Do you know Fancy Nancy? Well, if you are a 4 to 6 year old girl, you surely know who she is. Nancy, the creative brilliance of author Jane O’Connor, is a young girl who loves everything fancy. The original story book in the series, suitably titled “Fancy Nancy” spins the tale of Nancy, a pint-sized curly-auburn haired girl who loves to speak using fancy French words, dresses in fancy clothing, and loves just about any else that is fancy. Even Nancy’s favorite doll is tres fancy – her doll’s name, Marabelle, is short for Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier. Unfortunately the rest of Nancy’s family is very plain. Nancy even goes so far as to give her family lessons on the differences between plain and fancy. Glasses…plain, sunglasses…fancy! Nancy’s signature clothing is a cow print leotard paired with a poodle skirt, fairy wings, cat-eye sunglasses, leg warmers, ballet slippers and a tiara. The unique and whimsical illustrations, by Robin Preiss Glasser, add to the delightful nature of these books.
In subsequent picture books in the Fancy Nancy series, including “Bonjour Butterfly”, the “Posh Puppy” and “Explorer Extraordinaire”, you meet Nancy’s dog Frenchy and her best friend Bree.
Jane O’Connor’s inspiration for all of her books,, including the Fancy Nancy series, comes from her own life experiences, or those of her family. Every Sunday afternoon, when Jane was about 4 or 5 years old, her grandmother and great aunts would come to visit Jane and her family. “As soon as I heard the doorbell ring,” Jane says, “I would race to my room, jump in my pink tutu, wrap a satin red cape around me, and come galoomphing out to greet my guests in a pair of my mom’s high heels. I wasn’t a girlie-girl, but I felt it was important to look fancy for company.” O’Connor was Fancy Jane long before she wrote Fancy Nancy.
What does being fancy mean to Nancy? It means frilly toothpicks in sandwiches, eating with your pinkies up, lace trimmed socks while playing soccer, and do-it-yourself canopies over her bed.
Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy hysteria has blossomed into a growing series of picture books, I can read books, as well as Fancy Nancy gifts and merchandise such as dolls, doll clothes, puzzles, games, birthday party supplies, bedroom accessories and of course Fancy Nancy dress up clothes for little girls. You can find a Fancy Nancy gift for all occasions.
Check out our Fancy Nancy Trivia to see how much you know about this remarkable little girl:
A. What word is written on the pillow that rests on Nancy’s bed?
B. What is Nancy’s favorite color?
C. What is the name of the restaurant where Nancy and her family go out to eat?
D. What’s the name of Nancy’s best friend?
E. What is the full name of Nancy’s doll? (hint: We mentioned it above)
F. Who are Nancy’s next door neighbors (on each side of her house)?
G. What does Nancy think she will be when she grows up?
H. What is the name of Mrs. DeVine’s dog?
I. What breed is Nancy’s dog?
J. What is Nancy’s teacher’s name?
K. What is Nancy’s middle name?
L. What is Nancy’s last name?
M. What is Nancy’s dog’s name?
N. What does she use to hold up her bed canopy?
O. What is the name of Fancy Nancy’s sister?
P. What was Mrs DeVine’s profession?
Q. What breed is Mrs. DeVine’s dog?
R. In what city did Mrs. DeVine live as a child?
S. What is Nancy’s baby sitter’s name?
Answers: A: Sublime; B: Fuchsia; C: The King’s Crown; D: Bree; E: Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier; F: Bree (her best friend) and Mrs. DeVine; G: A lepidopterist (that’s a fancy word for a scientist who studies butterflies); H: Jewel; I: La Salle spaniel; J: Ms. Glass; K: She doesn’t have a middle name; L: Clancy (yes…that makes her Fancy Nancy Clancy!); M: Frenchy; N: A broom and a mop; O. JoJo; P. Beauty care professional (she worked at a hair salon); Q: Papillion; R: Hollywood; S. Alex
O’Connor quotes excerpted from her interview with National Public Radio