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Second Grade Baby is the fourth book in The Kids in Ms. Colman's Class series. It focuses on student Natalie Springer.

Back Cover Summary[]

Natalie Springer likes school a lot. But not when the kids call her a baby.

Natalie has a chance to do something important in Ms. Colman's class. Her teddy bear is going on a trip around the world! Will Natalie be brave enough to send her teddy so far away?

Summary[]

Main Plot[]

One Monday morning, Natalie is getting dressed for school when she notices with disgust that her mother has put name tags with her name and address in all of her clothes, including her underwear, socks, pillowcases, and even the knitted cap of her favorite teddy, Buzzy Bear. Although she knows her mother is just trying to help her, Natalie is horrified that if the kids at school see the nametags, they will think she is even more babyish than they already think she is.

That morning, as she watches the kids arrive, her mother comes by with a brown paper bag containing her underwear, explaining that Natalie needs a change of clothes for her ballet lesson this afternoon. As soon as Ms. Colman leaves for a second to the classroom next door, Bobby Gianelli and Hank Reubens grab the bag with her underwear, and soon everyone in the class has seen it and are trying not to laugh. Natalie is horribly embarrassed.

Ms. Colman tells them that Omar Harris is absent today because he is in the hospital after a cut on his hand became infected. A few days later, on Thursday, Omar comes back and tells them about the hospital during Show and Share. Mainly, Omar emphasizes that he was incredibly bored.

Ms. Colman then announces to the class that they will begin a new project, where a stuffed animal is left in an airport with a tag attached that says “When you find me, please take me with you for several days. Then leave me in a public place for someone else to find. Send a postcard about your adventure with me to this address.” After a certain date, the viewer is instructed to send the stuffed animal back to the classroom it originated from. Natalie, thinking back to Omar's experience in the hospital, has an idea that when the project is over, they could put all the postcards and pictures in an album, and leave it at the hospital so the kids there could have something to do and wouldn't be so bored.

Later, the kids discuss what stuffed animal or doll they will bring in. Natalie says she hasn't decided, but later decides she can only bring in Buzzy Bear because she doesn't have many stuffed animals and her dolls are so ratty or naked that the boys would tease her. Natalie also wants to be brave and show the other kids she's not a baby. She also thinks to herself that just because she is bringing Buzzy in, doesn't mean Buzzy has to go on the trip, since someone else's teddy would probably be chosen. However, when she gets to school, she discovers no one else brought in a doll or stuffed animal. Ms. Colman then decides that the class does not need to vote, so Buzzy Bear will go on the adventure. The kids tell Natalie she is brave.

Ms. Colman writes the following message on a big cardboard tag:

To Whom It May Concern:
Hello! My name is Buzzy Bear. I belong to Class 2A at Stoneybrook Academy in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. I would like to have some adventures. The kids in 2A would like to learn about other cities and countries. Please take me with you for a day or two. Then send a postcard or a letter or a photo to the address on the back of this tag so the kids in 2A will know what I have been up to. When our adventure is over, leave me in a place where someone else can find me. Eventually, Class 2A would like to have me back so I can go home with Natalie Springer, who is my owner. Please return me by December 1st. Thank you!

The back of the tag has the address of Stoneybrook Academy, and Ms. Colman pins the tag to Buzzy Bear's coat with a large safety pin. Just before lunchtime, Ms. Colman's friend Susan Ying arrives to take Buzzy with her to the airport, where she is going on a business trip. She leaves Buzzy in a waiting area at a gate where people are taking a flight to Chicago.

Ms. Colman puts up a map of the world that students can use to track Buzzy's trip. The first postcard is from Chicago, where Buzzy visited the Sears Tower and the Hard Rock Cafe. The class used the opportunity to learn about the Sears Tower and the state of Illinois. Next, Buzzy goes to a Dallas Cowboys football game in Dallas, Texas. Then, he rides a horse near Grand Teton National Park. Later, he goes to Calgary, Alberta and London, England, and several other location.

