I’m going to start a new “feature” (if you will), in which I talk about my favorite children’s book series (hence the title, known as FCS from here on out). Since I work with elementary school kids, I see lots and lots of picture and early chapter books. Some of them are truly phenomenal, and deserve lots of attention, so I’m going to use this feature to talk about them. First up: Fancy Nancy!
The Fancy Nancy books feature our main character, Nancy Clancy, who is a very girly girl and loves all things fancy (shocking, I know!). Nancy lives with her mom, dad, and younger sister, JoJo. The book mentioned here is the first in the series, and deals with Nancy wishing to “fancy up” her family members, who are decidedly drab when compared to Nancy. The other books deal with several other topics: a new friend, being unable to attend a birthday party, breaking a Christmas ornament, staying up too late, not doing her homework, etc. All of the books feature really wonderful, very colorful illustrations courtesy of Robin Preiss Glasser (although there are a few that are done only in her style, and not actually by her) that really bring Nancy and her fanciness to life. (Also of note to those who are old enough for beginning chapter books, Nancy now has a chapter book series as well. I am REALLY excited to check these out!)
The biggest thing I love about these books, however, is the vocabulary that they teach the reader. Nancy, being a fancy girl, loves France and all things French. She includes numerous French words in her narrative, but also uses advanced words, particularly when it comes to describing how she’s feeling. This is a really great way for younger readers to expand their vocabulary, and become familiar with words that will show up as they progress through school.
My students – particularly the girls – absolutely adore Fancy Nancy. If you’re a mom with a young daughter, definitely check them out. I think everyone can use a little fancy in their lives, and Nancy brings it like no other. You can see the rest of the books in the Fancy Nancy series HERE.