Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Review - Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist

Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist (Fancy Nancy)
by Jane O'Connor
illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Date: 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: hardcover
Source: library

Portraits: Fancy.
Collages: Très fancy.
Splatter paintings: Très, très fancy!

It's spring vacation, and Nancy is feeling glum because her best friend, Bree, is out of town. Luckily, it's Nancy's mom to the rescue! When she brings home a brand-new set of glitter markers, Nancy puts her trademark flair to très creative use and devotes herself to becoming a serious artist (or artiste, as the French say). After all, everything about being an artist is fancy, fancy, fancy—especially when inspiration strikes!

Complete with instructions on how to create your own artistic masterpieces, Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist will get your creative juices flowing and your fancy in full swing.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I really enjoyed this quasi-non-fiction Fancy Nancy title. This time, it's about art and artists. When Bree goes away to New York City, Nancy is left behind to her own devices. She's feeling a little glum, so her mom brings her a set of glitter markers. Nancy gets to work, making all sorts of art.

Since Bree is away, Nancy spends quite a bit of time with another friend, Lionel. He's a pretty goofy kid, but he's also a really good artist, so he and Nancy spend a lot of time drawing. Then Nancy's dad takes them to an art museum where they get to see some works by the masters.

Throughout the book, kids are introduced to various historical artworks and the artists who created them. Degas, Monet, Matisse, and Pollock are all mentioned, and versions of their pieces are included. I thought Nancy's impressions of a Jackson Pollock painting were pretty astute, and it shows kids that there's more than one way to look at a piece of art.

When they get home, Nancy and Lionel (with the help of JoJo and Frenchy) make a great big Pollock-inspired painting. (That illustration is one of my favourites in the book!) And by the end of the week when Bree returns, Nancy has made enough art that she decides to hold an art show in the backyard for her parents and friends.

This book seems to have a little more story to it than some of the other titles with the non-fiction slant. The narrative is laid out using the days of the week (perhaps counting down the days until Bree returns). Overall, it's a strong installment in the Fancy Nancy series and will likely appeal to budding artists.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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