One of the unexpected bonuses about having my kids 7.5 years apart is that I not only got to revisit favorite characters like Arthur and Elmo, but I also was introduced to new ones. By the time my older daughter was reading chapter books on her own, I was once again sitting down to read with my little ones.
One of the characters I would have missed if my children were closer in age is Fancy Nancy.
Fancy Nancy is a character created by Jane O’Connor, who was already an well established children’s author. She created the Here Come the Brownies book series for Girl Scouts and the Nina, Nina Ballerina series. Robin Preiss Glaser is the talented illustrator who colorfully brings the author’s vision to life with her delightful illustrations.
The first book, simply titled Fancy Nancy, was published in 2006. There are 54 books in the series to date, with the most recent set published in August 2013. These stories come in picture books for younger readers, then progress to easy chapter books, and more challenging chapter books as children become better and more able readers. Children can grow with this character as their reading ability improves.
Over the years, the books have earned many awards, have been on the New York Times bestseller list, and has even been turned into a musical.
A Fun Way to Introduce Vocabulary
Fancy Nancy is a little girl who loves everything fancy. She dresses up all of the time and has feather boas, Christmas lights and flowers as decorations all over her room. She even uses words that younger children would not typically use.
Ah ha! The author is cleverly sneaking learning into her book!
When most children begin to read, they learn to sound out small words and work their way to up to more complicated ones. That is why phonics based books are so…boring.
Children also have a difficult time decoding words (sounding them out) and understanding them at the same time if they are above their ability level. They can only focus on one task at a time.
But a child’s ability to comprehend what is read to her is much higher than her ability to read that same text on her own.
This is where the learning takes place!
Ms. O’Connor has Nancy use the words, and then explains what they are afterwards. This is an example of what the author does (and check out those delightful and captivating illustrations!)
Different Costumes for Each Book
In each of the Fancy Nancy books, there is a particular outfit that she wears throughout. Fans of her books will instantly recognize which one it comes from, as each story has a specific adventure that Nancy is one.
Here are some costumes for your favorite girl to wear! Each one features a glammed up cameo of Nancy in the center. The one thing they all have in common is that they are so…FANCY!
This costume is inspired by the one worn in Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. In this book, Nancy wants the fanciest dog, but her parents want a plain one. The story explores how to make the right choice for a family pet, and of course, uses words such as ecstatic, ensembles, spectacular and exhausted…to name a few.
The costume has a poodle on the purple skirt and a cow design for the top.
This purple party dress is layered with ruffles and it sparkles! It has short capped sleeves and an orange belt which is a bright contrast to the purple.
This ultra girly butterfly dress is based on the one she wore in Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly. In this story, Nancy is so excited to go to her best friend, Bree Butterfly’s birthday party. However, she gets furious (that’s really mad) when she finds out her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary party is the same day. Will she be able to overcome her disappointment?
The pastel colored dress has butterfly wings that attach with Velcro and a plumed (that’s feathery) pin on the waistline. The beaded necklaces are sewn onto the shoulder so they won’t come off.
Dressing as Fancy Nancy is easy. There are many more costume ideas available to inspire you!
Featured images from Pixabay and altered by the author in Canva