A Q & A with David Levithan and Ann M. Martin
DL: I know that, like me, you get asked all the time which baby-sitter you are most like.
But ha! I am going to invert that tried-and-true question and ask ...which of the baby-sitters
are you LEAST like?
AMM: Mary Anne is the only character I'm truly like, but of the others I am definitely the
least like Kristy, which may be why she's my favorite. She's my alter ego. Kristy is outgoing,
athletic, not afraid to speak her mind, likes being in charge, and is good at it—all things I
DL: Over the years, many people from your life (and their children) made appearances in the BSC books. Was there anyone who refused to be in a book?
AMM: I don't remember that anyone refused, or asked not to appear in a book. In fact,
people often asked me (they still do) if I would name a character after them.
DL: I've found that there is a special place in BSC fans' hearts for the Super
Specials. Which of the Super Specials is the most super special to you?
AMM: My favorite Super Special is the first one, Baby-sitters on Board, for the simple reason that the characters get to go to Disney World, and since I'd never been there, I took a trip there with my sister and a friend so that I could research the book. This started my
love affair with Disney World. I've been back many times, and am always looking for
another excuse to pay a visit.
DL: The BSC members started in seventh grade, then stayed in eighth grade for a very,
very, VERY long time. If you had to pick a grade to be in for, say, fifteen years, which
would it be?
AMM: No question, I'd want to go back to third grade so that I could spend fifteen years with the fabulous Miss Kushel, the teacher who introduced our class to Pearl Buck, and
made every day fun.
DL: Do you have a favorite item of BSC paraphernalia, besides the books?
AMM: I love the board games, especially the mystery game.
DL: Who was your favorite baby-sitting charge to write about?
AMM: Kristy's sister Karen was my favorite, which is how the Little Sister books came into being. Apart from Karen, I like writing about Charlotte Johanssen, and Jackie Rodowsky,
the walking disaster.
DL: How did you feel about Raina Telgemeier's adaptations of the BSC into graphic novel form?
AMM: I think Raina did a marvelous job of visually capturing the spirit of the BSC as well as the characters. I'm a fan of graphic novels—I find them very compelling—and was honored that Raina wanted to adapt the BSC.