Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas - Jane O'Conner

Summary:  What could be fancier than Christmas?

Presents with elegant wrapping, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles--and who could forget the tree?  After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel.  Ooh la la!  This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree.  She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come.  But when things don't turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

In this merriest of stories from bestselling duo Jane O'Conner and Robin Preiss Glasser, Nancy proves once again that a little fancying up can go a long, festive way!  (Summary from book jacket cover.  Image from

My Review:  I initially shied away from Fancy Nancy books because of the implications I feared her influence on my daughters could cause--all based on the title and cover.  I have three girls; the last thing I want is three high maintenance girls. By chance, a seasoned mother/grandmother of six children and more grandchildren than I can count asked me if I'd read Fancy Nancy and what I thought of them.  She handed me her copy of Spleniferous Christmas and my prejudices slipped away.  I have come to appreciate Fancy Nancy, her expectations, her dreams, and quirky little slant on the world.

Probably my favorite aspect to the Fancy Nancy books, and this book is no different, is her use of multi-syllabic words: she uses big words and then explains what they mean.  Each books loads children up with new words they can try with kid-friendly definitions immediately following the word.  Each word is in context with an illustration to match.  It's perfect for introducing new vocabulary, specifically focused to the topic you're reading about.  I LOVE this!

Another aspect that I didn't see myself relating to, but have come to appreciate, is Nancy's dreaming.  She never dreams small.  She dreams BIG.  And for my daughters I do hope they dream big.  I know Fancy Nancy seems a little vain, but it's more about idealism than vanity overall.  Plus, at least for my girls while they're young, over the top with accessories and fanciness is all about make-believe and play.  I do not want to squelch this creativity. 

While I do think the story-lines can be trite, they are very relate-able for small children whose worlds hinge on the small things, the memories, the moments that build the greater whole.  Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas epitomizes this experience particularly for Christmas.  And I loved every page.

Rating: 5 Stars--rock star for teaching vocabulary

Sum it up: A girly vocabulary trip with a Christmas slant.


Marsh Mayhem said...

My brother-in-law (a GUY's guy) introduced us to Fancy Nancy - we're big fans, here!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the children's book post. Some of my family members love to give my kids books as gifts. I'm addding this one to my list. My three year old daughter loves learning new words and how to use them. This will be perfect for her.

Natalie said...

I want her tights.


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