Friday, February 22, 2019

Review - Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl

Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl (Fancy Nancy)
by Jane O'Connor
illustrated by Ted Enik
Date: 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Nancy will have to do some fancy footwork to resolve her predicament in this latest Fancy Nancy story for beginning readers. Much to her dismay, Nancy has been chosen for the relay team in this year's Field Day at school. Despite her many natural talents, Nancy isn't much of a runner. She's afraid of letting her team down--especially after finding out that an unkind (that's another word for mean) girl in her class is on the team too. With a little help from her dad, Nancy tries her best, stands up for herself, and makes a new friend.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This story is about Nancy having to deal with a "mean girl"... although Grace seems more competitive than really mean. While what she says and how she says it isn't exactly nice, she's not wrong. Nancy is a terrible runner, and they probably will lose the relay race.

Nancy figures that the best way to get out of further humiliation is to fake an injury. But that plan goes sideways when she keeps limping on the wrong foot and her dad notices. So she confesses to him why she doesn't want to run in the race, and they talk for a long time. When it's time for Nancy to confront Grace, she basically tells the girl that while she may be a good runner, she's not a very good sport. This gives Grace something to think about, and leads to a conclusion that I thought was a little unrealistic. Still, this is a book for young children, and a more realistic depiction of the kind of bullying many kids are subjected to today would probably be a little out of place in this series.

The illustrations are lovely, as usual (I really do prefer Ted Enik's take on Robin Preiss Glasser's original style), and the fancy words--including "dread", "prefer", and "speechless"--are defined clearly.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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