By Jane O’Connor, Pictures by Robin Preiss Glasser
Harper Collins, 2006
I love being fancy. My favorite color is fuchsia. That’s a fancy way of saying purple. I like to write my name with a pen that has a plume. That’s a fancy way of saying feather. And I can’t wait to learn French because everything in French sounds fancy. Nobody in my family is fancy at all. They never even ask for sprinkles.
I resisted Fancy Nancy for a loooong time. Each time I saw it at our local book store or the library, I’m fairly certain I sniffed audibly and/or rolled my eyes. It just seemed so, well, fancy. But when someone gave my daughter a copy for her second birthday, I finally got past the tiara and chorus-girl coyness of the cover illustration and actually read it. And I freely admit I was wrong: Fancy Nancy is fairly marvelous — which is a fancy way of saying “pretty darn good.” What you’re getting isn’t a compelling narrative, but a compelling character. Nancy has such a unique way of seeing the world, you just can’t help but be charmed. Oh, and just for fun, take a look at Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest, the 2001 book Glasser illustrated with Judith Viorst. Any red-curly-haired girl with an exuberant attitude look familiar?