Fancy Nancy

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Fancy Nancy
AuthorJane O'Connor
IllustratorRobin Preiss Glasser
CountryUnited States
GenrePicture book
Publication date
December 2005
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages32 pp
[E] 22
LC ClassPZ7.O222 Fa 2006
Followed byFancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy 

Fancy Nancy is a 2005 children's picture book written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The book spent nearly 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list,[1] launching a series that now numbers upwards of 80 books, selling 34 million volumes. Fancy Nancy has been on Publishers Weekly's bestseller list for picture books, was a Children's Book-of-the-Month Club selection and a Junior Library Guild Selection. It also won a "Borders 2006 Original Voices" award[2] and has been translated into 20 languages, including Hungarian and Hebrew. In April 2012, Nancy was featured in her first chapter book, Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth. Books in the Fancy Nancy series have now spent 330 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and in the fall of 2012, Fancy Nancy the Musical was produced by Vital Theatre Company in New York City.

Plot introduction[edit]

Fancy Nancy is a young girl with a larger than life personality, who adores all things fancy. She always dresses extravagantly, wearing boas, tutus, ruby slippers, fairy wings, and fuzzy slippers. Nancy loves using big fancy words such as "iridescent", "ecstatic", and "extraordinary" and anything in French.[1][3] She has redecorated her bedroom with everyday items, such as feather boas, Christmas lights, paper flowers, and hats. Her favorite doll is named Marabelle Lavinia Chandelier.[4]

Nancy captures hearts by nearly getting caught up in the glitter, but, in the end, always discovering what's truly important.

Teri Sforza[1]

In Nancy's opinion, her family is ordinary and dresses rather plainly, so Nancy decides to hold a class in the art of fanciness for her family. They oblige, and Nancy helps to dress them in bows, ornaments, top hats, and gaudy scarves. "Ooo-la-la!" Nancy cries in delight. "My family is posh! That's a fancy word for fancy."[4]

Jane O'Connor[edit]

Jane O'Connor is vice-president and editor-at-large for Penguin Books for Young Readers![5] She has written more than thirty children's books. Her first adult novel, Dangerous Admissions: Secrets of a Closet Sleuth came out in July 2007.[5]

O'Connor came up with Fancy Nancy on a summer evening. As she describes it, "It was after dinner one evening that the title just came to me," she recalls. "I sat down and wrote the first and last paragraphs. The rest of the story took me awhile, but the beginning and the end just flew into my head."[2][5] O'Connor is quick to point out that much of the book's success is Glasser's artwork. She wrote the book in 2002, but it did not come out until 2005, because her editor, Margaret Anastas, insisted on Glasser as the illustrator who was busy with other projects.[3][5]

Robin Preiss Glasser[edit]

In 2013 Glasser was named 2013 Illustrator of the Year by the Children's Book Council for Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet after more than 1 million young people cast their votes[6] in the 6th annual Children's Choice Book Awards.


Fancy Nancy has spawned a line of toys and games focusing on dress-up and role play targeted towards preschoolers and children aged 5 to 7. In addition, the Fancy Nancy brand includes licenses for clothing, paper party goods, crafts, and more. Numerous bookstores and libraries around the United States have hosted events including readings by both Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, costume contests, “Fancy Nancy” days and tea parties.[2]

A Fancy Nancy game called Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time! for the Nintendo DS systems was released on September 14, 2010.[citation needed]

There are three Fancy Nancy apps for the iPad and iPhone: Fancy Nancy Dress Up,[7] Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire,[8] and Fancy Nancy Ballet School.[9]


In 2012, 20th Century Fox and 21 Laps Entertainment announced a live-action version of Fancy Nancy book series.[10] Tina Fey and Shawn Levy are the production team.[11]

In March 2015, Disney Junior announced that an animated television movie and TV series of Fancy Nancy were both in the works. The series premiered on July 13, 2018.[12][13]


In 2012, Fancy Nancy the Musical was produced Off-Broadway by Vital Theatre Company.[14] The musical is mainly based on Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet, with book and lyrics by Susan DiLallo and music and lyrics by Danny Abosch. The Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording of Fancy Nancy the Musical was released on Ghostlight Records in 2013.[15]

In 2014 Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas was produced Off-Broadway by Vital Theatre Company, Inc.. The musical, based on the book of the same title, has a book by Cara Lustik, music by Randy Klein and lyrics by Matthew Hardy.[16] The Original Off-Broadway cast album was released in 2015 and is available from Jazzhead Records. The production was performed in New York City and on tour during 2015 and 2016.[17]


Initially, O'Connor and Glasser signed a contract for two books with HarperCollins, but after the success of the first book, they later signed to do 13 additional Fancy Nancy titles across a variety of formats.[5] Since then, they've collaborated on 80 titles.


  1. ^ a b c Sforza, Teri (February 11, 2008). "'Fancy Nancy' strikes little girls' fancy". The Orange County Register. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c staff (February 7, 2007). "United to unveil Fancy Nancy toys". Playthings. Archived from the original on May 5, 2010. Retrieved 2009-06-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b Berkowitz, Lana (March 27, 2007). "BOOKS – Don't forget your tiara: It's a "Fancy" soiree – Celebration toasts author and illustrator". Houston Chronicle.
  4. ^ a b Jenkins, Emily (March 12, 2006). "'Fancy Nancy,' by Jane O'Connor. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser". The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e Lodge, Sally (January 31, 2007). "From Sparkles to Sales, Nancy Is Fancy Indeed". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Fancy Nancy Dress Up". iTunes.
  8. ^ "Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire". iTunes.
  9. ^ "Fancy Nancy Ballet School". iTunes.
  10. ^ "Fox Acquires Rights To Fancy Nancy Book Series". February 6, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Tina Fey to produce live-action 'Fancy Nancy' movie". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 7, 2018). "'Fancy Nancy' Renewed By Disney Junior Ahead Of Series Premiere". Deadline. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Littleton, Cynthia. "'Fancy Nancy' Set to Become Disney Junior Movie, TV Series". Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Vital Theatre Company - Welcome". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Spare Times for Children for Nov. 21-27". November 20, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via
  17. ^ "Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas". Retrieved May 24, 2018.

External links[edit]