Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now...: Fancy Nancy Sees the Future by Jane O'Connor

Nancy found her mom and little sister JoJo in the kitchen."Guess I should have stopped at the supermarket after work," her mom frowned. "Well, gang, looks like it's macaroni and cheese tonight or--" She opened the pantry door to check. "Or cheese and macaroni.!"

Just then they all heard a car crunch over the gravel in the driveway. JoJo jumped up. "It's Daddy!"

"I bet he's bringing pizza." Nancy didn't know what made her say that. The words seemed to pop out of her mouth on their own.

Not more than a second later, the door banged open. And voila! Her father was holding a large flat cardboard box from the King's Crown.

While the family is eating their pizza, the 'phone rings and Nancy correctly predicts that it's Grandma. And then, the next morning, while Nancy is assembling her ensemble, something tells her it's going to rain and she decides not to wear her new gold clogs to school, even though the sun is shining brightly.

And at recess, suddenly it does begin to rain. The class rushes inside the gym to sit and watch their usual rainy day whale film. Nancy's mind wanders to the patter of raindrops outside, and she has a precipitous thought: she has foretold three events before they happened. Could she be clairvoyant? Ooh-la-LA!
"I think maybe I can see the future! "Nancy whispered. Lionel's eyes bugged out. "That is so cool!"

The down-to-earth Bree poo-poos the proposition, but Lionel's fertile imagination is already at work. He pulls out a coin and flips it. "Heads or tails?" Nancy guesses the first three flips correctly.
"You have powers, all right! Your powers will grow stronger!" Lionel predicts.

So this was real. And to think, only yesterday she had been an ordinary third grader!

Nancy is not absolutely sure Lionel is right.  After all, she knows he is a total goofball.  Still, she loves saying the words "MY POWERS."  A little reluctantly, she lets Lionel talk her into setting up shop at recess as a clairvoyant, telling fortunes for $.25 each.  Her fancy neighbor Mrs. DeVine provides the exotic costume, Nancy paints her old Magic 8 ball silvery gray,  and at morning recess the next day, it's time to go outside, hang out her shingle, and get her palms crossed with lots of silver.  Show time!

But oops! Dashing out of the girls' restroom in her gypsy getup, Nancy throws the door open and it hits Bree right in the face.  She goes home with a nosebleed and a black eye. Nancy feel terrible.

And then Nancy has a disturbing thought.  If she can see the future, why didn't she foresee this accident coming?

In the third book in her beginning chapter series, Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy Sees the Future (Harper, 2013), Nancy adds intuition and coincidence to her vocabulary and finally intuits that always predicting the future might have its own problems. Their squabble settled, Bree and Nancy together agree that they can foretell one thing: both of them will dress as fortune-tellers next Halloween.

Author Jane O'Connor, aided by illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser's  frequent artful black-and-white drawings, continues to hit the sweet spot for primary grade fans branching into the short novel format. Other chapter books in this series include Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer and Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth. (Fancy Nancy)

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