Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Counting the Days: Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O'Connor

"It's the 97th day of school, and I have a dilemma.
(That's a big problem.)

I don't know what to bring in for the 100th day!"

There's a countdown coming up that is bigger than the countdown to the dropping of the big ball in Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's the 100th Day of School, a definite red-letter day for preschool and primary students--and for their parents, who inevitably get drawn into those 100-day projects.

Of course, Nancy Clancy does things fancy, but even her imagination is taxed by the demands of this big day. Everyone has to bring in a project demonstrating the wonders of the number 100. Bree ups the ante right away, turning in her project early--an elegant hat with 100 feathers (that's fancy for pretty). Nancy checks her extensive cache of accessories, but the closest match to Bree's idea is 87 hair ribbons. Her mom, busy cooking dinner, proposes a poster with macaroni. Her dad, sorting the laundry, suggests 50 pairs of socks.

Macaroni just isn't imaginative, thinks Nancy. And socks are ugly!

Meanwhile, Nancy's little sister is distraught over the death of her goldfish. It turns out that only Nancy's stylish imagination can come up with a way to make the homage for her sister's pet into a glittering celebration of its life and an excellente 100-day project. With 100 shiny pebbles from the sadly unneeded goldfish bowl, Nancy creates a fond memorial to the late Goldy.

Jane O'Connor continues her outstanding series of I-Can-Read books for emergent (level 1) readers with her newest, Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School (I-Can-Read, Level 1) (Harper, 2009) sure to appeal to those students searching their brains for their own project ideas. Ted Enik's interpretation of Robin Preiss Glaser's illustrations in the picture book series are spot-on, as is O'Connor's fine story-telling style here and in the other easy reading books in the remarquable Fancy Nancy I-Can-Read

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