Review: ‘The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea’
Was it in honor of Scholastic’s 10th anniversary or was it because Raina Telgemeier titles are in such high demand? Is that why Scholastic reissued the Babysitter’s Club in color? Back in May, I spoke to a Scholastic rep at Book Expo and she said that both were considerations. Mostly, she explained, it had to do with Telgemeier’s great demand. Young readers just can’t get enough of her work and there were actually many requests to reissue the title in color. As a school librarian, I can attest to that fact. We had something like five days of school in September, and I already have waiting lists for most of Telgemeier’s titles, and that’s with owning multiple titles of each one.
The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea
By Ann M. Martin. Art by Raina Telgemeier. Color by Braden Lamb.
Grades 4 and up
2015, Scholastic Graphix, ISBN 9780545813877:
181 pp., $10.99 pbk
It was fun to read this for a second time. Most of all, my impressions when I read this after its initial black and white release weren’t all that different. The Baby-Sitters Club was among the first titles in the Scholastic Graphix line. The series is adapted from the famed Ann M. Martin series of the same name, which I voraciously read as a pre-teen. The titles were adapted by Raina Telgemeier, but even so the adaptation really stays true to the original voice of the series.
The basic premise is as follows: Kristy Thomas and her friends are often babysitting. But one evening, she witnesses her mother scrambling to find a baby sitter, making call after call after call and striking out. (Been there. Done that.) Kristy thinks that it would be a great idea, if parents could make one phone call and reach a whole slew of sitters. So the Baby Sitter’s Club is born. She recruits her friends Mary Ann and Claudia, and Claudia recruits her new friend Stacy. The Club is a hit, but along the way, the girls navigate friendships and family too.
Telgemeier’s artwork really brings this series to life in an updated version for the 21st century. The series, after all, was published before computers were in every house. Before internet. Before cell phones, let alone smart phones. Telgemeier captures the characteristics of each character, like Mary Ann’s “nerdiness,” or Kristy’s plain personality, while giving Claudia and Stacy a bit of a unique and exotic flair.
I never missed the color in the original version, but the colorization of the title was done very well and really adds vibrancy to the artwork. Braden Lamb used rich colors, not only for the clothes, hair, etc. but also for the backgrounds.
Even if you still own the black and white issues, it pays to update your collection to the color ones. Four of the titles from the series were adapted to graphic novel format. As of now the first two, Kristy’s Great Idea and The Truth About Stacy, have been colorized. Update your collection! Fans will be thrilled.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Scholastic Graphix
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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