|Publisher||Dutton Children's Books|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.B6265 Fu 1990|
|Followed by||Double Fudge|
Peter Hatcher is horrfied to learn of his family's plans to spend their summer in a vacation home alongside the Tubmans, the family of his archrival Sheila Tubman, located in Southwest Harbor, Maine. On the other hand, his younger brother Fudge anticipates the vacation because of his plans to marry Sheila as a means of protection against the supposed "monsters" hiding beneath his bed, knowing that spouses often share a bed. Fortunately, this wish is pacified and dropped after a newfound friend in a small girl named Mitzi provides him with a bottle containing her grandmother's "monster spray" during the vacation, but Peter is stunned to learn that Mitzi is the granddaughter of an idolized baseball player known as "Big Apfel." Also, along the way, he invites his closest friend Jimmy Fargo on the trip with him, a privilege gifted to compensate for having to spend a vacation alongside Sheila, but is irritated when Jimmy starts to spend more time with her than with him out of sympathy for her own good friend's inability to join her on the trip too. Along the way, Peter develops a huge infatuation on a teenage librarian named Isobel and Fudge is inspired to author a picture book after learning about Mitzi's own book, "Tell Me a Mitzi." Frank Fargo, Jimmy's father, a celebrated painter, also receives inspiration after the Hatchers' baby daughter Tootsie toddles across a canvas with blue paint smeared on her feet, commencing a series of paintings appropriately entitled "Baby Feet."
To Peter's amazement, the group of townspeople and vacationers schedule a baseball game alongside Big Apfel, albeit he is disappointed to learn of the player's views on how it should be played. He also loses his spark for Isobel after she selects a different player for her team during the game, and both he and Sheila are
Kirkus Reviews found "The story's a bit tame (no controversies here), but often amusingly true to life and with enough comic episodes to satisfy fans." while Publishers Weekly "praised the ``numerous diverting scenes of this ``fast-pitched, funny novel."
A television film based on the book was released on January 7, 1995, in the USA, starring Jake Richardson, Florence Henderson, Eve Plumb, Shirley Knight, Alex Karras, Luke Tarsitano, and Darren McGavin. It was directed by Bob Clark. The film also inspired a half-hour Saturday morning TV series, Fudge.