Dawn is feeling kind of inferior. First, Kristy makes up this formal induction ceremony for Jessi and Mal, when all she got was a pizza toast. Then, Dr. Johanssen calls and specifically requests that Claudia sit for Charlotte. Charlotte only wants her because she misses Stacey, and Claudia is Stacey's best friend, but the other sitters start to feel like they're not good enough or something, because they weren't the ones chosen. When Mrs. Pike calls and asks Dawn to take on the task of getting Claire and Margo Pike ready for the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant, she jumps at the chance to prove what a great sitter she is.
It's uphill work, to say the least, especially when it comes to planning for the talent competition. Margo eventually decides to peel a banana with her feet and recite "The House that Jack Built" and Claire chooses to sing the Popeye the Sailor man song (not the real one...the one about him living in a garbage can and eating worms). Meanwhile, the other sitters have seized their own chances to prove their mettle. Kristy will be coaching Karen in the pageant, Mary Anne will be coaching Myriah (after all these years, I still had to look her name up in the book to spell it right), and Claudia will be coaching Charlotte Johanssen. Mallory and Jessi think pageants are sexist and stupid, and don't want anything to do with Little Miss Stoneybrook.
The pageant is held on a Saturday in the Stoneybrook High School auditorium. The talents portion goes well, although Claire almost freezes because of stage fright. Myriah tap dances and sings to "The Good Ship Lollipop," and is (of course) wonderful. Could one of the Perkinses be anything less? Karen Brewer sings "The Wheels on the Bus," and Charlotte is supposed to recite a passage from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," but runs offstage in tears instead. The only other contestant I need to mention is Sabrina Bouvier, aka Pageant Head. You know the type: lots of makeup, knows how to work the judges, etc. She sdoes a terrible rendition of "Moon River," which Dawn has apparently never heard of. Wait a second...an old song from an old movie that the BSC isn't into? WOW. Anyway, everyone expects Myriah to win, since she was clearly the best contestant, but she gets first runner-up. The crown goes to Sabrina.
As we've seen in previous books, Jeff Schafer is unhappy in Stoneybrook. He finally gets permission to go and live with his dad, and Dawn has a hard time dealing, even though she and her mom know that it's probably the best thing for Jeff.
Thoughts and Things
- During the question portion of the pageant, Calire is asked what she hopes for most. She replies that she hopes Santa Claus is real. I think that's a pretty creative answer. At least it's different than the world peace tripe that Dawn was trying to coach her into saying.
- The day before the pageant is a Friday, and Dawn works with the Pike girls after school until heading home at 5:30 to see Jeff off. Did she get to miss the club meeting without getting a LOOK from Kristy?
- I got really sick of all the "pageants are sexist" crap. I'm not really a fan of them or anything, but being in one doesn't necessarily mean that girls will grow up thinking that being pretty is all that matters like Mallory seems to think. Plenty of pageants offer scholarships as prizes, and plenty of contestants do charitable work or hold down careers.
- Claire calls Dawn at the end of the book to ask for her help entering a Beautiful Child contest at Bellair's. One of the prizes for said contest is a supply or Turtlewax. What in the heck would a five year old do with freaking Turtlewax???
- I'm not even going to discuss the Sabrina Bouvier Conundrum. It's already been done. :)