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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique, written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Harper, 2010. $19.50 ages 4 and up

"Then I get an idea that is brilliant. (That's
fancy for supersmart.) I will open my own
fabulous fashion boutique and sell some of
my old gowns and accessories. Everything
will be a bargain! I will make enough money,
that lace fan will be mine."

Yes, the joy continues!

I am sure that many avid readers of children's literature harbor a niggling worry that a sequel might not live up to the delight found in the first book. As each new Fancy Nancy book is published, I must admit to a little blip of anxiety before reading it. I do NOT know why...for, each time Jane O'Connor adds to her growing list of stories about this independent and confident 'girly-girl', I am impressed.

In this story of sisters, Nancy brings all of her joy in life to the preparations for JoJo's upcoming birthday. They are off to the party store to buy everything pirate...JoJo's obsession at the moment. Quietly and without JoJo's noticing her, Nancy buys the perfect elegant eye patch and uses most of her saved money for the purchase. As they wander home they make a quick stop at 'Belle's Fabulous Fashion Boutique' to check out the fancy lace fans in stock. One is on the bargain table! Her money spent, Nancy must dream up another way to make enough money for a return trip to her favorite store. That she does!

Soon, her own fabulous fashion boutique is up and running. Nancy harbors the hope that she will make enough money to buy the fan she so covets. Customers arrive and sales are brisk in the beginning. They soon drop off. A glitch in items sold leads to an important decision and drives the rest of the story toward a most satisfying conclusion.

Lacking any form of artistic talent, I cannot imagine the fun that Robin Preiss Glasser has in creating the artwork for these books. She fills the pages with such whimsy, and expression. Every image is rife with details that delight and fire the imagination. They elegantly match the text, while adding little touches that do not go unnoticed. It is family and friends that work together to build the boutique, encourage sales, and keep it running. It is Mom who comforts JoJo when she is having a temper tantrum. It is Robin who creates these fun-filled pages for fans to pore over each time the book is shared. Bravo!

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