Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby (RS#97)

Original Publication Date: 1996

Ghostwriter? Yes, Peter Lerangis


Claudia's cousin is finally born! Her aunt and uncle, Peaches and Russ, name her Lynn for Claudia Lynn Kishi, and ask Claudia to be her godmother. Claudia is ecstatic about Lynn, and wants to spend time with her and help out however she can. Pretty quickly, she goes overboard. Peaches and Russ don't really know how to tell her that they need space. Tensions rise and all parties overreact. Conveniently, Claudia finds herself dealing with an overbearing classmate on a school trip to Philadelphia. Like in a sitcom, it helps her understand the situation and everyone gets along by the end of the book.

Subplot: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold are getting terrified by illicitly watching horror movies, but are cured after seeing a making-of documentary and realizing it's fake.

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: pretzels behind some shoe boxes in her closet

Shannon's on the debate team.

Claudia points out that while Logan teases Mary Anne for getting so emotional at movies, he actually likes it because the more she cries, the more she snuggles.

Stacey has injected herself with insulin in front of Claudia and Claudia says it's not gross. Good friend! The rest of the BSC is all "EW! Your necessary for living routines are disgusting!" Although, where does Stacey inject the insulin? I had a teacher with diabetes and he told us that the injections had to be in his backside (it was relevant).

Their Families:

Hmm...it's not entirely clear whether Lynn is breastfed, bottlefed, or a combination. And Claudia gives Peaches advice on feeding techniques.

The Club (and clients):

Quick way to convince eight-year-old kids a movie is fake (if that is indeed the only reason it scares them): ask if Jurassic Park was filmed with real dinosaurs. The end. And yes, the movie was out before this book was published.


Ms. Bernhardt's a jerk. She calls on Claudia, who makes an honest attempt to answer the question, and LAUGHS at her when she gives the wrong answer. No wonder it's hard to motivate Claudia to try in school. Oh, and I mean "jerk" as in mean person, not as in fool like the BSC uses it.

New-to-us students: Melissa Banks and Lily Karp (8th)

PSA Time:

Any time you go to visit someone in the hospital, have a nurse check to see that the patient isn't asleep or having a procedure done or something. It's rude to just barge in.

If you or your significant other goes into labor and you don't want visitors, don't tell anyone. It's easier to keep people away when they don't know. It sounds obvious, but I made that mistake, and some people just won't understand "I don't want you there" because they think you're trying to accomodating of their schedules. On a related note, if someone you know is in labor and she says not to come, don't! You can meet the baby later when it's cleaned up and its mother isn't all tired and sweaty and stuff.

Lactose intolerance is more common in people (or peoples? Janine?) of Asian descent, so it wasn't totally unreasonable for Claudia to think of it. Just unreasonable of her to butt in so much.


Claudia describes an ultrasound image of her cousin. It sounds like she might be describing a 3D ultrasound. The technology was developed in 1987, so maybe possible...

With my daughter, I had labor induced due to preeclampsia. It took a while for things to get started. I remember telling my parents at one point that it was fine if they headed home (no more than 10 minutes away) and my dad said, "But what if she's born right after we leave?" At this point, I had been at the hospital with a Pitocin drip for more than twelve hours. I told him, "Then go! If that's all that's holding her up."

A common question I've heard about this one is how Claudia can be a godmother so young. In the Catholic church, a godparent must be at least 16, not the child's parents, and a practicing Catholic. Also, godparents aren't also guardians in the case of the parents' deaths unless specified in the parents' wills. But the Kishis aren't Catholic, so whatever kind of church they attend (although this is the first time we've seen Claudia's family do so) obviously has different rules. Now, the real question: Lynn is baptized at a Congregational church. Anyone know their rules on godparents? Or if they even practice infant baptism?

Ms. Bernhardt, you jerk, the police probably WERE thrilled when you called back to say Claudia and Melissa had been found and were safe. Police tend to like it when missing people are safe and sound. (Page 127, she yells "I had just called the police! Then I had to call them back to say 'Never mind.' Do you think they appreciated that?")

Near the end of the book, Abby asks "Are we in Hawaii yet?" Foreshadowing!

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 8

Halloweens in 8th grade: 5 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 2

Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-2, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-1

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 3

Summers after 8th grade: 8

BSC Fights: 10

SMS Staff and Faculty: 55

Students (other than the BSC): 182 117 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 6 7th graders, 43 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.

Clients: 33 families

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 117

Mary Anne-2

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