Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: Baby-sitters on Board!

Summary: Members of the Baby-sitters Club travel on a cruise ship to the Bahamas and to Disney World. -- Scholastic

I couldn't help by share in Booking Daughter's excitement when My Friend Amy announced Babysitters Club Week. Not only did Booking Daughter want to participate by writing a review, but she also wanted me to read and review one of the books. As much as it kills me to say this, I have never read a Babysitters Club book because I was too old for them when they first came out.

Ever since Amy came up with the idea for Babysitters Club Week, Booking Daughter and I have been rooting around all of the used bookstores trying to collect them -- it's our new hobby! I think we've managed to snag around 40 books the past few weeks. I told Booking Daughter that she could pick any one of the books for me to read; and she selected one of her favorites -- THE BABYSITTERS CLUB SUPER SPECIAL: BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD! by Ann M. Martin. She just knew I'd love it!

I was teasing her that the Super Special is a lot thicker than the other Babysitter Club books. Evidently the traditional Babysitters Club books were mainly about one of the girls. The Super Specials are longer because they are written in alternating chapters in multiple characters' voices. When I first started this book, I kept thinking that I probably should have started with a "normal" book because I just couldn't keep the characters straight. There are five girls in the club, their parents and siblings, the kids they babysit (one family has eight kids); and it was very confusing for me. After reading about 50 pages, I decided to ask Booking Daughter for a little clarification. Needless to say, Booking Daughter thought it was hilarious that I was having problems with the names; and she even offered to write down all of the names and relationships for me. I didn't think she was so funny, but I did go back and start the book over once I had the characters and their names down pat.

I doubt that I'm going to read many more Babysitter Club books -- much to Booking Daughter's dismay; but I have to say that I did enjoy BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD! And, I can totally see why young girls just adore these books. In BABY-SITTERS ON BOARD!, the characters all take a cruise to the Bahamas and then visit Disney World. Since we just got back from our family vacation at Disney World, I appreciated the scenes where the characters were visiting Epcot and Magic Kingdom (keep in mind that the books are so old that there wasn't Disney Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom.) I loved reading about the classic rides like Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain; and I couldn't believe how much Epcot has changed. I think Booking Daughter picked the perfect Babysitters Club book for me to read because I did get to "meet" all of the characters; and she knows how much I love anything Disney-related!

I think one of the biggest draws to these books are the characters themselves. Since there are five girls in the club, most girls will find at least one that they can relate to. (I personally liked Dawn the best.) I enjoyed that the girls and their actions seemed realistic; and I even liked that the girls had issues that they had to work out -- like disagreeing with each other. As a mom, I am thrilled that my daughter wants to read all of The Babysitter Club books because I don't have to worry about anything inappropriate happening in the stories. She loves the stories and she can even learn some valuable lessons through the characters' actions.

I also really appreciated how the author handled the whole boy thing. These girls are pre-teen and early teenagers, so it's natural that boys are on their mind a lot! There were certainly crushes and secret admirers in this story (and even a kiss), but everything was so sweet and innocent -- exactly how it should be in a middle-grade book.

I am definitely glad that I read BABYSITTERS ON BOARD! and I definitely recommend these books for young girls. Thanks to Amy for hosting Babysitters Club Week!


Caitie F said...

This was probably my favorite of all the super specials (the trip to Hawaii was pretty good too). I am glad you liked it. I read all the books when I was 8-11 and loved them!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love that Booking Daughter had to explain things to Booking Mama!

Robinbird said...

Loved those books!! I had a TON! That was a good super special but my favorite was the one when they went to camp!

Amy said...

My favorite was camp, too, lol.

And Dawn was my favorite character! :) Thanks so much for participating and reading one of these books, Julie!

Jen - devourer of books said...

I always loved the Super Special and the Super Special Mysteries because they were longer and I got to live in the baby-sitter's club world a little longer. I think this was one of my favorites. I almost wish I'd had a little girl so I could find all of these books for her!

Anna said...

I loved these books! My sister and I had a ton of them when we were kids, but alas, they are long gone. I would have loved to pass them on to The Girl, along with my Sweet Valley High collection. Have you seen the Babysitter's Club movie? I actually have it on VHS. LOL My daughter loved it.

Diary of an Eccentric

bermudaonion said...

I was too old for the Babysitter's Club too, but I think collecting the books is a great hobby for you and Booking Daughter to share! It sounds like she is as smart as her Booking Mama!

Katie said...

I think that is the cutest mother-daughter hobby ever. I hope I'm able to run around bookstores looking for the BSC books someday. :D

Alyce said...

I loved the Babysitters Club books when I was growing up. I was the perfect age when they came out and remember reading them from the very beginning (through about the twentieth book, and by then I'd grown out of them).

When I was learning Italian in college I picked up the first book of the series in Italian. It was a little ambitious of me, and I still haven't been able to read it.

nomadreader said...

I had completely forgotten about the Super Specials! I remember loving this one as a kid, and one of my favorite things was having all of the characters narrate alternating chapters. I'm glad to see they're not terribly outdated already and your daughter still enjoys them!

alitareads said...

I loved the Super Specials because it meant more time will all the characters. My favourite, by far, was the one where they went to New York. I know I read that one a number of times.

It's awesome that your daughter wants to read the books. I know she'll enjoy them :)

Rebecca :) said...

This was my absolute FAVORITE book when I was a pre-teen. I must have read it four dozen times. I had most of it memorized. Reading your post has brought back so many memories.

I still can remember Kristi sitting out of the pool because even though it was an old wives' tale to do so, she had eaten some poached eggs and a big breakfast and decided to stay out anyways. Why I remember this part is beyond me.

I loved learning about the cruise ship too and I wanted to go on a cruise so badly!

I am happy that your daughter enjoys them. I should check this out of the library and read it for old times' sake.