This is one of the books where my main memory’s one of Claudia’s outfits….she dresses with a watermelon theme. I actually thought that seemed cool is a kid. Embarrassing, I know.
Other than that, I mainly remember how much the float they put together sucked. And Charlie was all embarrassed to be driving it and wears a disguise, but gets recognized and made fun of by his friends.
Mrs. Prezzioso needs a regular sitter for Jenny and Andrea for a couple weeks. But because Andrea is so young, she asks if that sitter can take an infant-care class at the town’s community center. Kristy gets the job, but all the club members decide to take the class.
Meanwhile, we find out that the bi-annual baby parade’s coming to Stoneybrook. It’s for kids under the age of three and entries can be strollers, floats, go carts, etc. Mrs. Prezzioso tells Kristy she’s going to enter Andrea (not surprising), and she wants Kristy’s help. Kristy agrees, even though she had also been thinking of entering Emily. Since Andrea’s being entered in the stroller division, the BSC decides to do a float, and enter Emily, Squirt, and some other kids they sit for – Lucy Newton, Laura Perkins, Eleanor Marshall, and the twin babies of a couple from their infant class. The theme’s “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.”
The girls aren’t as organized as they usually are, and the float ends up being a disaster. The “shoe” looks awful, the costumes look like clown outfits and clash with the float, the BSCers forgot about their own costumes, no one checked Claudia’s spelling, etc. They all blame each other and get into a fight, and are miserable the whole parade. The babies are also miserable and cry most of the time. And of course, they don’t win any prizes. But afterwards, everyone makes up.
Meanwhile, Kristy’s worried that Mrs. Prezzioso’s ideas for Andrea are too over-the-top…she’s using a “Queen Andrea” theme. Kristy thinks she may get fired if Andrea loses, but, it turns out everyone in a baby parade’s over the top, and Andrea wins first prize in her division.
- At the beginning, before getting into the back story chapter, Kristy say’s the explanation of the BSC’s a long story. But it really isn’t. Kristy saw her mom struggling to find a sitter, had the idea to make a club, and got together with some friends. We don’t need to hear about Janine’s IQ in every book to follow the plot.
- Apparently the BSC has club T-shirts. They all wear them to the infant-care class.
- So they pick “The Old Woman Who Lives in the Shoe” because it has to do with kids, but if you read the lyrics, it isn’t exactly the most pleasant nursery rhyme....I mean whipping babies?
- At the class, Jessi asks what colicky is, which is just another continuity issue, since it was established that Squirt had colic. They’ve made this mistake before. Or maybe they will in the future…I think this book takes place before the memory super special.
- At one of the infant care classes, someone’s baby starts crying. The teachers try to get everyone to suggest what the mother should do. After several non-helpful guesses, Kristy says that the baby may need a new diaper. Because no one else thought of that? I don’t have much experience with babies, but I’m pretty sure that’s one of the first things to check.
- Claudia outfit: “An oversized red blouse with black buttons, green leggings with white, tie-dyed streaks, and black high-top sneakers with all kinds of buckles and snaps on them…[Her earrings] were dangling watermelon slices.”
- Jamie Newton asks Claudia to help him make a pumpkin Halloween custom for him (even though it isn’t even close to Halloween). Brave kid.
- They have a little graduation ceremony from their class, and Shannon and Logan attend. Kristy makes this weird little comment about how it’s nice to see Mary Anne and Logan together again. I guess this was a hint for the next book?
- Of course, Kristy’s one of two people who gets a perfect score on the test in the infant-care class.
- Before coming up with the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” idea, the girls each had another suggestion. All of them were ridiculous. Not because they’re bad, but because they all highlight each girl’s one personality trait. Kristy wanted to do a sports theme, Stacey wanted to do a NYC theme, Dawn wanted to do a surfing theme, and Mallory wanted to do a horse theme. Claudia wanted to do a “babies in space” thing, which is weird, but it least it wasn’t an art or junk food theme. Mary Anne wanted to do a “Three Little Kittens” theme, which inspires them to do another nursery rhyme.
- The ghostwriters seem to have forgotten about Jessi, because she didn’t voice an idea, even though Kristy says they all had their own suggestion.
- All the ideas are supposed to suck, but I actually think some of them would have worked better than the shoe thing.
- I’m kind of surprised all these parents are perfectly okay with letting their kid be in a parade with such an awful float. I mean, Emily and Squirt I can understand, because they’re family. But Mrs. Newton just hands over Lucy without checking to see what this float looks like?
- Kristy’s supposed to be responsible for the twins during the float. But she’s also watching Emily. So, with seven babies and seven sitters on the float, Kristy’s watching three of them?
- Dawn’s a bit of a bitch. After she sees the costumes Mallory made, she picks out a party dress for Eleanor Marshall to wear. Then she purposely lets the kid look different from everyone else on the float.
- Jessi writes a notebook entry about how she loves babies so much, that she even loves changing diapers – because it makes them happy. I don’t buy an eleven-year-old thinking it.
- The BSC says later that the reason the float was so bad, is because they weren’t communicating. Which is true. But it was really unnecessary. In one chapter, Claudia, Stacey and Mallory are working on the float. The other club members stop by with their sitting charges and see that the orange paint Stacey’s mixing won’t be enough for the float Claudia’s making, and that it will clash with the costumes Mallory’s making. They all NOTICE these things and comment on them to each other, but don’t bother saying anything to the people doing the work.
- The image of a big shoe as a float keeps making me think of the foot statue in Lost.
- Charlie swears he’ll never drive a float the BSC makes again, but I am pretty sure he sort of does this with a boat show in the Shadow Lake book.
- When Charlie sees the float, he insists on wearing a hat and sunglasses as a “disguise.” But his friends recognize his car and make fun of him anyway. I’d like to know what his friends are doing watching the parade. It doesn’t seem like a popular choice for high school kids.
- Shannon and Logan are spending the parade watching Becca, Jamie Newton, Jenny - a whole group of older kids who’s siblings are in the parade. Because there’s no way the parents of these children would be attending the parade. Why would anyone want to see their own baby in a parade?
- Isn’t building a float kind of hard for 13-year-olds? I think making a float would require building something that will be safe for a certain number of people to sit on. And Claudia does that herself? I can see her decorating one, but there’s no way I’d let my kid ride around on one she built.
- Originally, the girls ask Gabbie Perkins to be in the parade as well, but she doesn’t want to. I guess because she’s smart enough to know that a baby parade’s a ridiculous thing to have.
- After the parade, Kristy tells Charlie to take the float to the dump. Now, I know she doesn’t care about it, but it seems a bit wrong to get rid of it without consulting the other BSC members. They may have all been miserable at the parade, but they still helped make it.