Post by virgoscorpio on Nov 11, 2011 23:21:28 GMT -5
Thanks to Mona, I now have this book!
This was one of my FAVOURITE BSC books growing up. I guess I just loved Mary Anne. Now, I think the book is okay... definitely underrated compared to when I was younger (which I guess makes sense).
I wonder why MA got the highest grade (A+) even though it makes sense, to me, that Mary Anne got the highest grade and then Stacey got the 2nd highest. But I wonder how they determined which sitter got which grade and if the content of the book (i.e. how it was written) had any influence?
"It is important to be on time for any job, even if you are working for a witch." ~ Karen Brewer
Aw, I'm glad you got to read the book anyway but sorry it didn't hold up to memory. I honestly don't understand why any of them, except for Abby, got an A. But then I also don't get why none of them mentioned the BSC much, if any either. Overall, the portraits as a whole were definitely a let down. I wonder if Ann had been writing the books still or at least had more involvement (than it seemed like she did) if that would have been different or perhaps she'd have at least (somehow) asked "us" her fans what we would have liked reading for each girl. Has this ever been discussed? If not, it might make a good new thread. Anyone?
^I was thinking last night that maybe (part of anyway) the reason the portraits were a little odd and lacking was because they were written for "us" as opposed to a true 8th grade English teacher. That was part of what I meant by comment yesterday about Ann asking "us" (if only) what we wanted to read. I don't see any of the books making it in real life. I also wonder if each intro were axed how that might have changed things. It would have eliminated a semi chapter 2 and maybe been more of a school (non bsc reader) assignment. Does that make sense?
The grades on portraits thread. I still stand by what I had said on page 4. Here's the link to the whole discussion, Virgo.
Thanks, BooBoo. I just checked and maybe the error was in a different edition? At the very bottom of Page 16, before Richard says "Amen, he asked God to watch over Alma." MA goes onto say that "Alma is my mother."
You got me sort of curious, so I got my copy of MA Saves the Day just to see. On the bottom of page 16, mine mentions Abigail, not Alma. It's the original cover of the book with MA checking the thermometer, and it's a fairly old copy. The other books listed in the front go up through The Ghost at Dawn's House. The last three pages are summaries and info about the first three books.
Anyways, I actually really loved this book. I thought MA seemed like a sweet kid, and Richard seemed like a great dad who truly was doing the best he could. At the beginning of the story about the eye test, I was thinking that she was going to damage her eyesight by getting glasses she didn't need, and that's why she has reading glasses later.
When MA's grandmother told her that she was working on a quilt for Alma's 25th birthday when she died, that reminded me of how young she and Richard were. They probably married right out of college, if not while they were still in college. They had so little time together... it's really sad to think about.
I liked all the illustrations a lot. The one with MA and her grandmother really made me think. The way the book is written, she seems so much older than she looked there.
<3 Bre -- lover of animals, collector of dolls, reader of kiddie books <3
Post by sparklymouse on Dec 11, 2012 20:31:09 GMT -5
This one made me a little uncomfortable. I don’t think Mary Anne’s anxiety level ever dropped below a 7 in her entire life.
From Birth to Six Years Old: Not much to say about this part except Mary Anne was kind of a homely looking child. She looks like Emily Michelle in the toddler picture, who was supposed to be adorable, but last time I checked Mary Anne wasn’t Asian. I cracked up over how butch little Kristy was made out to be.
The Tea Party: I wasn’t as moved by this part as some of you were. Mostly the teacher just sounded sucky. She must have known that Mary Anne’s mother wasn’t in her household (whether or not she knew why). I felt like she could have addressed the situation with Mary Anne privately or said something to the class in general to invite whomever since some mothers have jobs/lives that they can’t get out of for tea time.
Stage Fright: First of all, how in the eff did it never once come up that three of these girls took a ballet class? Mary Anne, Kristy and Claudia really sounded like the Three Musketeers in their early years. Richard was nice at the recital, but again I wasn’t all that touched by it. I mean, he hadn’t noticed how miserable she had seemed about the lessons the whole summer. And she had just puked. Why would he shove her on stage after that?
E is for Eyeglasses: This one made me laugh. I really liked April. She sounded like everything Abby was supposed to be (outgoing, funny, likable jokester). It annoys me so much when people say they wish they needed glasses. No you don’t! There is nothing awesome about not being able to see properly, and FYI you can buy those stupid hipster glasses that you want so badly without prescription lens in them. Gah. Now that I think about it, those school vision tests never tested for near sighted problems. Is that because it’s more of an “old person” issue? I thought it was hilarious that as soon as Mary Anne could see herself in glasses without looking through someone else’s blurry prescription she was all “OMG, SO UGLY!”
Exploring My Secret Past: Mary Anne’s adults sucked. Richard sucked because (as she showed in every other story she wrote about, not to mention the rest of the series) Mary Anne was an anxious person who would have benefited from having more family members in her life or at least knowing that they existed. Grandma and dead Grandpa sucked because their all or nothing attitude was bs. (As someone who my whole life saw both sets of my grandparents probably 1 week per year I was especially insulted by that.) The fact that they hadn’t changed Mary Anne’s nursery in over a decade made me feel like they thought she was Alma reincarnated or something. Creepy. It both amused and annoyed me that BSC farm life (Karen’s Plane Trip as well) was depicted as some unincorporated, middle-of-nowhere Children of the Corn type environment. The quilt was a lovely idea. I wouldn’t mind one of my own if I had the clothing memories to make it out of.
I think Mary Anne got her A+ for the drama and emotion in her life. I appreciate that she shared so much personal stuff with her teacher because I certainly wouldn’t have. She’s still a nutjob, though.
Richard was oh-so caring and nurturing to Little Mary Anne in this book, it makes early-series Richard seem even stranger by comparison. Like, at what point did he go from rescuing Mary Anne from a recital to talking to her about his legal cases and forbidding her to utter the word "hey" or talk on the phone?
"If you wore them, they would be goofy pom-pom socks. When I wear them, they will be stylish and fashionable pom-pom socks." -Pamela Harding
^ :/ Maybe if he and Mary Anne had been shown as being closer, Ann and Co would have been forced to better develop the Sharon storyline. MA and Dawn would not have instantly and forever (at least from MA's POV). There (gasp) might have had to be some discussion/interaction between all the Schafer-Spiers before the wedding. I still will always wish Richard and MA, if nothing else, had continued their Sunday night dinner ritual, just the two of them. I can understand Verna and Bill being upset and possibly unsure of what to do once MA came back to CT, surely in the 12 years that followed they must have had the urge to at least contact Richard once? Even a "Dear Richard, We know we may not be your favorite people, frankly you aren't always one of ours. We have been trying to get past that for the sake of MA." Blah Blah Blah a couple more comments on the past. Finally leading to, "We are accepting that neither of us is getting any younger and don't want to miss out on knowing our only grand-daughter any longer." I think MA would have (and had the right) to be super angry with all of them had something like this happened but it would have made a lot more sense than MA hearing her dad talk with Verna, while snooping.
I thought Mary Anne's first grade teacher was mean during Claudia's story in The Baby Sitters Remember, but she seemed okay here with Mary Anne, and probably played favourites like the art teacher.
The invitations sounded really pretty too. I thought it was sweet Mary Anne had Mimi come for her though both ended up coming.
I must say the ballet class surprised me too though Richard seemed more excited than her, about the Nutcracker music and all. The parents probably saw it as a baby sitting service and solution for the summer more than anything though. Maybe this is why she doesn't like pink according to her bookmark and book #4 with her pink bedroom, although she did wear some pink after her makeover.