Sunday, June 28, 2009

#78: Claudia and Crazy Peaches

Tagline: Claudia's aunt Peaches is back. Let the games begin!

Cover: Yes...those crazy waiter games! The cover depicts a scene from the book, where Claudia and Crazy Peaches make (or buy?) dinner for the family, then dress up like waiters. But why does Claudia have something like a plain black vest? That's not crazy! Maybe Peaches brought's not quite clear. Anyway. Aside from looking like they've maybe poisoned the family, this cover is pretty unremarkable.

Plot!: Peaches and Russ move back to Stoneybrook, and they are also expecting a baby. Claudia gets really excited and spends lots of time with Crazy Peaches, because she's just so much fun. But then Claudia needs some time to herself, and Peaches doesn't take that well, and they have a fight. Then Peaches loses the baby, and Claudia is convinced it's her fault. But they make up, and Peaches and Russ decide to start trying again soon for another baby. In the subplot, Natalie Springer becomes a BSC charge, and she's friendless, and becomes clingy with Claudia, so the BSC starts a Friendship Campaign for Natalie (no, really).

Points of Interest:
  • "Have you ever ahd one of those tingly feelings - the kind that tells you something is going to happen, but you're not sure what or when or where?" I feel like Claudia is oversharing here.
  • There's a Wizard of Oz reference on the second page. It's starting to become like I Love Lucy!
  • Thankfully, Claudia describes her own skin as "clear," not "creamy."
  • At the beginning of the book, Claudia is already really behind in her English class. I almost want to tell her not to bother catching up, because she's going to fail anyway (at least one of the times she finishes the eighth grade).
  • I wonder how old Peaches is, and what the age difference is between her and Claudia's mom. Peaches and Russ met in College, according to a story Peaches tells Claudia in one of the Friends Forever books, and Claudia has only ever known her as Peaches. So if she was 20 when she met Russ, let's say Claudia was born around that time, Peaches would be in her early 30s. Claudia's parents have always seemed older than that to me.
  • According to Claudia, Bart is "crazy" about Kristy. There's a lot of craziness in this book. Also: really?
  • So Russ and Peaches, who is two months pregnant, are going to move into Claudia's house for awhile, and immediately the BSC goes crazy (theme?) with plans - Kristy's going to keep her fit, Jessi is going to force her to listen to classical music, Mallory is going to monitor her journal writing. I would have politely told these kids where to stuff it.
  • The Natalie subplot is boring. It seems like the BSC is always trying to change kids to get other kids to like them.
  • Russ calls Peaches "little mother." I'm glad he doesn't have facebook, or else I might have to submit him to STFU, Marrieds or STFU, Parents.
  • Claudia and Peaches spend gobs of money on baby furniture, supplies, and clothing...and she's still only two months pregnant! Who does this? They're not even living in their new house yet!
  • They go to see Bringing Up Baby, because they think it's about a baby. It's not, but they love it anyway. Because Claudia, who is barely literate, really love old black-and-white movies from the 1930s. (Bringing up Baby is a good movie, and it's totally logical that a teenager might like it, because I liked it myself when I was around 13...I just don't see Claudia as a big fan. She'd like color movies, like a big splashy musical...or The Wizard of Oz.)
  • Are you ready for your stereotypes? The Italian man at the gourmet shop is called Guiseppe DeSalvio and he looks just like Chef Boyardee. He speaks English, except for words like "signorina" and "bambino."
  • Ugh. As if we haven't had our fill of old movies, the flower stand (a flower stand?) is called Zuzu's Petals.
  • Heh. Claudia's gym teacher told her that sparkle socks were inappropriate for gym class. But doesn't she know that Claudia is an artist?
  • Peaches calls Claudia a sulky teenager. Normally I'm on the side of the grownups in these things, but Peaches seems really...immature. She wants Claudia to blow off school to look at wallpaper or something, and isn't able to look at people beyond herself. She seems really ill-equipped to be dealing with parenthood.
  • Claudia immediately thinks that because she was mad at Peaches, she caused the miscarriage, just like she thinks she caused Mimi's stroke. I want to say that it's really self-important of her, but it's kind of true of people to think like that.
  • Stacey has a new hat that she's really proud of: it's velvet, with patches of different colours, and has cool beadwork around the brim. Sure.
Final Thoughts: Since I haven't read it yet, you can get a perspective on this book's follow-up Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby over at Dibbly Fresh.

1 comment:

Sadako said...

Agreed. Peaches was pretty irritating here. Also got the sense that the sitters really hated Natalie (all the remarks about how unkempt she was/her slouchy socks, etc.)