The latest graphic novel adaptation, The Baby-sitters Club: Jessi’s Secret Language released earlier this month. We are super excited to have the wonderful adapter, Chan Chau, and editor of The Baby-sitters Club and Baby-sitters Little Sister graphic novel adaptations, Cassandra Pelham Fulton on the blog to talk about the new book, Chan’s process, favorite panels, and more! Check it out below!
Cassandra: This is your second BSC graphic novel adaptation! What was your favorite aspect of working on Jessi’s Secret Language?
Chan: One of my favorite aspects of working on the book was learning little bits of ASL and ballet! I’ve always been enamored by both, and to have the chance to combine them into one book was a fun challenge.
Cassandra: What is your favorite panel from the book?
Chan: My favorite panel is the one where Jessi reflects on her friends and family. There are a lot of little details that I loved putting in! I also have an intense fondness for Polaroids.
Cassandra: In Jessi’s Secret Language, the boy Jessi is baby-sitting is Deaf. What kind of research did you do to create the panels where the characters are using American Sign Language?
Chan: Oh gosh. I spent a lot of time watching videos and gifs made by the incredible Dr. Bill Vicars for the vocabulary in the book, along with watching YouTubers like Jessica Kellgren-Fozard to learn how to sensitively adapt the material for a modern audience. I am grateful for Lynne Kelly, an ASL educator and interpreter who Scholastic hired to look over my work during the process of making this book. Her feedback was invaluable and I couldn't have done this without her help.
Cassandra: When you were growing up, did you have a hobby or extracurricular activity that you were passionate about?
Chan: I didn't have any substantial extracurricular activities growing up, I was very much a “go to school then go home to do homework” kind of kid. However, I made time to draw comics and play video games whenever I had the chance. I later discovered that drawing was something I wanted to make into a career!
Cassandra: And, finally, I have to ask—do you have a favorite baby-sitter?
Chan: This is such a difficult question! I think my favorite is Claudia. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a teen, except she was so much more fashionable and charismatic than I could ever imagine myself being! Even today!