Dawn's a little jealous when there's a formal ceremony to welcome Jessi and Mallory into the Baby-sitters Club. Don't people know that Dawn's a special baby-sitter, too?
Then it's Dawn's turn to shine. Mrs. Pike wants Dawn to help prepare Margo and Claire for the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest. So what if Margo's only talent is peeling a banana with her feet? Dawn's going to help her charges win that contest any way she can.
The only trouble is...Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia are helping Karen, Myriah, and Charlotte enter the contest, too. And nobody's sure where the competition is fiercer: at the pageant — or in the Baby-sitters Club!
Five BSC Charges (Karen Brewer, Claire & Margo Pike, Myriah Perkins, & Charlotte Johanssen) decide they want to compete in the Little Miss Stoneybrook Pageant. Kristy helps prepare Karen, Dawn helps Claire & Margo, Mary Anne helps Myriah, and Claudia works with Charlotte. The baby-sitters are intensely competitive as each would like her charge to win the pageant. But with crazy talents, stage fright, and intense pageant competitors, things get a little crazy. Eventually, Charlotte develops stage fright and runs off the stage, Claire, Karen & Margo flub up their interview questions, and Myriah goes on to win first runner up. Her prize is a shopping spree at Toy City. Other known competitors are Sabrina Bouvier (grand prize winner) and Lisa Shermer (second runner up).
Dawn's brother Jeff is not adjusting to the move to Stoneybrook very well and ultimately moves back to California to live with his dad, which is hard on Dawn since her family has been ripped in half- girls vs boys, Stoneybrook vs Palo City- and separated by 3,000 miles.
Little Miss Stoneybrook … and Dawn is one of my favorite books in the series because it was so much fun to write. I loved creating the silly acts for the pageant, in particular for Margo, who peels bananas with her feet. (I don’t know if anyone can do that; I just made it up!) I also liked writing about the rehearsals and the funny mistakes the kids make. By the way, if I had ever had to be in a pageant myself, I would have reacted the way Charlotte Johanssen did.
The humor in the book, however, was tempered by a serious subplot. It is in this book that Jeff returns to California. While Dawn is upset by this, she understands why Jeff misses California and their father. In fact, later in the series Dawn faces this dilemma herself....