The only actual Claudia memory from this section that doesn't come from interviewing other people happened when she was about four and a half or five. The Kishis were having a cement walk put in in their backyard, and Kristy, Claud, and Mary Anne were fascinated by the event. The three girls discovered pretty quickly that wet cement wasawfully fun to play in, but they were caught by Mimi. Mimi called the workmen, who came back and smoothed over the "art" that they had put into the walkway. Then, Mimi let them put their handprints in the cement.
Happy Birthday to Me
Claudia's 6th birthday happened not long after the end of the school year. She had this huge, circus-themed party planned, and her parents had given her permission to invite everyone in her class. Claudia forgot to give out the invitations until the very last day of school was ending, and when the day of the party arrived, Kristy and Mary Anne were the only ones who showed up. Claudia was crushed, and shut herself in her room, crying. Later, Mimi asked her to go over to Mary Anne's for a minute, and when they got there, all the Thomases, Spiers, and Kishis were there to help Claudia celebrate her birthday.
The Truth About the Tooth Fairy
In Claudia's second grade class, losing teeth was a big deal. Claudia herself hadn't lost any yet, and she was pretty happy about that. She was terrified of the tooth fairy, who she saw as a complete monster, who yanked teeth from straight out of kids' mouths when they're sleeping. Then, disaster struck one day at recess. Claudia was playing tag when she tripped, fell, and knocked her mouth on the ground. One of her teeth really started to hurt after that, but she did her best not to let anyone find out about it. Her parents wormed the truth out of her, and Claud was taken to the dentist the next day. Claudia had the tooth pulled, and that night, Claudia decided to hide in the closet and wait for the tooth fairy that way. She was pretty surprised when her own mother turns out to be the one who took the tooth away and left a silver dollar in its place. Then, Claudia got to thinking; if the tooth fairy was fake, did that mean that Santa and the Easter Bunny were as well?
Boo for Fourth Grade
Claudia did so bad in 4th grade at SES that her parents sent her to an alternative school in Stamford for awhile. Claudia's grades improved, but her mood got worse. She was miserable. She started withdrawing from her friends and sleeping all the time. Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi put her back in SES and got her as much individual help there as they could.
The Sea Rose
When Claud was 11, the Thomases invited her on their beach vacation. Hammond Beach wasn't exactly what Claud had imagined it would be, but she liked it all the same. One day, she and Kristy were playing on the beach when David Michael asked to go get a hot dog. Kristy gave him 10 minutes to go and be back, but when he didn't turn up, the girls got worried. They look everywhere for him, and Kristy got pretty frantic. David Michael is found, playing on the beach with some other kids; he'd had no idea that his 10 minutes was up. Kristy freaked out on him, yelling at him not to say he's coming back and then not do it. Claudia realized that being Kristy, as tough as she is, probably wasn't the easiest job in the world.
Thoughts and Things
- Claudia gets a B- on her project.
- There are all sorts of inconsistencies in this book: it says that Mr. Kishi is a lawyer, not an investment guy, David Michael is both 4.5 and 5 in the "Sea Rose" chapters, and Claudia says at different times that her butterfly self portrait was drawn in kindergarten AND first grade. Sheesh.
- Mimi is awesome!
- This might actually be my least favorite of the portrait books. That's odd, because Claudia was always one of my favorite sitters.
- One thing that this book DOES have going for it: most of the pictures of Claudia inside are actually pretty cute.