Thursday, January 10, 2019

Meet Miss Fancy

Meet Miss Fancy. Irene Latham. Illustrated by John Holyfield. 2019. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Frank loved elephants. He loved drawing elephants and talking about elephants. He loved their hosepipe trunks and their flap-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails. But not once, not ever, had Frank seen a real elephant.

Premise/plot: This picture book is set in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1913. It is loosely based on a true story. There was an elephant, Miss Fancy, whom schoolchildren helped to purchase from a circus for Avondale Park. Miss Fancy lived in her new home from 1913 to 1934. Birmingham, Alabama, as adult readers will no doubt know was segregated at that time--only whites were allowed. Frank, our fictional hero, is not allowed in the park nor allowed to visit Miss Fancy. But where there's a will, is there a way? 

My thoughts: I loved this one. First I just have to say that I love, love, love Frank. We're kindred spirits. I also love, love, love elephants. I love their hosepipe trunks and their flap-flap ears. Which brings me to the second thing I love: the writing or the narrative. What else did I love? The illustrations. The author's note. The fact that this is based on a real elephant and keepers. I found it a satisfying read. Frank did find his own way. In all honesty, I enjoyed it all.

The book is a good example--in my humble opinion--of an author showing instead of telling.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2019 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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