Fancy Nancy Clancy

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Bonjour à tous!

You look glamorous my ladies!

And you, gentlemen, you are quite dapper today!

Even the most plainly dressed reader among us, will be searching the back of his or her wardrobe for a couple of accessories to glam up - after reading this little gem!

What is it about this little girl Fancy Nancy?

Why do children adore her stories?

Everything will be clearer when you get to know the larger than life quality of the main hero (Fancy) Nancy Clancy.
She is a not like any little girl.

Fancy Nancy is a little girl with a mission.

A mission to make her plain old family ... fancy.

And on the way, she proves the old adage that great things do come in small packages.

It's Hip To Be A Fancy-Pants

Isn't elegance forgetting what one is wearing?Yves Saint Laurent
This picture book is so much more than a story about being fashionable.

Fancy Nancy is a story about being true to oneself and one's aspirations.

Fancy Nancy is a girl that constantly challenges the status quo. She is an aspiring star with a doll named Marabelle.

Strike that. Her doll's full name is Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier.

Read Aloud Dad's challenge: try to read aloud the name of Nancy doll to your kids without a grin on your face.

But, beware.

Although Nancy wears lace-trimmed socks, make no mistake - she is a revolutionary.

And as you are probably aware of, all revolutionaries are doomed to face great opposition.

Nancy's greatest source of concern is her family, which is good-natured but they don't seem to understand the good things in life.

Like the fact that sandwiches definitely taste better when you stick in frilly toothpicks.

This is a picture book filled up with smiles and laughs that just keep rolling in.

Mais oui, Fancy Nancy is a book that will entrance your little ones.

So, put that fucshia beret on your head and get ready to enjoy while Nancy teaches her family how to become more elegant!

And to top it off, your young ones will learn many new words in the process.

You will simply adore the way that author Jane O'Connor introduces new, more complex words in the story.

The whole picture book - and whole Fancy Nancy book series as well - is a vocabulary extravaganza.

After we get introduced to the idea of "being fancy" - every new concept can be revealed under the "fancy" spotlight.

Even words.

Check out some examples from the book:

"Then I get an idea that is stupendous.
That's a fancy word for great"

"Ooo-la-la! My family is posh!
That's a fancy word for .. fancy".

"I like to write my name with a pen that has a plume.
That's a fancy way of saying feather."

This may seem like a small thing, but in fact Nancy's predilection (that's a fancy word for preference) for the occasional use of a complex word or a French expression is a life-saver for parents.
This book solved an enormous problem that we had in our read-aloud sessions.

After we came to know Nancy, when we read aloud any book and come across difficult words, we no longer have a problem.

For example, in the earlier days, if I had to explain the meaning of "complexion", I would usually start a long-winding explanation that my kids didn't appreciate.

Now, I can just say that complexion is a fancy word for skin color and appearance.

And my twins love it! They love learning fancy words instead of boring definitions.

One would say this is a small difference, but for kids it makes a world of difference.

Fancy word for this, fancy word for that...

It makes learning exciting and cool!

Fancy that!

They feel exquisite (that's a fancy word for perfect and delightful) learning new words - and that is a feeling that you cannot easily generate even among adults.

Fancy Nancy is a life saver.

The Difference Between Boys and Girls is So Petite

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.Coco Chanel

Coco was on to something very important here.

And Fancy Nancy's author Jane O'Connor has taken that idea of "fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live" and made that the very heart of her fabulous character.

This book works on several levels, but if it were not for the magical illustrations of Robin Preiss Glasser - Fancy Nancy would probably not be such a charmer.

Let me make a revelation, Read Aloud Dad's home library already sparkles with five Fancy Nancy books.

And it all started with the first one - Fancy Nancy.

I must admit - the first book was a test to see whether other books from the series would deserve a chance. And Fancy Nancy passed with a flying fuschia color!

Namely, Fancy Nancy is so much more than a picture book.

It is a an empowering message for little girls and boys.

This book practically screams - "Be yourself!"

In fact, it screams - "Be yourself and you can also influence the people around you!"

A much bolder message.

Modern society usually limits its influence to convincing our kids that they need to be true to themselves.

Real power in life is all about being yourself AND inspiring people around you.

That is exactly what I love in great picture books. They transcend the genre.

In fact, great picture books are also very fashionable if you think about it.

