Monday, July 29, 2019

Review - Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore!

Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! (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

Join Fancy Nancy on the perfect fall field trip—to the apple orchard. Fall is an extra-fancy season. Even the trees wear fancy colors! Nancy is determined to find a perfect Gala apple for her dad—it’s his favorite kind, and even the name sounds fancy. But what if the perfect apple is just out of reach?

Fans of Fancy Nancy will delight in this festive fall adventure story about a class trip to the apple orchard. Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is one of the weaker Fancy Nancy titles I've read in the I Can Read! series. The story's not that great, and the illustrations (surprisingly) aren't at the level I expect from Ted Enik (who does the illustrations for most of these books in the style of Robin Preiss Glasser).

Nancy's class goes on a field trip to an orchard. Nancy's trip buddy is Lionel. He keeps making jokes (crying wolf, basically) all day, and eventually, when he's in real trouble (after doing something he was told not to), Nancy and Ms. Glass have to come to his rescue.

Now, I know Lionel is spirited, but here he's an outright brat. I really disliked him in this book. His misbehaviour drives the story and Nancy has to save the day. My favourite Fancy Nancy books are those in which the problem Nancy solves is partly (or entirely) of her own making; that's not really the case here. Because Nancy and Lionel are trip buddies, she sticks with him and tells him not to do things, but he doesn't listen. I'm glad that he's at least disciplined for his actions, but... this is really a Lionel story, not a Nancy story.

The illustrations aren't quite up to the standard I've come to expect from Enik. Also, they're usually fairly realistic, but in this book, we've got a rather Disney-esque squirrel smiling and cuddling up to Lionel's shoe, and nobody seems too concerned (or even interested).

Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! is definitely not one of my favourites. There's too much focus on Lionel and his bad behaviour, to the point where Nancy herself is almost an afterthought. And while there is (as always) a selection of "fancy" words used throughout, I feel the inclusion of "tasty" is just insulting; if kids don't know what "tasty" means, they're probably not going to be reading I Can Read! books yet, anyway.

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

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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