|Publisher||Dutton Children's Books|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.B6265 Fu 1990|
|Followed by||Double Fudge|
Peter Hatcher is horrified 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, who is five years old, 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. This wish is pacified and dropped after a newfound friend in a small girl named Mitzi Apfel 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 best friend, Jimmy Fargo, on the vacation 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 vacation too. Along the way, Peter develops a huge infatuation on a teenage librarian named Isobel (her friends call her Izzy) 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." Sheila and Fudge didn't get married, but Muriel, Peter and Fudge's widowed grandmother, and Buzzy Senior, Sheila's single grandfather, got married, much to the dismay of Peter and Sheila, who thereafter, pledged they would never stand each other, despite being stepcousins now.
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 United States, starring Jake Richardson, Florence Henderson, Eve Plumb, Shirley Knight, Alex Karras, Luke Tarsitano, and Darren McGavin. It was directed by Bob Clark. It also inspired a half-hour Saturday morning TV series, Fudge.