Who wouldn't love to be caught in public with a Chris Van Allsburg picture book or with a Robert McCloskey under your arm at a party!

Imagine the conversations that these books would spark. Ooh-la-la!

You would become the center of attention, for sure. A great picture book is extra fancy!

But, it wasn't social mobility that I was thinking of when I ordered this little jewel. Oh no!

Fancy Nancy came into our life, as part of my attempt to make sure that we have some "gender appropriate" books for girls and boys in our home library. What ever that means.

Yes, The Two Cars for my little boy.

Fancy Nancy for my little girl.

I know, I may sound like a caveman. But, I was afraid that they wouldn't have books that interest them one day. Anyway, my boy does love cars - while my girl loves ... ponies and dogs.

Surprisingly for Mr Caveman here (moi), both my boy and girl adore Fancy Nancy.

Nancy's joy and rich vocabulary is infectious and the warm story ends with a nice twist.

So, I leave you with these two messages:

If you have a daughter don't let her miss out on Fancy Nancy!


If you have a son don't let him miss out on Fancy Nancy!

I shamefully admit that I originally thought that Fancy Nancy was a book primarily for girls.


Don't make the same mistake.

Never underestimate Nancy Clancy.

Fancy Nancy is available from bookstores in the US:


The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

and from other countries:

Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE


  1. Hi PragmaticMom,

    You make me so happy with your comments.

    I appreciate so much the effort your kids and you invested in reading!  It is so evident on the website - a great inspiration for parents and kids!

    The enormous volume of books that your kids went through, so when you have a fond memory of a book ... it must be a really good book!

    Long live voracious readers and good books!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @2f04fd44b02f5004c4fadc411b33b1aa 

  2. My middle daughter adored these books when she was about 5 and 6. We owned every one at one point. Thanks for your post. It brought back fond memories. Now she will only read books by Roald Dahl and other authors like him.

  3. Hi Kristl Story,

    All the comments to this Fancy Nancy post reminded me of how we forget to stay young at heart. 

    If we have to play dress-up to remember how great it was - lets do it!

    Read Aloud Dad says: go crazy! 

    Yep, our kids - and great children's books - can teach us something about having fun. 

    Long live our fabulous youth!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Kristl Story 

  4. Hi Alison, 

    I am 100% sure that you would enjoy the F.N. books. 

    They are a special treat for moms too - who are still "little girls" in their hearts.

    Let me whisper something to you, but promise not to tell anyone. 

    Sneak a Fancy Nancy into your home for yourself - and let your kids see you indulging in this fabulous picture book! You deserve a treat!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Alison Golden 

  5. Whenever I see Fancy Nancy, it reminds me of playing dress-up!

  6. Fancy Nancy looks fantastic. I wish my kids were young enough to read this to them.

  7. Renne,

    I'm so happy you didn't stop reading the post. 

    A good book is a good book, so if your boys accept it - they will have a great time. Usually, it depends on us - how we "sell it". 

    If they see doubt on our faces, they smell "blood"! So, I just start reading...  :-)

    Don't tell anyone, but I think this one will be a special treat for the moms!  ;-)

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Renee Huggins 

  8. I started reading your review and almost stopped (after stumbling first) because I figured it would be something that my boys wouldn't be interested in. I love that you mentioned how appropriate it is for boys too! Thanks for this review - I will definitely look for the Fancy Nancy books!!!

  9. Hi Diane!

    I'm so glad that many parents will try out the Fancy Nancy books with their boys. 

    Admittedly, they look "girlish" (not that it is bad to look girlish, mind you!) so the first impression that boys get might not be "enthusiasm".

    I had to overcome my own "preconception" - and I laughed and laughed with my kids while reading Fancy Nancy. It was so cool! 

    A fab book is simply a fab book! There is no other way about it!

    And is there anything cooler than a Dad reading Fancy Nancy to his son?

    Mais non!  ;-)

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @503262d754345f5777c5aa50805b5494 

  10. Wow!  Like you, I heard about the Fancy Nancy books, but thought they were geared towards girls.  I will definitely add these to my son's long list of books to read!

  11. Hi Rhoda, 

    Such kind words! Thanks for making my day!

    It is a great series ... and I recommend you start with the first Fancy Nancy book and then go on to the others. They are all excellent fun that expand children's imagination.

