Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Review - Fancy Nancy: Just My Luck!

Fancy Nancy: Just My Luck! (Fancy Nancy)
by Jane O'Connor
illustrated by Ted Enik
Date: 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Learn all about luck with Fancy Nancy in New York Times bestselling team Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser's beginning reader Fancy Nancy: Just My Luck! This Level One I Can Read book is perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. When Nancy discovers there's a whole list of what's lucky and what's not, her mind starts spinning. There are so many things to keep track of! Fans of Fancy Nancy will delight in Nancy's attempts to sort out what she really believes.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book seems to be more about superstition than about luck, but it still has an important message. After Grace (her nemesis from Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl) tells her all about different things that can bring bad luck, Nancy exhausts herself trying to avoid anything that might be unlucky. She remembers just in time not to open her umbrella in the house, she narrowly avoids spilling salt, and she has to take a flying leap on the sidewalk to avoid stepping on a crack. She even gives the wrong answer in school so she won't have to say "thirteen"! By the end of the day, she's exhausted, and her teacher can tell that something is wrong. She tries to tell Nancy that the superstitions have no real power over her. Nancy isn't so sure. She wants to believe her teacher, but... On the way home, Nancy is forced to confront one of the superstitions, and she realizes that luck isn't always bad. What she thought was a terrible thing turns out to be a good thing!

I think I resonated with this one a little more than some of the others because I have severe OCD. Performing rituals to keep bad things from happening is exhausting. Superstitions and their accompanying rituals are a way to make us feel like we have some sort of control over our lives, but they're not always healthy... especially when they cause a lot of stress or adversely affect different areas of our lives (as is shown in this book). I like that Nancy eventually realizes that the superstitions don't hold any power, and that she's able to finally relax and see the other side of the coin (no pun intended) when it comes to luck.

This would be a great book for kids who have just been exposed to the idea of superstitions and luck and are perhaps stressing a little over the concept. It shows, in a gentle and accessible way, that superstitions only hold as much power as we give them.

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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