Sunday, April 8, 2012

Update and Sleepover Squad #1 Sleeping Over

Hey everyone! I am back. I've missed this blog and the Sleepover Friends. I hope some of my former readers are still around! I am going to try my hardest to update on a regular basis. I've decided I'm not going to do the books in order. I think that is why I stopped the recaps. I just didn't feel like doing the books in order. So now I am going to just pick random ones.

I am back in school now for speech language pathology, which I really enjoy. Last summer I took a sign language class, which I loved. For our final project, we had to videotape ourselves signing along to a song or a children's book. I thought a song would be much more fun, but since I had only taken one semester of ASL, I just didn't know enough signs. So I started looking at kids' books. Then I got a great idea--the Sleepover Friends! I signed the part where Lauren talks about the Sleepover Friends. You know... My name is Lauren Hunter and I like sports. My best friend is Kate. She likes movies. Stephanie's favorite colors are black, red and white. Patti is really smart... Only one problem though--apparently there is no sign in ASL for sleepover! I looked online and asked my instructor. Apparently you can't just sign "sleep" + "over" because that translates as "oversleep." Since sleepover is such a long word, I couldn't keep spelling it out every time. So what I finally ended up doing was spelling it out the first time and then just signing "sleep" the rest of the time. I got an A on the project and an A in the class! :)

Yesterday I started reading "Queen of Babble" and came across this.

"Shari's boyfriend, Chaz, comes over to us and scoops up some onion dip with a barbecue-flavored potato chip."

Has Meg Cabot read the Sleepover Friends?! I know it's not Lauren's special onion soup-olives-and-bacon bits dip, but still, I have never heard of eating onion dip with barbecue potato chips--except in the Sleepover Friends books!

Anyway, onto the Sleepover Squad. I came across this book while I was at the library picking up some Sarah Dessen books. I couldn't believe how similar the book is to the Sleepover Friends! I always thought it would have been fun to do an updated version of the Sleepover Friends, but I would have gone older, like middle school or high school. See how the sleepovers progressed as the girls got older or something. The girls in Sleepover Squad are in 2nd grade. What kind of adventures can a bunch of 2nd graders get into? Also, the pictures in this book are pretty awful. They remind me of the Babysitter's Little Sister books. And the worst part? No fun descriptions of clothes! Oh well.
It's the first day of the last week of school. Emily, the main character of the book (but not the narrator, since it's told in 3rd person) is smart and shy. Her 3 best friends are Kara, Jo and Taylor. Kara has red curly hair and is loud. Jo is latina and notices things, like when her friends are upset. Taylor is African American and has trouble paying attention. That is about all that we find out about these girls. I guess there's not much to say about them yet.
Emily, also called Emmers and Em, has big news for her friends. Her parents are going to let her sleep without her night light!
Um, ok. For some reason I had no problems reading about a bunch of 5th graders. Change it to 2nd graders and it just seems... weird. Especially since I don't even have any kids of my own. But anyway.
Taylor has bigger news, but she makes her friends wait til lunch before she'll tell them. Her parents are letting her have a party that Friday night. And it's not just any party--it's a sleepover party! Everyone is excited to stay up late, play Truth or Dare, eat lots of junk food (of course!) and watch scary movies on tv. Then they get a great idea--they will have sleepovers every weekend!
"It's perfect!" Taylor cried. "We could be the Sleepover Friends!"
"No--the Sleepover Squad." Kara smiled. "That means the same thing, but it sounds better."
Um, whatever. I like the Sleepover Friends better.
Emily is all nervous and crying because she knows her parents will say no. She's right. When she asks her parents that day after school, they say no. She's too young. Emily cries and calls Kara to tell her. That night at dinner, she acts like a total brat and then goes up to her room.
The next day at school, her friends help her come up with a plan. Instead of continuing to act like a brat, she'll apologize to her parents for the way she acted. They'll be so impressed with how grown-up she is, that they'll let her go. It works!
Emily's dad makes some cupcakes for her to take to the sleepover party. When everyone gets there, they all change into their pjs. Oh, we do get some outfit descriptions!
Taylor was wearing her frog pajamas and a pair of fuzzy, neon green slippers. Emily had put on her favorite nightgown, which had a pretty blue and yellow flower pattern and lace around the collar. Kara was dressed in a flouncy, bright pink nightie with ruffles. And Jo had on a pair of plaid flannel shorts, a baggy T-shirt, and dark blue slippers.
Jo's outfit is the only one I would have ever worn to a sleepover.
The girls play ping-pong and other games. Then they have dinner--salad, spaghetti, and garlic bread. Then they decorate the cupcakes that Emily brought. They each decorate three, topping them with stuff like strawberries, mint leaves (why?), mini gum drops, pineapple slices, etc.
Sounds like Kara is the Lauren of the group: Kara picked up one of her cupcakes and stared at it hungrily. "So can I eat it now?" The other girls laughed. Kara was always hungry.

They take pictures of their cupcakes and then each eat two. Then they get in their sleeping bags and tell scary stories. They decide to eat the last cupcakes but Emily is too full to eat hers. So they decide whoever falls asleep first will get the cupcake smashed on their forehead. After some Truth or Dare, Kara falls asleep. As Taylor goes over to her with the cupcake, Kara wakes up, grabs the cupcake and eats it. Then they all go to sleep, saying "Long live the Sleepover Squad!"
Seriously? Sound familiar? The Sleepover Friends would always end with "Sleepover Friends forever!" (the inspiration for the name of this blog).
The next morning they wake up and have pancakes. They tell Kara how she ate the cupcake in her sleep. Then Emily's parents come to take her home. She is happy to see them but excited about the next sleepover.
The book includes a "free activity" at the end. Slumber Party Project: Frosting Frenzy. Basically what the girls did in the
story. Make or buy some plain cupcakes. (I have never seen plain cupcakes at the grocery store, but then again I only ever shop at Jewel so I don't know). Then make or buy some frosting and find stuff to use as toppings, like candy and fruit, and again with the mint leaves. What 2nd grader wants to eat mint leaves on their cupcake?! The only thing I like with mint leaves is mojitos. Anyway, then take pictures with your cupcakes and eat them.
So what did you think? Doesn't this book sound a lot like the Sleepover Friends?? Is it too childish? Should I pick up a few more in the series and recap them? Does anyone still read this blog?!