HAPPY MONDAY, GUYS!
Today, I'm totally revisiting my childood, by reviewing Raina Telgemeier's fantastic graphic novel adaptation of Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin.
I LOVED The Baby-Sitter's Club when I was growing up, so I'm absolutely thrilled that Raina has put a wonderful spin on a classic series, for future generations.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2015 by GRAPHIX
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
With bold, warm illustrations, and detailed characterizations of iconic characters, this book is sure to find a much-loved place on the shelves of readers, both young and old.
Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up--cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls--you can count on them to save the day. But baby-sitting isn't always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.
Raina Telgemeier, using the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels SMILE and SISTERS, perfectly captures all the drama and humor of the original novel!
But in many ways, this was all the better for me, since it allowed me to be delightfully surprised by Raina's cheery, wonderful spin on Ann M. Martin's iconic book series. In her trademark style, Raina introduces us to Kristy Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Stacy Thomas and Mary Anne Spier in Kristy's Great Idea, and we see how an iconic club is formed, with cranky toddlers, family problems, new crushes and all.
As a childhood fan of Martin's series, I was thrilled by the fact that Telgemeier makes it a point to follow the storyline of the original Martin book, but also tailors the story for her own storytelling needs. The graphic novel begins by primarily focusing on Kristy and her life, and how it's the ups-and-downs of Kristy's family (and some unwelcome new additions), new friends and interactions with her baby-sitting charges that inspires her to form the club.
Through her clean line drawings, and her detailed illustrations, Telgemeir does a beautiful job of showing the mental and emotional evolution of Kristy's perspective on family and baby-sitting, including the joy to be taken from the little things in life - e.g. prancing around in a stream with a happy collie and her little brother; getting the club's first baby-sitting request, and even some surprising sitting charges.
Ultimately, the way that Raina tells the story makes it perfect for older readers like myself who like to revisit old favorites and see new spins on them, and also makes it perfect for younger (and likely, more reluctant) readers, who are slowly gaining an appreciation and love for reading.
Raina Telgemeier has taken the first book of a beloved book series, and put her own spin on Ann M. Martin's beloved characters. Readers are now lucky enough to see Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey come to life in Telgemeier's cheerful illustrations and inventive dialogue, and how the beginnings of a iconic baby-sitting club began.
I know that The Truth about Stacey is coming out in July, and I can only hope that Scholastic engages Raina to continue doing graphic novels of the series. (Seriously. It's awe-astounding how many readers from all different walks of life would die for these books!)
I fully recommend this book for all readers, non-stop.
About the writers/illustrator:
Raina Telgemeier is the creator of SMILE, a #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, winner of the Will Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Honor Book. She is also the creator of DRAMA, a #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and the recipient of a Stonewall Book Award Honor. SISTERS, a companion to SMILE, was published in August 2014. Raina also adapted and illustrated the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels. She lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband, Dave Roman. To learn more, visit her online at www.goRaina.com.