Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fancy Nancy

Companion Books Part VI

(Here are the links to Part I, II, III, IV, and V.)

I’ll be highlighting my March book over the next few days, but Fancy Nancy also fits nicely into a series of posts I’ve been writing about companion books. I haven’t even scratched the surface of this subject matter. There are so many successful characters in this aspect of children's books: Skippy jon Jones, Olivia, The Berenstain Bears, Splat the Cat, Pinkalicious, Curious George, Bad Kitty, Little Wombat, and the list goes on. And yes, I have all of these. LOL!

Here’s my latest investment:

Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy.

Note: I put Fancy Nancy next to Too Purpley! since "fuchsia" is her favorite colour. This is a fun picture book for big girls too.

Nancy thinks butterflies are simply exquisite. And that is why she can't wait for her friend Bree's Butterfly Birthday. It's going to be the fanciest birthday party ever! But when Nancy finds out she can't go because her grandparents' fiftieth anniversary party is the same day, she is furious. (Mad is way too plain for how she feels.) Will Nancy be able to overcome her disappointment?

This is my favorite Fancy Nancy book out of the series. The body language in this story is hilarious—and so true to how children behave. OMG, it’s so darn funny! Well, not to Fancy Nancy, though.

I also picked up a Fancy Nancy doll. There were several to choose from, but this one looks most like the character. The Madame Alexander packaging is a collector’s dream come true.

Note: Illustrators should check out this book!

It's spring vacation, and Nancy is feeling glum because her best friend, Bree, is out of town. Luckily, it's Nancy's mom to the rescue! When she brings home a brand-new set of glitter markers, Nancy puts her trademark flair to très creative use and devotes herself to becoming a serious artist (or artiste, as the French say). After all, everything about being an artist is fancy, fancy, fancy—especially when inspiration strikes!

I enjoyed seeing artists like Edgar Degas and Claude Monet included in this picture book. This story would be such a clever way for parents and teachers to include a little art history before handing out the sketch pads. I also think it will boost the confidence of many children who find art intimidating. I've actually had students that were deathly afraid of blank paper and crayons.

A personal note on this series...

I always worry about successful characters becoming too commercialized, but the Fancy Nancy books are absolutely charming. Each edition makes me yearn to read the next. The dust will never settle on her shelf. Cheers!

(See a complete list of titles here.)

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