Wednesday, May 02, 2007

#40: Claudia and the Middle School Mystery

the mystery is why someone would cheat off Claud in the first place, if you ask me, but Ann M. Martin cleverly covers herself by adding that said cheater overheard Claud talking about studying with Janine, that genius sister of hers. This book was always a real favorite of mine back in the day, possibly because it was full of Claudia fashion wisdom.

"Anyway, I love to dress in a way that some people here in Stoneybrook might call outrageous. For example, here's what I was thinking of wearing the next day: Since I had the big test, I thought I'd start with my lucky earrings - the ones that look like Princess Di's. They're huge (pretend) emeralds, surrounded by thousands of tiny (phony) diamonds. Then I thought I'd work downward from there, wearing my new green-and-blue-tie-dyed T-shirt dress (the casualness of the dress would be an interesting contrast to those fancy earrings) over green leggings.

The only thing I hadn't figured out was the shoes should I go with my old ballet flats, or the black leather high-tops I'd just gotten? I was having a hard time deciding."


"'Think back,' said Janine. 'Try to remember the day of the test. Can you picture her looking at your paper?'

I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't remember a thing about that day. (Except for what I wore. I can always remember what I was wearing on a given day. I had decided on the ballet flats, in case you were wondering.)"


"I woke up early and lay in bed thinking about what to wear to school. What outfit could I wear to best express my new attitude? I decided that somebody who felt the way I did (or at least the way I wanted to feel) would dress pretty wildly.

I decided to do a Ms. Frizzle.

Do you know who Ms. Frizzle is? She's a character in this great kids' series - the Magic School Bus books. Ms. Frizzle is a wacky teacher who takes her class on amazing class trips - like, would you believe, inside the human body!

Anyway, you must be wondering what this has to do with what I was going to wear. Well, here's the thing. Ms. Frizzle is the wildest dresser I have ever seen! She always wears these coordinated outfits. In Inside the Human Body, she wears a dress with eyes and ears and noses all over it. And her shoes have - you guess it - tongues! In another book, she wears a dress with a caterpillar design - and on her shoes are butterflies instead of bows.

I love the way Ms. Frizzle dresses.

I decided that my theme for the day would be The Sea. I put on a blue skirt with brightly colored tropical fish printed all over it. Then I put on a green blouse. I figured that could represent seaweed or something. I pulled my hair into a ponytail, over to one side, and I pined it with a sand-dollar barrette I made last summer.

'Claudia!' my mom called up the stairs. 'You're going to be late!'

I ran to my closet and pulled out a pair of shoes. They're the plastic kind called 'jellies' that I had decorated with stickers of seahorses and shells. I looked at myself in the mirror as I slid the shoes on. Was it too much? I shook my head. I looked great. I looked like someone who didn't care about what grade she got on a dumb old math test."


hoyan said...

love the concept of your blog- now i can read all the good parts without traipsing through all the dreary plots and re-introductions of all the characters in every novel. awesome!

Kim said...

thanks! that was my goal ...

the only downside is now I feel dedicated to re-collecting every novel, just so I can BRING THE FASHION.

Seriously, bsc style in general was just the highlight of every single one of those books. In hindsight, those girls wore so many leggings that they'd probably be fairly fashionable now, if it wasn't for their unfortunate and constant insistence on pairing them with 'huge oversized sweaters.' even ankle boots have made a comeback! Man, the bsc has it MADE in 2007.

I'll keep updating!

Pamela said...

This is great! Enjoying it. Man, I loved the BSC. I remember thinking that Stacey and Claudia were fabulous divas who always looked amazing. Ann M. Martin made them seem like fashionistas. I don't think I ever tried to hard to actually picture what they were wearing though... ;-)

esther said...

this was my favorite outfit ever. the ms. frizzle reference was burned into my brain and when they made a magic school bus cartoon i couldn't help but think, 'the frizz don't have nothing on claudia!'.


wintourfan said...

claudia's miss frizzle outfit was my favorite ever!

Katanma said...

Oh, my goodness, the Miss Frizzle outfit is what I always use as an example for how clumsily educational stuff is introduced into these books.

Also, as an example of Claudia's horrible taste in clothes, but people usually don't need to be convinced about that.

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