However, soon a month goes by with no letters from Buzzy. Natalie starts to worry that Buzzy may not come back. When Ms. Colman says this in class, Natalie starts to cry and the kids begin to laugh at her. Ms. Colman scolds them, and Karen emphasizes that it was brave of her to let her stuffed animal go when no one else would. Audrey has the idea that the class should surprise her another Buzzy Bear, that she has seen at a department store, to replace the one she lost.

That afternoon, Natalie realizes that she is actually doing okay without Buzzy Bear. She has reached some growing up milestones without him. The next Monday, Karen and Jannie gift Natalie a new bear, Buzzy Two, that looks just like Buzzy with the same knitted hat and blue and yellow coat. Natalie puts Buzzy Two on her bookshelf, but thinks to herself that while she likes Buzzy Two, she does not need him.

One day, when it is almost winter, Natalie's mother tells her that a package arrived for her from Ireland. Both Natalie and her mother think that is odd because neither of them know anyone from Ireland. Natalie is overjoyed to see that Buzzy Bear is inside the box. The sender, eight-year-old Mary Bowen, explains she found the bear while waiting at the Dublin airport, and sent Buzzy to Natalie's home address that was sewn into Buzzy Bear's hat. Mrs. Springer concludes that Buzzy's tag must have come off, since Mary sent the bear to Natalie's home instead of to the school.

The next day, Natalie brings Buzzy Bear and Mary's letter for Show and Share. The kids finish their album with the postcards, letters, pictures, and a map of Buzzy's journey, and title it THE ADVENTURES OF BUZZY BEAR. When they finish, Natalie tells Ms. Colman that she is going to give Buzzy to the kids at the hospital, because they probably need him more than she does, and Buzzy Two is special because he is a present from the rest of the class. Later, they go to the hospital and present the kids with Buzzy and the album. The kids at the hospital are pleased to receive the items, and Natalie says good-bye to Buzzy for the last time.

Secondary Plots[]

Characters in this book[]

Students

Family

  • Mrs. Springer

Other

  • Mr. Berger - the other Stoneybrook Academy second grade teacher
  • Dr. Longwood - supervisor of kids at the hospital
  • Ms. Colman
  • Susan Ying - Ms. Colman's friend who takes Buzzy to the airport
  • Mary Bowen - Eight-year-old girl in Dublin, Ireland who sends Buzzy back to Natalie

Places in this book[]

Buzzy the Bear's Adventures[]

  • Waiting area of local airport
  • Chicago with Mr. Frank Saunders - Sears Tower, Hard Rock Cafe, boring business meeting
  • Dallas, Texas with Nora - Dallas Cowboys football game
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming with man, woman and their baby - riding a horse
  • Calgary, Alberta with Gina Seldon
  • London, England with Emily and Kathryn Shulman - Tower of London, two museums
  • Paris, France
  • Milan, Italy
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Dublin, Ireland with Mary Bowen - Dublin airport

Stuffed Animals or Dolls students planned to bring[]

  • Terri and Tammy - Tootsie the stuffed elephant and Taffy the stuffed chipmunk
  • Sara - her barbie
  • Karen - Goosie the stuffed cat
  • Jannie - Sleepytime Susie doll
  • Omar - old giraffe
  • Hank - Firefighter doll

Trivia[]

  • This book mentions that Sara Ford is new this year.
  • This books is dedicated to Kate Gibbel, who is the daughter of author Ann M. Martin's friend Lisa Holton, and who becomes the namesake of a minor character in Twin Trouble.
  • Presumably, Mary Bowen is named after Rebecca Mary Bowen Goodman, the person Karen's Candy is dedicated to.
  • The working title of this book was Adventures of Buzzy Bear [1].
  • Natalie has been taking ballet lessons in this book.
  • Ms. Colman read about this project in a magazine.
  • Terri and Tammy invite Natalie to play hopscotch with them.
  • It's unclear why Ms. Colman's class didn't think of buying a new stuffed animal for the project rather then someone bring something in.
  • This is the second time Ms. Colman's class learns about cities, they also learn about various city in Karen's Promise.
    • The students first learn about Chicago in this book, Karen did a report about Chicago in Karen's Promise.
  • Natalie brought home an extra good report card and was invited over to play at Karen's house.
  • Mr. Berger keeps a polaroid camera in his classroom.

Gallery[]

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