Monday, February 14, 2011

“Why is Emily dressed like a clown?”……BSC # 45: Kristy and the Baby Parade

Memory Reaction

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.

Revisited Reaction

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.


Kait W. said...

I thought it was ridiculous that Kristy had Emily Michelle sitting on her lap, but she let the twins she was supposed to be watching sit "nearby" in their carriers. Isn't EM old enough to sit on her own?

Also, most of the personality-trait suggestions for the float were better than the one they actually did - and probably easier. The 3 Little Kittens one would probably be bad - could you imagine all those babies on a float, plus live cats?

SJSiff said...

Super Special 11 comes after this. It would have been easy to have given the "baby with colic" memory to another sitter, or to have had a different problem for Squirt. Oh well.

coulrophobic agnostic said...

Jessi would have just suggested a ballet theme anyway.

Stacey's was impractical and Mallory's was moronic, but the others all sounded pretty good. Even though Mary Anne was a total idiot for wanting Tigger on the float. Seriously, a live cat? How could that end well?! But babies dressed as kittens would be cute. Except having more than three babies and a mother cat kind of fucks with the rhyme.

Laura said...

I think Sam was the one who drove their boat float in Shadow Lake.

Anonymous said...

Sadly enough, when I was in kindergarten I had a watermelon outfit my mom made me. Watermelon romper, watermelon shoes, huge watermelon bow, and a watermelon jacket to go over all of it......

dolly said...

idiot Kristy drove the freaking boat

Nikki said...

I can't believe a small town baby parade is popular enough to make it a bi-annual event. It has to be a joke, like Springfield's Bi-Mon Sci-Fi Con.

Anonymous said...

Honestly dolly, what IS your caper?? Why do you continue to visit this site when you obviously get no joy out of it whatsoever? Weird.

Anyway, great recap as usual.

Dolly sucks in an awesome way said...

Not only that, but thanks to Dolly's fantastic punctuation skills, it appears that she's calling Kristy the idiot.

Now who's the idiot?

For some reason though, Dolly's comments make me LOL. Because don't you know a BSC recap blog is Very Serious Business? And how freaking DARE Kristen not remember who drove a boat in one scene of one book out of a series of hundreds?????

Anonymous said...

@ Dolly sucks in an awesome way: I guess you're right actually! Ha ha ha, I never thought of it that way.

It's even possible dolly's comments contain some kind of hidden meaning or clue to solving a BSC-type mystery!

From now on I resolve to look beyond the rudeness and try figure out the clues that are right in front of me!

Laura said...

I totally though I was the one Dolly was calling an idiot.

I just remembered one picture of Sam driving a boat but that may have been when he transported the BSC to the island for their campout.

Michelle said... this day I would dress with a watermelon theme and think it the absolute bees' knees. 8-3

dolly said...


bazu said...

hee hee, oh dolly!

BBH said...

I just found your site and I'm really enjoying it!
Maybe dolly's a disgruntled ghostwriter.

oof ya! said...

hi i just discovered your blog and I AM SO THRILLED !! i used to be a huge BSC fan (and i think i still am) and it is so great to come across this site and re-vist all those books :) you know, i am a little disheartened to realise that there were ghost writers for BSC because, honestly, i was naive enough to believe Ann M Martin wrote all of the books herself... but tell me, how did you find out about the ghost writers thing?

Michi said...

Ya know, I eventually had to start suspecting that, because for the longest time I was absolutely amazed that anyone could churn out THAT MANY books...xD

i want to have dolly's babies said...

I look forward to Dolly's comments.

Unknown said...

Dolly you brought it upon yourself so get used to the consequences.

apart from that, this book is really stupid. Not only were the members rude to mallory, but i feel kinda sorry for her in this book.

dawn is always a bitch. Isn't it obvious?

jessi totally would've suggested a ballet theme or if not an african american culture theme, since those were the ones she is most passionate about.

i wouldn't want my kids to ride on that float either. Especially since Claudia is known for flunking in school, especially math.

and lol at the three little kittens theme. and i remember having a watermelon suit when i was little . good times.

thanks for the post! looking forward to more blog posts!

Amanda said...

This goodness...seriously BSC world continues to puzzle me (though I continue to read the books for the simple simplicity of it all. The float was terrible and I imagine very unsafe. I figured Charlie's car sucks so much that it is an obvious looking and easily recognized car.
I was happy they didn't win a's nice for these girls to develop a little humanity once in awhile. Now if only there was a book in which Jessi didn't get the lead. And agreed Dawn sucks..and I feel bad for Mallory though I usually do...she is treated like crap in every book.

Amanda said...

and of all the ideas I think Kristy's was pretty good...all the rest were terrible...and Stacey's was the worse..I think I hate her too...which is sad because she is fictional..

ShrinkyDinkPony said...

Humility, I would say. ;)
I dunno, I generally liked Dawn, but not all the time.

Mallory is and always was and always will be, very easily, my favorite; though I didn't ever really see her as being a particular 'underdog'...I just felt a sense of righteous indignation if she was treated unfairly or failed to get what she deserved. xD Mainly because I identified so much with her. I basically felt that way for everybody at certain points, since I do like all of them despite having pretty clear favorites (and a somewhat flexible rank of those.)

Isabel Escalante said...

I loved this recap and the comments. I agree that the Three Kittens float would be super dangerous if they put live cats on it with the babies.

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