: “Mary Anne, you’re acting like such a girl.” Mary Anne: “I am a girl.”
Logan’s the first one to suggest a kid wrote the ransom note; he’s also the one to come up with the ‘plan’ of stuffing an envelope with Monopoly money and putting it out for the alleged catnapper so they can catch him (or, as Dawn points out, her) in the act. (Of course, this actually works, but the kid doesn’t actually have Tigger or know where he is.)
They actually reschedule Shannon to cover a sitting job so they can all be there to bust the ransom artist.
This book is just full of stupidly quotable moments. From Dawn’s notebook entry in which she muses about the gossip chain in small-town life: “The California town I lived in is bigger than Stoneybrook, so it’s not like the entire neighborhood knows each time you take a bath.”
Sharon-ism: She’s apt to put socks in the bread drawer.
I don’t know why this is so funny to me. While Dawn is babysitting Buddy and Suzi, they lock Pow away in a box so he can’t get ‘basset-napped.’ Buddy starts describing a pet-napping ring…which actually happens in one of my favorite mysteries, #7 (Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs, or it is known among my circle, The Mallory Book.) Dawn keeps insisting that the Barretts don’t need to worry about dog-nappers (or basset-nappers, or Pow-nappers.)
Dawn reads Millions of Cats to Suzi. Very apropos.
Mmmm, fish eyes and glue…aka, tapioca pudding. Anyone hungry?
Logan threatens to make a citizen’s arrest on the boy who sent the ransom note, telling him he committed a felony.
Claudia spelling time: She’s babbysitting again (this time, for Maria and Gabie/Gabby Perkin and Jami). Other spelling: dective (detective), invinted (invited), thoght. She uses their for they’re and there for their, threw for through. The funniest part is that when the kids are playing detective games, Gabbie keeps calling detectives defectives. Claud makes sure to spell that very carefully so that the others can understand—and she gets it right all three times she uses it!
It’s a good thing this was before Abby’s time: for years, Claudia thought Elvis was Elbow Presley.
Myriah and Gabbie Perkins: Pet Detectives. Coming soon to (no) theater near you!
What has Myriah been watching that she thinks a lot of ‘private eyes’ live in Hawaii? Even in 1989, I don’t think five year olds were interested in reruns of Magnum.
MA is sitting for Hunter because he’s too allergy-riffic to go to the dentist. (Mrs. Bruno says he’d probably sneeze and bite the dentist.) His sneezing is worse, and he reveals that he knows that Kerry is hiding Tigger in her closet.
“Kerry is a champion sneak. She could hide a whale in the house and we’d never notice him.” “Not until you smelled him.”
Claudia suggests MA is overprotecting Tigger like her dad used to treat her. MA jokingly replies that Tigger may not date until he’s 16 and isn’t allowed to get his ears pierced.
Final thought for the book: I just love when the books I get at the thrift stores are the original ones from when the stories were first published. Even though the cover on this one looks like crap and the book is almost moldy, there’s some appeal by having the original sweepstakes and stuff in it. Apparently, there was a ‘Who’s your favorite babysitter contest,’ which Stacey overwhelmingly won. Claudia came in second, followed by Dawn, Mary Anne and Kristy (who only had 1/4th of the votes Stacey did!)
Claudia: blouse with a coat of arms, short black skirt, scarf as a belt, short black boots, dinosaur earrings (which go soooo well with the rest of that outfit) and a seashell hair clip (ditto)
Kerry and Hunter Bruno (9 and 5)—34 and 30
Next week: We mourn the loss of Mimi in Claudia and the Sad Goodbye.