Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles


Author: Jane O’Connor

Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser and Ted Enik

Publishing Information: Harper Collins, 2010

Number of Pages: 32

Genre: Realistic Fiction


This book introduces readers to Fancy Nancy, and the changes that occur when Nancy’s friend is told that she must wear glasses from now on. At first her friend is less than thrilled, but comes to like her glasses when people react positively to seeing her wear them. The only trouble arises when Nancy becomes a bit jealous and wants a pair of glamorous glasses of her own as well.

The narrative includes a variety of adjectives, such as “spectacular,” “spectacles,” and “glamorous” that may be new for early readers who are more accustomed to general descriptions of things in a story. However, there is a guide in the back of the book that lists each new word, and a definition that can break it down in a way that is easier for children to understand. By doing this, the book teaches children new words in a fun and effective way to enhance their vocabulary.

The illustrations remain unframed throughout the story, and are typically painted in a bright and flamboyant way–I believe this reflects Nancy’s personality perfectly. The only page that was done a bit darker was the one in which the text is describing the jealousy that Nancy feels as she tells her mother that she also wants her won pair of glasses. The illustrations work with the text so that neither could necessarily exist alone in the book.

This book provides children with a mirror that can show them that if they have glasses, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Initially, the friend was worried that the other children would make fun of her, but instead she grows more comfortable with her glasses as people compliment her and she grows more accepting of them. This story also teaches children a bit more about the process of getting glasses, as Nancy’s mother explains that her friend needs them to see and the way it will improve her vision and make things easier for her. In the end, Nancy comes to accept that she should not be jealous that people are flattering her friend after she starts to wear glasses, as there were struggles that the friend had to face up until that point and she deserves to feel accepted and comfortable among her peers.