    They help your imagination grow wings ... and kids learn that they can have great ambitions for a better life. 

    Thank you so much for leaving a comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Rhoda Myra Garces Bacsal 

  12. Rhoda Myra Garces BacsalSeptember 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Wow, such a comprehensive review. I've heard about Fancy Nancy - and now I feel even more that I'm missing out on something great. Thanks for this.

  13. That is lovely to hear "Sixathome"!

    Indeed, the Fancy Nancy books are too good to be typecast as "girl" books, as they have some very important values to teach our kids. 

    Indeed, at first glance, Fancy Nancy Clancy may seem a "product of marketing", but after you start reading ... you connect with her soul.

    Thanks for the great comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Six Athome 

  14. Both my girls and boys have laughed through the fancy library!
     I , too , was leery and thought Nancy might be a bit consumer oriented,(fancy for selfish). But I do not find it so.
    "Dad's challenge: try to read aloud the name of Nancy doll to your kids without a grin on your face. "
    Try  'Ice cream' !

  15. Hi Michelle,

    Wow, what good news! I can feel your enthusiasm from your words! 

    Mélodie will have the time of her life with her new friend Fancy Nancy, who is indeed such a unique charmer. 

    [You know, you gave a me a book tip too, as we have not read Fancy Nancy - Pajama day yet! I need to find it.]

    Isn't it amazing, how the perfect book in the hands of a child makes reading (and reading aloud) so effortless? I sense it from your comment, how easy and happy your read-aloud session was. And that's exactly the name of the game. 

    Reading = enjoyment!

    You said it best, Michelle. Fancy Nancy is definitely a keeper!

    Thanks for this beautiful comment and for sharing Mélodie's enthusiasm. 

    Dare I admit, I feel as happy as your daughter!

    Read Aloud Dad 

    Re: Michelle Skamene 

  16. Off to the library I went, of course, and picked up 3 Fancy Nancys today. I cannot believe I had never brought one home before reading this post! As you know, Mélodie and I are working on her English, and thanks to relentless almost exclusively English story times, she is very much improved! She will, however, almost always select a French book though, when given a choice. Tonight, I showed her the Fancy Nancys alongside some French favorites of hers, and she chose Fancy Nancy, based on the girly girl on the cover.
    How she loved it! We read Fancy Nancy - Pajama Day, and she was mesmerized (that's a fancy word for enchanted, although enchanted seems quite fancy too...:-) It was a perfect read for my 5 year old, she begged for the other 2 right away! I often feel let down by picture book endings, but this one really finished off perfectly, with Fancy Nancy's dilemma solved to everybody's satisfaction (including my daughter's!).
    At the risk of sounding redundant, thanks again, Read Aloud Dad, for helping me discover a new treasure! I often like to try before I buy when it comes to picture books, but Fancy Nancy is definitely a keeper. Off to place my Amazon order asap!

  17. Hi Katrina, 

    So glad that you are checking this out at the library for your 7-year old son! I hope he will have a blast. 

    For some boys, admittedly, it may be difficult to open up to a book like Fancy Nancy - so its good to check it out at the library. 

    However, keep in mind that kids can be self-conscious in public. 

    And boys can easily reject books based on "image" or preconceived notions. 

    Not every boy will react enthusiastically to the idea of checking out Fancy Nancy publicly from a library, in front of their friends or the librarian. If you know what I mean. 

    However, when the book is already at home - barriers sh/could disappear.    

    I'd love to find out how did your Fancy Nancy adventure work with your son!

    My son loves it!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @36fc0f3402a0fd95e462b20ed63e5399 

  18. You had me at "vocabulary extravaganza," so I'm glad you think boys will like it. Fancy Nancy is going on hold at the library for my 7-year-old son.

  19. Hi Zany Housewife,

    I was so happy when I read your comment that you plan to go with your daughter to check out Fancy Nancy in the book store!

    Fabulous! I am certain that she will enjoy it ... and dare I give you an additional tip - if she loves the original, do also try Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. A combination of fancy stuff and puppies! Check it out at: 

    Thanks for your comment!

    Read Aloud Dad

    RE: @25d8eba13bfcc62b31efe4959f7619c6 

  20. I've always given a quick glance to the books but never took the time to actually open them up and read them. Thank you so much for this review!! My daughter and I are actually going to the book store today, so I will be sure to pick one up.