Tonight I brought the 4th Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel out into the living room to finish and loosened my hold on it; I ended up having to (literally!) pry it out of my 8-year-old’s hands while pointing out that I had fourteen pages left, I would review it tonight, and she and her older sister would find it on the stairs available for them to read when they woke up tomorrow morning.
Me: …And THEN you guys can fight about who gets to read it first. And by “fight about it” I mean politely use words to come to a peaceful and mutual decision.
Since my oldest is in the middle of one of the Frog Princess books, and the 8-year-old specifically chose the shortest library chapter book she had to read tonight so that she could finish it and be ready for the other in the morning, I’m not expecting any surprises. She is obsessed with graphic novels.
Thankfully, Claudia and Mean Janine makes for a good one. Sibling conflict is widely relatable, and Mimi’s illness makes a meaningful catalyst for change in Claudia and Janine’s relationship. The panels depicting the BSC’s summer playgroup scenes made me giggle more than once, and the ending was emotionally satisfying. It’s true that sibling relationships are more likely to gradually improve, but the sit-down-conversation between the two girls felt representative of that, in a way. It felt like it ought to seem too neatly and quickly wrapped up, and yet it didn’t terribly to me.
Ultimately, these versions of the old books have been surprisingly enjoyable to me as an adult, and my 8- and 11-year-olds are both nuts for them. If you’ve got middle to upper elementary daughters, these ought to be a hit. (Just cross your fingers with me that the change in artists from this book to the next won’t be a terrible change. I don’t envy anyone stepping into Raina Telgemeier’s shoes.)