Tuesday, May 12, 2009

“Will Karen’s wish come true?”…..Baby-Sitters Little Sister Super Special # 1: Karen’s Wish

Memory Reaction

I never actually read this book as a kid. In fact, I only read a few of the Little Sister books. I read the BSC books after I was too old to, but the Little Sister books were at an even lower reading level, and I just didn’t bother with them. But, I got this in a package of BSC stuff on e-bay, so I figured I’d blog about it.

Revisited Reaction

The basic plot is that is December and Karen is looking forward to Christmas and all the new toys she thinks she is going to get. Seriously, she is a little spoiled brat about it. Then, Nannie falls and injures her hip, and might be in the hospital for the holidays. Karen decides the only thing she will ask for will be for Nannie to get better. Which, shockingly, she does, and she comes home on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Karen has been talking to her friend Nancy about Hanukah and the girls “trade holidays,” where Karen goes to Nancy’s house and celebrates Hanukah with her one night and Nancy does the same thing on X-mas. And they get each other the same Bobbsey Twin book as a gift because they are just that close. It was really predictable.

Like I said, I never read this book, but I must have read the surrounding ones. Karen talks about how “last month” at Thanksgiving she had two turkey dinners (which I do remember happening). I also remember some book where Karen is a little bitch telling people they aren’t keeping their New Years resolution, and tells Nannie she isn’t working hard enough in physical therapy. I am guessing that was right after this book. Although, I don’t remember any mention of Nannie getting hurt in the regular BSC books. That was really the only thing I liked about the Little Sister books, that their was sometime crossover stuff.


  • I think I may have lost IQ points reading this one. It is supposedly at a grade three reading level, but the sentences are all so simple, it was painful to read. It is like, “My name is Karen and I am seven. I have blonde hair. I like Christmas.” It continues like that for the whole book.
  • Supposedly, Karen, Hannie, and Nancy are the “three musketeers,” but Karen and Nancy totally leave Hannie out of everything they do in this book. Karen invites Nancy to go do all this Christmas stuff, and Nancy invites Karen to do all this Hanukah stuff, and Hannie is barely mentioned. Also, Karen spends hours thinking of a good gift for Nancy and finding it in the store. For Hannie she gets ponytail holders, which Hannie told her to buy. No thought whatsoever.
  • Karen keeps feeling sorry for Nancy because she doesn’t celebrate Christmas and won’t get gifts. Then, when Nancy tells her she gets Hanukah gifts, Karen still doesn’t believe she’ll get as many presents as her. It is either a spoiled attitude or a closed-minded attitude. I know she is only seven, but really.
  • Karen and Andrew sing “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel, and Commissioner broke his leg.” Is that how it is supposed to go? Cause when I was little, we always sang it “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away.”
  • After she starts talking to Nancy about Hanukah, Karen gets all enlightened and starts wondering why the mall only has Christmas decorations and not Hanukah ones. I am thinking this book is supposed to be a lesson on kids about diversity.
  • When Nannie starts to get better, Karen decides to write a Christmas list after all, but as soon as she does, she finds out Nannie got some infection. That probably isn’t supposed to be funny, but it is.
  • Karen and Andrew don’t mail letters to Santa, they throw them in the fireplace, where they “magically fly up the chimney to the North Pole.” I would have made fun of that, but last December I saw one of these ABC Family Christmas movies where the characters did the same thing. It was the first time I had ever heard of it, but I guess it is more common that I thought.
  • Karen wants a doll called “Baby-Grow-a-Tooth.” I TOTALLY had a doll like that when I was about six. But it wasn’t just a tooth, it was a growing doll, and if you turned a crank on her back, the doll got taller and her teeth came in. Then you could change her clothes.
  • I can’t believe Karen’s parents allowed her to call her mother’s home “the little house.” It is really quite mean.
  • In the token introduction chapter, Karen talks all about how sometimes being a “two-two” can be bad. Because even though she has two of everything, that can sometimes make life hard. I guess this is Martin’s commentary on how divorce effects kids, but she could probably be more subtle about it.
  • Karen and Nancy both talk about books by saying the author after. Like, “I want to read Matilda by Ronald Dahl.” I barely do that now, let alone when I was a kid.
  • So, this makes no sense. Karen and Andrew go over to “the big house” on X-mas Eve to spend the night. On Christmas morning, they go back to their moms’ place. So, why does their “big-house” family give them the gifts on X-mas Eve and not in the morning before going to their mom’s? It is only Karen and Andrew who open gifts then, so it is not like their tradition is to open them early. I can see Karen and Andrew opening the gifts on Christmas Eve if that was the only day they were going to see their Dad, but it is not. Maybe they were being nice and letting the kids open gifts early, but then wouldn’t Emily and David Michael have been allowed to do the same? It is just dumb because on Christmas morning, Karen and Andrew sit around while everyone else opens the gifts. They only open their stockings, which are from “Santa.” (Which are the only things Santa gives them, although at the “little house” he gives them bigger gifts. Which, you think would confuse a four-year-old). THEN, when they go back to the “little house” they wait until after dinner to open gifts.
  • Of course, Karen gets everything she wanted. Even though she never made a list. But she still decides to write a list for next year.
  1. My two families to be healthy.
  2. Everyone in my two families to be home for Christmas
  3. To celebrate Hanukah with Nancy
  4. Nancy to celebrate Christmas with us
  5. No more plane crashes
  6. No more bombs or wars
  7. Houses for everyone in the world to live in
  8. No guns
  9. Ricky Torres to ask me to marry him.
  10. Three Madama Alexandra dolls.

