The story

Seven energetic and comical new stories about the spunky siblings first seen in The Pain and the Great One. In equally sassy voices Abigail, 8, and Jake, 6, capture slices of Saturday life, from getting haircuts to dog-sitting. With sly illustrations by James Stevenson. The companion book to Cool Zone.

Judy says

I first wrote about the Pain and the Great One when my kids were six and eight years old. I've always wanted to write about these characters again, but this time in a longer book where I could get to know their family and their friends. I wrote one story a couple of years ago just to see if I could do it. I liked it and thought, "This is going to be fun!" But then other projects got in the way so I had to put the Pain and the Great One away. Finally, I said, "It's now or never!"

Last summer I sat around with my grown daughter and son (who inspired the original picture book) and shared some of the stories I'd written. They started to reminisce—Remember the magnifying glass? Remember the bully on the bus?

Soon, my daughter was reminding my son that she was the Great One, and he was the Pain. My grandson found it wildly funny to see his Mom and his favorite uncle acting like six and eight year old siblings.

All four books will have funny illustrations by James Stevenson. We haven't met yet but when we do I'll thank him for bringing my characters to life.

When I thought I had finished the book I realized that Fluzzy, the cat, needed to have his say, too. I liked writing from Fluzzy's point of view. So now every book in this series will end with Fluzzy.


All the stories in this book take place on Saturdays. And the haircutter’s name is Mr. Soupy. Put that together and you get Soupy Saturdays. (Plus there’s more about soup but I don’t want to give that away here.)


Eli and Hannah are my grand-nephew and grand-niece.

"Once again, Blume shows off her pitch-perfect understanding of childhood anxieties and family dynamics. The humor and convincing dialogue will keep new readers going. This welcome new collection should attract a new generation of readers." –Kirkus Reviews