Hoops with Alex: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter by Jane O'Connor
TONIGHT OUR PARENTS ARE GOING TO THE MOVIES.
A NEW BABYSITTER IS COMING.
HER NAME IS ALEX AND SHE IS A TEENAGER.
I AM VERY EXCITED.
Nancy is hoping her little sister falls asleep very early so she can have Alex all to herself. Her agenda (an agenda is like a list, only fancier) calls for Alex to play dress up and dolls and then look through fashion magazines with her and choose the best ensembles (that's fancy for outfit). Then Alex arrives, and Nancy finds out that the best-laid lists often go amiss!
I AM STUPIFIED.
A TEENAGER IS IN OUR LIVING ROOM--A BOY TEENAGER.
"WHERE IS ALEX?" I ASK. "I'M ALEX," HE SAYS.
OH, NO! THIS IS PRACTICALLY A BABYSITTING TRAGEDY.
Nancy leaves the disappointing babysitter to play blocks and read bedtime stories to her little sister. She knows it's not Alex's fault that he is a boy, but admits to feeling a little melancholy (which is fancy for sad) as she reads to her doll Marabelle quietly in her room.
Then Alex appears at the door. Her little sister is asleep, and Alex has an idea for her. Would she like to learn to juggle? "Oui, Oui, Oui!" She would.
Nancy doesn't do so well with juggling, that is, unless she sticks to just one ball. But then she has an idea for Alex. Nancy pulls out her hula hoop and gives the eager but unskilled Alex a few pointers.
I DEMONSTRATE HOW TO HULA.
NOT TO BRAG, BUT I CAN HULA HOOP FOR SOOO LONG.
Then the thirsty hoopsters nibble teacakes and drink lemonade from Nancy's dainty teacups, pinky properly up in the fancy way.
Alex is awesome!
Jane O'Conner's recent Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter (HarperFestival, 2010) shows that Nancy Clancy is still the hostess with the mostess, even when her guest list turns out not exactly as expected. Aleksey and Olga Ivanov pinch hit for illustrator Robin Preiss Glassner amiably in this appealing (and inexpensive) little bedtime tale that will help youngsters lose those babysitter blues.