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Fancy Nancy

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Cover art of children's picture book Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy

HarperCollins Publishers
The first picture book about Fancy Nancy was published in 2006. By 2008, there were three books in the picture book series, as well as a new Fancy Nancy beginning readers series, a Fancy Nancy book of “fancy words,” and more. What is it that makes the character Fancy Nancy so popular? Fancy Nancy is a little girl who loves everything fancy. She is enormously appealing to the little girls (and their moms) who also love dressing up and enjoying the fancy life. Fancy Nancy is also very popular with teachers because of all of the "fancy words" she uses and explains.

Fancy Nancy

Readers of Fancy Nancy get an immediate view of what it means to be fancy since the first two double-page spreads show Fancy Nancy’s bedroom when it was very plain and after it was fancy. Wow, what a difference! Fancy Nancy is a little girl who loves being fancy. She loves everything fancy: clothes, accessories, decorations and furniture. She also loves fancy words.

Fancy Nancy’s parents and little sister are not at all fancy and they don’t always understand how important it is to be fancy, although Nancy is constantly telling them things like, “lace-trimmed socks do help me play soccer better.” However, they are a loving and accepting family. When Fancy Nancy offers lessons in learning to be fancy, they all attend.

When they attempt to dress up so as to look fancy, Nancy has to provide her family with fancy accessories because their own clothes are so plain. Once dressed up and in a fancy mood, they decide to eat out. Off they go to a local restaurant where their fancy attire and behavior makes them the center of attention. When an accident ruins their fun, Fancy Nancy is unhappy and ready to go home. Yet, she is quick to thank her parents for being fancy with her. Her parents’ willingness to go along with Fancy Nancy’s dreams of being part of a fancy family makes this story by Jane O'Connor particularly appealing.

Fancy Nancy: My Recommendation

I recommend Fancy Nancy for 3- to 6-year-olds. The colorful detailed and exuberant illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser add to the fun. You’ll find your child will enjoy the story again and again, each time finding something else in the illustrations to talk about and enjoy. (HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN: 9780060542092)

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