Literature Evaluation

That’s a fancy way of saying Book Review.

I’m kicking off my Books We Love series with Fancy Nancy. Before I begin telling you why we think these books are so wonderful, let me tell you how we were introduced to her.

When he was in first grade, Noah came home with a paper he had done in school. It was a picture he had drawn with the sentence, “It reminded me of my mom.” So the ensuing conversation went like this:

Me: “What reminded you of me?”

Noah: “Mrs. Farnan read us a book today.”

Me: “What was the book?”

Noah: “Fancy Nancy.”

Me (beaming with pride): “Do I remind you of Fancy Nancy?”

Noah: “No, you remind me of her mother.”

Me (still hopeful): “Is her mother fancy, too?”

Noah: “No, she’s very, very plain.”

Me (crushed): “Oh.”

I may have been crushed, but I was also intrigued (that’s a fancy word for curious). We read the first book and we all enjoyed it, but my daughter (who was 4 at the time) and I were hooked!

Here’s how I would describe Nancy. She’s not a princess or a fairy or a ballerina. She’s a bright girl who loves all things, well, fancy. She loves french words–because, “everything in french sounds fancy.” She has an extensive vocabulary–after all, big words make what we say fancier. And when it comes to accessories and decorating, her mantra is “more is more!”

100_2544Here’s how Leah, now 6, describes Nancy. She’s fancy. Her whole name rhymes–fancy Nancy Clancy. I like her because she really likes fancy stuff and she wears her hair all up on her head. She also likes how it’s written in “cursive.”  (She asked the other day if I thought “they” got cursive writing from Fancy Nancy.)

The author, Jane O’Connor is one sly lady! Through her use of “fancy words” she’s building the vocabularies of young girls everywhere! She also sneaks in fun facts and little life lessons along the way so the readers are learning without even knowing it.

Among the many lessons, young readers learn:

  • not to leave their homework until the last minute
  • how to work together with someone who is very different from themselves
  • the importance of sharing…even sharing your best friend
  • about constellations like the Big Dipper
  • map and exploring skills
  • about nature
  • how to make a pine cone bird feeder
  • etiquette
  • how to improvise and overcome disappointment
  • and, maybe the most important lesson–ice cream is perfect whether you’re celebrating or soothing disappointments!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the captivating illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser. She has captured the essence of Fancy Nancy beautifully!

Leah and I highly recommend any and all of the Fancy Nancy books as a magnificent supplement (that’s fancy for great addition) to your library!

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