Don't you love how cliche it is? All the "I want world peace" stuff along with the fancy dolls?

Lastly, check out this picture. Whoever did this illustration should be fired:


Anonymous said...

Funny, they don't mention anything in the story about Karen's broken and horribly disfigured left leg? Odd.

"Nannnnieeeee help meeeeeee! It hurrrts!"

"No, Karen. Because you are a brat. And your sweater is ugly too."

Sadako said...

Heh. I always wondered why no one smacked Karen for calling it the little house.

Amy Lynn said...

That drawing... There are no words.

Jannie Girl Talk said...

Sadako, I thought the same thing! " Little house"? What effin NERVE!!!

Bryony said...

"...we always sang it “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel, and the Joker got away.”

I know it as the same until the last line which goes "and Joker took ballet."

Kids are odd. :)

Nina said...

Ugh!!! Karen! Even at eleven years old I knew she was a spoiled little brat!

And that drawing...wow. Just - wow.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, okay I'm sure people won't agree with me on this, but even back then I never found Nannie cute or endearing. To me she was just an annoying old biddy!!!

I think it was because Ann M tried so hard to make her sound "adorable" with her Pink Clinker and her bowling or whatever it was. Instead, she just gave me the sh*ts. Mimi rocked though!

nikki said...

All the Karen books are written in that stupid simple style, short sentences and NO FUCKING CONTRACTIONS! I have no idea where AMM got the idea that all seven years olds say "Can Not," instead of "Can't." Grrr..

Devika said...

I think I picked up a LIttle Sister book once, and it made my head spin. Granted, I was reading BSC and Roald Dahl when I was 6 and 7, but I really don't think I was that advanced of a reader. I think people just dumb down things for kids, because they don't actually want to make an effort. I'm glad you notice that, too.

MsJess said...

"Karen keeps feeling sorry for Nancy because she doesn’t celebrate Christmas and won’t get gifts. Then, when Nancy tells her she gets Hanukah gifts, Karen still doesn’t believe she’ll get as many presents as her. It is either a spoiled attitude or a closed-minded attitude. I know she is only seven, but really."

I experienced this as a kid. Kids are super competitive about christmas presents so I was always on receiving end of kids bragging how they got 13 presents or somethign to my 8. Or some kid who thought I was a charity case becuase I didn't get a christmas stocking.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Does anyone read Janet Evanovich's books? I think of Nannie as the "kids version" of the grandmother in that series.

Anne said...

Kristen, I'm listening to Four to Score right now (ahhh... audio books, perfect for my iPod... and I own the actual books too :P).

I don't think Nannie has much on Grandma Mazur, but give her a couple more years in the "Big House".

Sounds like she's in jail, which, maybe she is in a way.

That picture is priceless. Karen looks like an 80 year old drag queen.

I always knew your version of Jingle Bells too.

Anonymous said...

karen is a bitch

Anonymous said...

no that is how karen looks

Anonymous said...

no that is how karen looks

Unknown said...

don't be surprisede. karen was always ugly to me.

I actually like nannie i guess cause she reminds me so much of my own grandmother. my grandmother acts exactly just like nannie.

dude mimi was always my favorite in the series. i miss mimi.

yeah karen should be punished often. she's like another rini from sailor moon, only nwith glasses and blonde. and super annoying.

edkchestnut said...

I always did your version of Jingle Bells. Also, we always sent our lists up the chimney and now do the same with my kids. Course, my husband is too lazy to put a fire in the firplace so he takes their lists and lights them on the grill, but I have managed to convince my kids it is the same concept.

Wife, Then Mama said...

Until recently the lack of contractions irked me. Then I realized that children that are reading these books probably would have a hard time reading contractions. I know I was reading them at 4 or 5, and I am sure that if they had had contractions it would have thrown me off.

Anonymous said...

karen is annoying when she is like ''mommy'' and ''daddy'' ugh i get so pissed while reading i say mom and dad when we come to that part.
and why does karen have to feel bad? i mean just because her friend nancy can't celebrate with her TOTALLY if i was karen i wouldn't feel bad for something so stupid

metamorphstorm said...

I had to come to the comments to figure out why the picture was so bad. The very first comment pointed out Karen's leg, and so I had to go back and look at the picture. Thanks, kateohkatie! Now that I see it, I don't know how I could've missed it. Bit too preoccupied with Nannie's facial hair, I guess. And laughing.

Yeah, all the BSLS books are written very simply, but without contractions. I have to wonder if the lack of contractions is to make the book seem longer, or smarter . . . ?

Did none of the parents object to having guests on their holidays? Because mine would have, and personally I would, too. Holidays are all about family (to me) and we didn't even visit anyone or have visitors on Christmas. And the whole BSC crashed Mal's family's Thanksgiving in that book where she got mono.