The Re-birth of The Baby-Sitter’s Club
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of the Baby-sitters Club series. As many long-time fans know, it’s been almost six years since a new BSC book has been published. When I wrote the series finale, Graduation Day, I said good-bye to Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia, and to all the other friends and neighbors in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. At the time, I didn’t know whether I’d get a chance to meet up with them again.
Then my editors at Scholastic asked me if I would like to have my first BSC book, Kristy’s Great Idea, remade into a graphic novel. Because graphic novels are becoming very popular, I’m guessing that many of you are already familiar with them. But in case you haven’t read one yet, I’ll tell you that a graphic novel is a book that uses illustrations, usually in the art style of comic books, to help tell the story.
I’d read a few graphic novels before and found them to be very interesting and creative, so I was eager to see how the story about the start of the BSC would look in this style. To make this happen, a very talented young artist named Raina Telgemeier was chosen for the project. It turned out to be a perfect assignment for her since she said that she’d been a “huge, huge” Baby-sitters Club fan for many years. Raina also told me that she’s wanted to be a graphic artist since she was twelve years old. It’s fun for me, while working with the grown-up Raina on this exciting new project, to imagine the younger Raina reading the BSC books.
Raina decided on the illustrations and original text which would best tell the story of the birth of the Baby-sitters Club. I reviewed each of the drafts along the way. It was a treat for me to revisit the BSC characters, and fun to see them come to life in pictures as well as in words. In the end, Raina drew over one thousand individual illustrations!
Now that Kristy’s Great Idea is a graphic novel, I hope that BSC fans will have as much fun reading it as I have. I’m happy to say that Raina is already hard at work on the next BSC graphic novel, The Truth About Stacey, which will be published in the fall. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about graphic novels, you can click on this link to the Scholastic site: graphix.