Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! By by Jane O’Connor

Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! By by Jane O’Connor (Author), Robin Preiss Glasser (Illustrator), Chloe Hennessee (Narrator)
(I Can Read Level 1)
Publisher: HarperCollins; HarperAudio
Genre: Contemporary, Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Fans of Fancy Nancy will delight in this festive fall adventure story from the beloved New York Times bestselling author-illustrator team Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser.

Join Fancy Nancy on the perfect fall field trip—to the apple orchard. Fall is an extra-fancy season. Even the trees wear fancy colors! Nancy is determined to find a perfect Gala apple for her dad—it’s his favorite kind, and even the name sounds fancy. But what if the perfect apple is just out of reach?

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I decided to try this little book in the audio version and I’m glad I did. The only thing I missed was seeing the illustrations, but I could tell by the cover that they’re colorful, busy and active. Listening to the story was delightful and charming.

The audio publisher introduces and concludes the story with a chipper musical melody. