Friday, July 02, 2010

Hairdo Snafu! Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La! It's Beauty Day by Jane O'Connor

I bought special styling mousse. On the can it guarantees "shiny curls with plenty of bounce."

I apply the mousse. (You say "moose," not "mousse"--it's French for foam.) I use a lot more than the can says because my client's hair is very straight. Also because it's so much fun to push the button--poof!

It's hard being the only fancy person in a plain family, but Fancy Nancy Clancy never misses an opportunity to pitch the stylish life.

When Dad invites Mom out for a birthday dinner and a movie date, Nancy seizes the occasion to fancy up her ultra plain-Jane mom. She turns her outdoor clubhouse into the posh Ooh La La Beauty Spa and ushers her mom into a comfy seat for a makeover. Her client loves the hand massage, the banana-and-honey facial complete with elegante turban designed by Nancy, the sea salt foot soak, the recorder music to relax her while she rests with cucumber slices on her eyes, and the fruit parfaits Nancy dishes up as refreshment.

But when it comes to the makeover, her client is a hard sell. Despite Nancy's rainbow of nail polish choices, Mom declines forever fuscia, lotus blossom, and cherry pie polish:

Guess which one my mom picks?

My mom doesn't want any of them. She wants clear nail polish.

Sheesh! But her motto is that the client's wish is her command, so, undeterred, Nancy moves on to cosmetics. Her mom accedes to a modest application of eye shadow, pink lip gloss, and blush on her cheeks. "My mom is so pretty," Nancy thinks.

And now for Nancy's specialty--le coiffure! Nancy is determined that her mom's straight ponytail will be replaced by natural-looking curly tresses like hers. She slathers on the mousse, and using her friend Bree's technique, turns her mom's hair into dozens of small braids. Then she encourages her mom to relax while it dries while she, Nancy, entertains with card tricks and a hula hoop performance.

Then it's time for THE REVEAL!


My mom's hair is horrible, hideous, horrendous! It's nothing like the picture on the can!

Mom's coiffure would make Medusa envious! It's time for the talented amateur to call in a pro. Nancy phones Mrs. DeVine, a former genuine hair professional. Mrs. DeVine's diagnosis calls for a hardcore remedy--hairspray!

"Voila!" says Mrs. DeVine.

"It's magnifique!" I say.

Ever the good sport, Mom dons her trusty little black dress, and with a carbon copy of Mrs. DeVine's cast-iron 1960s "Flip" hairdo, waves gamely as she departs for her big night out, even wearing a sequined pipe-cleaner headband spelling out "MOM," designed and handcrafted by--Nancy.

It's a quintessential Fancy Nancy outing in Jane O'Connor's and Robin Preiss Glasser's just-published Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La! It's Beauty Day (HarperCollins, 2010). With directions for concocting a banana facial, a sea salt and lemon foot bath, a yummy blueberry yogurt parfait, and a light-hearted cautionary tale about the perils of coiffure construction, all buoyed by Glasser's exuberant illustrations, this Fancy Nancy entry is sure to delight her multitudes of fashionista fans.

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