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Review: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter; Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night for the iPad and iPhone

Will Jane O’Connor’s fans fancy these Nancys? Henrietta Thornton weighs in.


TG Review thinbanner29 Review: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter; Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night for the iPad and iPhone

Title: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter
Based on
: “the creation of Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser”
Illustrators: Robin Preiss Glasser and Aleksey Ivanov and Olga Ivanov
Developed by
: HarperCollins and Curious Puppy Apps
Platform
: iOS for the iPad and iPhone, requires 3.2 or later
Version
: 1.0
Price: $2.99

Title: Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night
Based on
: “the creation of Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser”
Illustrators
: Robin Preiss Glasser and Carolyn Bracken
Developed by
: HarperCollins and Curious Puppy Apps
Platform
: iOS for the iPad and iPhone, requires 3.2 or later
Version
: 1.0
Price
: $2.99

97800620750242 150x150 Review: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter; Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night for the iPad and iPhonePreS-Gr 2-The “Fancy Nancy” titles added substance to the princess phenomenon by enriching young readers’ vocabularies with some “stupendous” words. In these stories (both HarperFestival, 2010), “based on the creation of Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser,” page turns open a large image that shrinks as text appears at the top or bottom of the screen. On some pages that initial text disappears, replaced by more of the story. Unfortunately, readers and listeners might not realize there’s more text to come and flip the page too soon, unless they discover that the appearance of an ornate, blinking arrow indicates it’s time to advance the story. With the “Read to me” option the story is read aloud slowly, accompanied by repetitive background music; words are highlighted as they are enunciated.

In Babysitter, Nancy and her sister are excited about meeting their new, teenaged caretaker, Alex. Nancy imagines picking “ensembles” and playing dolls with her. The reality is “practically a babysitting tragedy,” until the child decides that a male babysitter can have redeeming qualities. The humor children have come to expect from the Nancy titles is missing in this story, and except for the landing page illustration by Glasser, the images lack the pizzazz and detail of many of the print books’ baroque offerings.

The drawings in Late, Late, LATE Night by Glasser and Carolyn Bracken are much more satisfying. Nancy’s glorious neighbor Mrs. DeVine lends the girl a scrapbook that details the woman’s celebrity-filled Hollywood childhood. After Nancy stays up reading it and isn’t her usual sparkly self the next day, she learns a lesson about going to bed on time, an usually pedantic theme for the series. The lackluster images in Babysitter and the flat stories and absence of “fancy” interactive features in both productions will disappoint Nancy’s many fans.—Etta Thornton, Library Journal

TG ToPurchase17 Review: Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter; Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night for the iPad and iPhone