Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bailey School Kids #3: Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors

Bailey School Kids #3 is Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors. Eddie is such a bad kid that the school janitor quits in disgust. The new janitor is a fat man in daisy dukes, named Mr. Jolly. He dresses so oddly, because the cold weather feels warm to him. He's always checking a list, and he has a short friend. Clearly, Mr. Jolly is Santa Claus.

Eddie hates Christmas, because his dad doesn't celebrate it. (It's implied that Eddie's mom died during Christmas time.) So he sets out to prove Mr. Jolly isn't Santa Claus, by toilet papering the teacher's lounge, and by spray-painting whipped cream in the hallway. Mr. Jolly cleans up both messes very quickly, which only fuels the debate that he's Santa. Eddie eventually confronts Mr. Jolly and yells that he won't believe in Santa, unless his father celebrates Christmas.

The final chapter is two pages long. Eddie comes to school the next day, and he's super happy. Dad said they're celebrating Christmas this year! It's a Christmas miracle! Eddie wants to thank Mr. Jolly / Santa, but he can't, because Mr. Jolly left town. The End.

Just like the first book, we get an abrupt ending, where the big finale with Eddie takes place offscreen. I didn't like that The rest of the book was pretty good, and it sets up the formula that every other book will follow. That is, "monster person comes to town. Kids are shocked. Kids encounter person again, start to worry if they are a monster. Eddie gets cocky and tries to disprove the monster, leading to one or two more encounters. There is a big final encounter, and the monster leaves."

I found it odd that Mrs. Jeepers, the vampire teacher, wasn't in this book. She was on vacation, so the kids had a substitute. I guess the authors hadn't decided to bring her back, at this point.

I should note that Eddie outright tells Mr. Jolly that everyone thinks he's Santa. Usually, they don't confront the monster with their suspicions. Mr. Jolly's reaction makes me think he's really Santa Claus. Or maybe he gets accused of being Santa, an awful lot.

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