Sunday, August 30, 2009

Portrait Collection: Abby's Book

Tagline: None. It's Portrait Collection book!

Cover: Coincidence that the cover is done in blue and red? Probably, even though that turns out to be significant later in the book. I think the picture of Abby is taken from the Welcome to the BSC, Abby! cover. Oh, wait, no, it's just looks like it was inspired by that. There are some things on here that we know are associated with Abby (the soccer ball, Aretha, Kleenex for her allergies) plus some new things, like a harmonica (I think we know this belonged to her dad), a party noisemaker, a fortune cookie, and crocodile. So let the retconning begin!

Plot!: Abby goes through the 8th Grade SMS rite of passage and writes her autobiography. Her story includes growing up as a twin, her father's death, a vacation with her mom and sister, and moving to Stoneybrook.

Points of Interest:
  • Abby's alarm wakes her up at 8, and the radio is playing commercials. Assuming her clock is set to the correct time (mine is always fast on purpose), why would the radio be ENDING a set of songs at the hour? And it's for commercials, not like, the news.
  • Abby calls her autobiography Me, Myself and I: The Autobiography of Abigail Stevenson.
  • The twins were born about a month early, and their dad almost missed their birth (he was at a meeting in Chicago), arriving just in time to see Anna born. Abby was born 8 minutes later.
  • All of the pictures of Abby in this book are totally fug, which is sadbecause usuallyAbby looks kind of good on the covers.
  • One day at the mall they meet another set of twins, but these girls are really old women and they still dress alike and live next to each other. It sounds terrifying.
  • Did Abby ever sit for the Arnold twins?
  • When Abby and Anna start school, they are in a class where people are unable to tell them apart. The teacher remains remarkably out of touch and suggests that one twin be in red, and the other dress all in blue. This doesn't work at all, as instead of being called "Abby-Anna" they are now called Red and Blue. They switch places/colours one day, and the teacher has no idea. That seems...kind of unsafe.
  • That's also a day when their Dad comes to school, and he doesn't appear to notice the switch, calling Abby "Anna." Abby is rocked to her very core, but it turns out that he was only playing along with them, and of course he can tell them apart. Whew. I think I saw a variation of this plot on an old episode of Full House once.
  • Also, this whole "Abby-Anna" /switching places stuff is very reminiscent of Mallory and the Trouble With Twins.
  • The part where Abby's dad dies is a lot like "With You and Without You" , except without the horrible advance notice of knowing someone is going to die. I mean, I guess in general it's good to have the chance to say goodbye and put your affairs in order, but it's all just so sad.
  • Also with added Jewish elements like shiva.
  • Their mom starts withdrawing from the world, not paying attention to what Abby and Anna are doing or eating. It's very sad.
  • A while later they go on a trip to Sanibel, in Florida, over New Year's, for a supposed family vacation, but they spend it all separately, and the mom works all the time. This sounds kind of like a retread of Stacey's issues with her father. Maybe Ed McGill and Rachel Stevenson should have hooked up.
  • The family decides to start new traditions to makeup for the ones that they don't want to do now that their dad/husband has died.
  • After getting back from the trip, Abby's mom starts working on a mysterious project with a renewed zeal. It turns out to be a move to Stoneybrook! Hurrah!
  • There's a picture of their new Stoneybrook mansion. It looks to be the size of a large airplane hangar. Seriously - I get wanting to move to a good neighbourhood, but why would they choose a house that had five bedrooms? Maybe they're planning for when the grandparents will move in with them.
  • Their Mom goes through a real pitching fit before they move - none of the furniture from their old place makes the move, and a lot of stuff is given away. It's a wonder that the box of stuff of their father's that they discover in Welcome to the BSC, Abby!.
  • Abby recounts the story of how they moved in but had no water or power, so moved in with the Brewer-Thomases for the night. Do you think she really picked up on the fact that Kristy liked Anna better or is that just someone trying to work in Kristy and the Dirty Diapers? I think Abby probably knew, she has terrible puns but she does seem to have an understanding of the situation.
  • Abby's teacher is named Ms. Belcher. What an unfortunate name for a teacher who works with adolescents.
  • Also, Ms. B. has personalized stationary from SMS. Really? That seems likes like something that could be cut from a public school's budget. Maybe it belongs at a fancy place like Stoneybrook Day or Stoneybrook Academy.
  • Abby gets an A-on her autobiography, which she wrote in a weekend. I think she is going to be just fine at university.
Final thought: I have very few Abby books to recap, so that's why I broke out the Portrait collections. I'm not the biggest fan of these books, because, like The Baby-Sitters Remember, they have a way of going back and making up history that usually works contrary to what they've already told us.


nikki said...

I'm glad you recapped this. I've never read an Abby book. Shame on me. :)

Sadako said...

Kristy liked Anna better? I thought the BSC wanted them both but Anna said no and Abby said yes. Interesting.

I agree, usually Abby looks pretty nice on the covers. No scanned fug images?!