Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

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Chapters 5-6 Summary

Chapter 5: "The Birthday Bash"

When Fudge turns three, Mother decides that he should have a party. She invites three of his playmates (Ralph, Sam, and Jennie) to the apartment, and she enlists Grandma and Peter to help. Ralph, who arrives first, is very large for his age and does not say much, while Sam is afraid of everything and Jennie bites.

Grandma begins the party by giving everyone party hats and lighting the candles on the cake. After Peter leads the children in singing "Happy Birthday to You," Fudge blows out the candles, then grabs an icing rose off his cake. Following Fudge's lead, Ralph also reaches over to scoop out a rose. When Jennie sees that there is not enough for her to have one too, she bites Grandma on the hand. When Ralph finishes his cake, he asks for another piece. Peter does not think he should have it, but Mother gives him one anyway. Ralph finishes it and then promptly throws up all over the floor.

Fudge opens his presents and is very excited about the jack-in-the-box Jennie has brought him, but Sam cries because he is afraid of it, so Grandma must put it away. Ralph gives Fudge a little wind-up car, but when the birthday boy opens the gift, Ralph grabs it from him, shouting, "MINE!" Sam brings Fudge a big picture dictionary, identical to the one the Yarbys had given Peter during their visit a few months ago. When Fudge sees the book, he gets angry and throws it across the room, and Sam starts crying again.

Mother has read somewhere that three-year-olds like to dance around with balloons, so she has Peter give each of the children a balloon to hold. Instead of dancing, however, they begin jumping up and down on the furniture, running from room to room and having a great time. Mrs. Rudder from downstairs comes up to complain about the racket, and out of desperation, Mother asks Peter to bring out his turtle to entertain the party-goers.

The children are fascinated by Dribble and are quiet until Jennie, with an evil glint in her eye, asks if the little reptile can "tinkle." She then proceeds to demonstrate that she can too, producing a puddle on the rug. Jennie's mother is very embarrassed when Mrs. Hatcher hands over her daughter's wet pants in a baggie when she comes to pick her up.

Later, Peter comments that "three is kind of young for a party." His mother, exhausted, tells him, "You are absolutely right!"

Chapter 6: "Fang Hits Town"

Peter calls his brother "Fang" because of the way he looks without his top two front teeth, but his mother does not like this, so he has to stop. On Saturday, Peter and Mother take Fudge to the dentist, and everyone in the office makes a big deal over the little boy, causing Peter to feel annoyed and a little resentful. When Fudge gets into the dentist's chair, he refuses to open his mouth. Peter is forced to go in and demonstrate by opening his own mouth on command so that the dentist can "count [his] teeth." Fudge, who wants to do everything that "Pee-tah " does,...

(The entire section is 807 words.)