Sunday, 24 December 2017

Review: Dawn and the Impossible Three (BSC Graphix 5) by Gale Galligan

BSC Graphix is back. Several years after Scholastic re-imagined four of the early Baby-Sitters Club series as graphic novels, the series has made a surprising but welcome return. This time around comic book artist Gale Galligan is the author/illustrator, taking the reins from Raina Telgemeier. Dawn and the Impossible Three is the first novel to be told from the perspective of Stoneybrook newcomer, Dawn Schafer.

Dawn's life isn't easy at the moment. Along with her brother Jeff, she has been relocated from sunny California to a small town thousands of miles away. Although homesick, she tries to make the best of the situation, first by making friends with Mary Anne and joining the Baby-Sitters Club. If club president Kristy (who is Mary Anne's other best friend,) would give her a chance, things would be much easier. Anyway, Dawn finds herself stuck with a pretty heavy duty challenge baby-sitting for the Barrett's, a single parent family with three kids and a mother who is so disorganised and scatty that she borders on negligent. During her adventures with the Barrett's Dawn learns some important lessons about responsibility and speaking up. 

There are also two b-storylines, the first of which is the slightly non-cannon story of how Mallory joins the club. The story is a watered down version of some of the events in Hello Mallory, but told from Dawn's perspective, and with no Jessi to be seen (as yet.) The second b-storyline has Kristy contemplating what impact her mother's upcoming wedding will have on her. The focus on this one feels a little like foreshadowing, so I am wondering if this means we will see a graphic version of Kristy's Big Day, or Kristy and the Snobs (or possibly a combination of the two) sometime in the near future. 

There is also a bit more of a focus on the budding romance between Dawn's mother and Mary Anne's dad. 

Once again, I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed reading this one. One thing I really appreciated was Dawn's appearance--in these books she has a real 90s grunge look, which seems entirely appropriate for the character. (I guess that finally explains what the original books meant by California Casual.) I think the Dawn/Kristy storyline was handled quite realistically, where both girls bond slowly as they realise just how much they have in common. The illustrations are great--for me, it was the first time I've read any of the books in the series in colour. I appreciated the attention to detail--in fact, until now I had never realised that Nicky Pike had red hair and glasses like his older sister Mallory. 

Great fun for BSC fans new and old. Highly recommended.