By: M. Puente
This post was written by a student in READ 6310 Children’s and Adolescent Literature.
Fancy Nancy is a series of books about a little girl with an extraordinary personality, a lavish vocabulary, and an eccentric sense of fashion. Nancy is always wearing boas, tutus, slippers, fairy wings, and tiaras. In fact, even her room is decorated with these items. She loves using big fancy words and anything in French. In her opinion, everyone around her is ordinary, so she makes it her responsibility to turn them into posh people.
Jane O’ Connor is the author of this award winning series that has been translated into seventeen languages. It is hard to believe that a book that was created after a summer dinner would have so much popularity. They are so popular that there are more than thirty-six books today, although the original contract was solely for two books. In addition, the books in the series have now spent more than 250 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. Despite the books’ popularity, their author credits their success to the illustrator’s magnificent artwork. Robin Preiss Glasser is the person responsible for bringing Fancy Nancy to life. As a matter of fact, the first Fancy Nancy was written in 2002, but was not published until 2005 because the editor insisted that only Glasser could do justice to Nancy. Obviously, her choice was the correct one.
The series has spawned a line of clothes, games, bedroom sets, party goods, toys, and many websites. The official website is built to interact with educators, parents, and children. As a teacher you will find teaching resources and some downloadable activities that can help bring some fancy fun into your classroom. Parents will find a link that can help them plan a fancy party for their children, interactive fun and games, ideas on how to spend quality family time. Children can play games, watch Fancy Nancy videos, and create ecards to send to their loved ones. Finally, the website has a link that will lead you to a Fancy Nancy blog where you can keep up with the latest news about our fabulous character.
In the classroom, Fancy Nancy can be used in many ways across the curriculum since the topics of the books vary. There are books about holidays such as, Fancy Nancy: Halloween…or Bust! These can be read and used to discuss the traditions of each holiday. Fancy Nancy: Every Day is Earth Day and Fancy Nancy: My Family History could be used during a science or social studies lesson. All of the books in the series could be used to teach vocabulary. You could even build a word wall using the fabulous words found in the books and the children could use them to make their writing more interesting.
Furthermore, Fancy Nancy: Poet Extraordinaire! , could be a valuable asset in the classroom during this poetry craze time. This book introduces children to a few of the many poetry forms that are out there and now are being tested by the infamous STAAR test. But most of all, Fancy Nancy are wonderful, engaging books that can be read during read alouds exclusively for pleasure. Enjoy!