The Baby-Sitters Club: Chapter Books vs. Comics

The Babysitters Club, written by Ann M. Martin, is a series of novels about a group of friends aged 12, Kristy Thomas (founder and president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), Claudia Kishi (vice-president), and Stacey McGill (treasurer), who run a local babysitting service called “The Baby-Sitters Club”.  The novels were originally published by Scholastic between 1986 and 2000.
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Some of the novels have been released as a graphic novel version written by Raina Telgemeier (who also wrote Smile, Sisters and Guts) and Gale Galligan.

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By Raina Telgemeier:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [1] : Kristy’s great idea.

“Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding member 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 no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship”–page [4] of cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [2] : the truth about Stacey.

Joining the Baby-sitter’s Club after moving to a new town, Stacey helps her new friends outmanoeuvre a rival sitter group while coming to terms with her diabetes.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [3] : Mary Anne saves the day : a graphic novel.

When a fight breaks out among the members of the Baby-sitters Club, timid Mary Anne finds herself becoming more assertive as a baby sitter and in her relationships with her father and friends.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [4] : Claudia and mean Janine.

“Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her artwork and The Baby-sitters Club than her homework, feels like she can’t compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, gets straight As, and even takes college-level courses! But when something unexpected happens to the most beloved person in their family, will the sisters be able to put aside their differences?”–Publisher.
By Gale Galligan:
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The Baby-sitters Club [5] : Dawn and the impossible three : a graphic novel.

This graphic novel adapted by bestselling author Gale Galligan is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [6] : Kristy’s big day.

Kristy’s mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to be a bridesmaid! The only problem? Fourteen kids are coming to town for the wedding!
image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [7] : Boy-crazy Stacey.

“Stacey and Mary Anne are baby-sitting for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City: there’s a gorgeous house right on the beach, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen! Mary Anne thinks that Stacey should leave Scott alone and focus on the Pike kids, but Stacey’s in love. Looking for reasons to hang around his lifeguard stand takes up all of her time, which means Mary Anne has to do the job of two baby-sitters. Mary Anne doesn’t like it one bit! How can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested without ruining their friendship and breaking Stacey’s heart?”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [8] : Logan likes Mary Anne! : a graphic novel.

It’s the first day of a new school year, and while Mary Anne doesn’t know what to expect from the eighth grade, she’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. One thing she definitely doesn’t expect is to meet Logan Bruno, who just moved to Stoneybrook! Logan has a dreamy southern accent, he’s awfully cute… and he might be interested in joining the BSC. But the baby-sitters aren’t sure if Logan would make a good club member, so they send him on a job with Mary Anne as a test. Logan and Mary Anne hit it off, but Mary Anne isn’t sure of where their friendship could go. Life in the Baby-sitters Club has never been this complicated — or this fun!


There was also a spin-off series called Baby-Sitters Little Sister novels, about Karen Brewer, the seven-year-old stepsister of Kristy Thomas. The series ran from 1988 to 2000. The first two novels, Karen’s Witch and Karen’s Rollerskates, has been released as graphic novels written by Katy Farina.

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Witch.

Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long robes and has wild gray hair. Mrs. Porter has a black cat named Midnight and always seems to be working in her garden. Karen isn’t supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she’s determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch named Morbidda DestinyMrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away — once and for all?

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Rollerskates.

It’s going to be a great weekend! Karen has new roller skates and is a very good skater. She’s looking forward to trying some new tricks. But, oh no! Karen falls down and has to go to the hospital. Her wrist is broken! Karen is determined to get everyone she knows — plus someone famous — to sign her cast. It isn’t going to be easy, but she won’t give up until the job is done.
Did you know? The Babysitters Club was made into a movie in 1995 and was recently made into a TV series on Netflix.

Search our catalogue for more books from The Babysitters Club series. You can also find more books through our Kids’ Reading Room on Overdrive!  

Heroes All Around Us

Kia ora!  Hands up if you love superheroes!  We have lots and lots of books about superheroes in the library collection, all your favourites like Spiderman, Captain America, Batman, Wonder Woman, Thor, Captain Marvel, Ironman, and many more.  But do you know that there are superheroes all around us?  Everywhere, in the community, doing good deeds.  Ok maybe they can’t fly, or shoot web from their wrists, or have a seriously cool suit full of gadgets but there are plenty of people who do amazing things every day that make our world a better place.

