Review by Frank Plowright
It’s not apparent from the art accompanying most online listings, but an embossed gold title logo celebrates the graphic novel adaptations of The Baby-Sitters Club reaching a tenth volume. Less welcome is the internal change to a form of cold, typeset lettering.
One of many nice aspects to the series is the way Ann M. Martin doesn’t hit the reset button after every story. Characters change and so do their circumstances. In Kristy’s Big Day her mother remarried and the family moved house to a wealthier district, and this story explores the families who live there. As the title indicates, there are people who believe having more money in the family makes them a superior specimen, and in spreading the babysitting service to her new area of town the girls come across them. The core problem then becomes how to retain new clients without putting up with demeaning instructions.
For the time being Chan Chau is alternating with Gabriella Epstein on the adaptations, and her style is far closer to the clean and open cartooning than Epstein’s. As with all artists used on the series, though, clarity is key. Younger readers have to see what’s going on and how people feel about it, and Chau has no troubles on that score.
Kristy takes the lead, but there’s far greater spread of the club members used here than in Claudia and the New Girl, as Stacey effectively and amusingly deals with a problem that has Kristy stumped, and an outbreak of chicken pox also provides a challenge. Martin’s plots don’t shy away from the unfortunate aspects of life, and Kirsty’s family dog reaching the end of days is sadly and sympathetically dealt with.
In the real world all nastiness isn’t as easily resolved by schemes as they are in Martin’s stories, but all novels are an escape from the real world, and Martin’s positivity is admirable, and her suggestions might actually work if tried. Kristy and the Snobs is another first rate treat, and next is Goodbye Stacey, Goodbye.