Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: "Kristy & The Baby Parade: The Baby-Sitters Club #45"

Kristy & The Baby Parade: The Baby-Sitters Club #45 by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

Kristy narrating + lots of babies + a poorly executed K*Idea = one awfully boring book. One of the only good things about this book is that the cover artist didn't make them look as awful as they should have. Also, there is a truly stupendous Claudia outfit later on. And by "stupendous" I mean "horrendous". :)

Okay, so the book starts out with Kristy baby-sitting David Michael & Emily Michelle and she sees an ad in the paper for the town baby parade. I know, weird right? There's so many things wrong with a baby parade, I can't even talk about it. Kristy immediately thinks of Emily Michelle because she's the Cutest Adopted Baby Ever. (Maybe I should call her CABE from now on, it's shorter!) Before she can start planning for it though, she has to reminisce about all her friends and family and how she had the most brilliant idea in the world to start a Baby-Sitters Club. Gag.

At the BSC meeting later on, Mrs Prezzioso calls up and needs a regular sitter for a few weeks, conveniently between the hours of 3:30 and 5:00. Does the whole town shut down during club hours so no one has to need a sitter?? I don't understand! Kristy is the only one available and surprisingly doesn't complain about having to sit for Miss Priss. But before she can take the job, Mrs P wants her to take a baby care class and all the BSCers agree to take it too. Claudia even suggests that they can call themselves "infant specialists" afterwards and Kristy demotes her to Junior Officer for having an idea before her. (Not really, but she was jealous.) So they start taking the class and they're all amazed by all the pregnant women wandering around lol and then they all (even Kristy) get a crush on one of the male instructors, which is totally odd and just kind of goes away after Kristy realizes that he's a dad? Um okay. (side note: you know you're getting older when you think the dad is cuter than the teenage boy in sitcoms!) They learn lots of stuff in the class and have to take a test at the end, which Kristy aces, but had a surprising moment of self-doubt beforehand. And now Kristy can baby-sit for Jenny and Andrea. Yay.

Mrs P wants to enter Andrea in the stroller contest for the parade and wants demands Kristy to help decorate the stroller. She has already gotten a costume for a queen. Yeah, a big curly wig, heavy crown, and high ruffled collar on an infant. That sounds smart. Maybe Mrs P should have taken that infant class. Kristy agrees to help, because for some reason, she thinks she'll get fired if she doesn't. She's kind of disappointed that she won't be able to help Emily Michelle now. But then she talks to the other BSCers and they mention how some of the other babies they watch, like Lucy Newton and Squirt, would be super cute in the parade and they decide to make a big float and enter all the babies together. And now let's take time out for What Claudia Wore to her baby-sitting job for Jamie & Lucy. I kind of think she missed the boat on her shoes; am I the only one whose (who's?) mom painted the cheap white canvas sneakers to look like watermelons as a kid? Yes? Well my mom was pretty awesome. :)

Here’s what she was wearing (I saw her later that day at our meeting): 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 straps on them. (The laces were untied, which I guess is the cool way to wear them. I’d be tripping over them all day, but Claud can pull it off.) Can you guess what her earrings were? Dangling watermelon slices. Get it? She was dressed like a watermelon, head to toe.
(click here for links & details)

Okay, so the girls all get together to discuss their float and of course, they all have very specific ideas of what the theme should be. Do they really have to all go with their personalities ALL the time? Can't Stacey want a sea creature themed float instead of sophisticated New York City? And really Mallory? We're going to dress up a bunch of babies as horses for your stupid childish Misty of Chena-whatever books?? No. Anyway, they finally agree to a nursery rhyme (which was Mary Anne's idea & Stacey called babyish) and pick "The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe". Kind of smart, since there's lots of kids. But now they have to build a giant shoe. And apparently, that's a little beyond Claudia's level of talent. 

For the first time ever, the girls don't communicate on a big project and everything ends up a disaster. Claud's giant shoe looks like a "lumpy, streaky red mountain" and Mal's costumes are hideous pink ruffly things that make the babies cry. The girls all end up arguing and Dawn even decides to put her baby, Eleanor, in a different outfit completely. The day of the parade comes and they are all mortified to be on the float. Poor Charlie has to pull the thing behind his Junk Bucket and puts on a disguise to hide from his friends. They are by and far the worst float, the one in front of them is a professional looking carousel and behind them is a tropical rain forest themed. The girls suffer in silence through the long parade and through the judging (which they obviously did not win, but surprisingly Queen Andrea did) and Kristy asks Charlie to drive the float straight to the dump afterwards. He delights in watching it get crushed into a tiny cube. The girls all realize that they were being dumb and that the project didn't work because they didn't communicate (seriously, how "after school special" can we get?) and they call each other up to apologize. The End.

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