The thing is, even you can be a superhero.  From recycling, picking up litter at the park or beach or planting a garden to help save the environment to giving a helping hand around your neighbourhood, there are lots of ways you can make the world a better place.  All it takes is thinking about others.

We even have books about everyday superheroes and how to be one yourself.  Here are a few that Sue at Brooklyn Library selected that you might like to check out:

Earth heroes / Dyu, Lily

Read about people all over the world who have found ways that they can help save the planet from climate change. From Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg to the amazing Sir David Attenborough, nature and science documentary film-maker, people are all over the world are taking steps to fight for the future of our planet.

Kids fight plastic / Dorey, Martin

Plastic is everywhere and becomes a big problem when it becomes rubbish.  This book shows you all the ways you can help reduce plastic in our world in no time at all.

Good night stories for rebel girls : 100 immigrant women who changed the world / Favilli, Elena

Read all about 100 amazing immigrant women who changed the world.  All sorts of women from Madeleine Albright to Rihanna can be found in this fabulous book of bedtime stories.

Oh boy : a storybook of epic NZ men / Lipshaw, Stuart

Chock full of stories about epic New Zealand men, from rugby players and mountaineers to ballet dancers and film-makers, there’s something for everyone in this book, and from right here in Aotearoa.

Forever young / Dylan, Bob

A timeless story about growing up from the twentieth century’s most celebrated musician, Bob Dylan.

The great realisation / Roberts, Tomos

This lovely book was created in our time of pandemic, to tell stories of kindness and care in our community.  It shares how we can learn and grow during tough times, and gives us hope for the future.

Be You! / Reynolds, Peter H

You were born to BE so many things. No matter where your journey leads, remember to… Be curious… Be adventurous… Be patient… Be brave… And most of all… BE YOU! A joyful celebration of individuality, persistence and staying true to YOU!

5 Years of Award Winning Kids’ Fiction

Stuck for new book ideas? Try one of these New Zealand Book Awards winners!

2015 winner: Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley

“This is not a story of cotton candy-candy capers. It is a story of gruesome horrors, awful amputations and ghastly ghouls…….. It’s a rough life at sea, so grab a bucket and hold onto your guts. This is going to get really ugly.”

 

 

2014 winner: Dunger by Joy Cowley

“William and Melissa have been roped into helping their hippie grandparents fix up their holiday home. They’ll have no electricity, no cellphone reception, and only each other for company. As far as they are concerned, this is NOT a holiday.”

 

 

2013 winner: My Brother’s War by David Hill

“It’s New Zealand, 1914, and World War One has just broken out in Europe. William eagerly enlists for the army but his younger brother, Edmund, refuses to fight and gets arrested. Both brothers will end up on the bloody battlefields, but their journeys there are very different.”

 

 

2012 winner: Super Finn by Leonie Agnew 

“When Mr Patel asks his class what they’d like to be when they grow up, Finn chooses ‘Superhero’. Finn knows what he needs: superpowers, a hideout, an outfit and….oh, yeah, to save someone’s life. Impossible? Not with a sidekick like the amazing Brian.”

 

 

2011 winner: Finnigan and the Pirates by Sherryl Jordan

“Wildbloode the Wicked is the fiercest, most ferocious pirate in all the seven seas. All she wants is for her nephew to follow in her footsteps. But Finnigan’s not interest-all he wants to do is dance!”

 

 

Head into your nearest library to find a copy, or reserve one online!

Movie Review: Brave

Brave took home the award for Best Animated Film at last week’s Golden Globes and is one of the nominees for Best Animated Film in this year’s Academy Awards.

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure in the Scottish Highlands  full of mystery, magic and tradition. Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor  defies an age-old custom, where she competes against (and defeats) each of her suitors in an archery contest during the Highland Games by which she states she is “shooting for her own hand”, much to the outrage of the lords of the land and causes a rift between mother and daughter. Merida then acquires a magic spell from a witch the witch agrees to give Merida a spell to “change” her mother (into a bear) in the form of a cake. When chaos is unleashed in the kingdom as a result of Merida’s actions, she must harness all of her skills and resources to break the beastly curse before it’s too late, mend bonds “torn by pride”  and discover the meaning of true bravery.

From the kilt-wearing lords to the bagpipe music and traditional Highland games and Merida’s triplet brothers’ pranks and  endless attempts to steel sweets, This is a very entertaining mother/daughter movie and a celebration of Scottish culture.

Rated: 8/10.

Best for age groups 5 years and over.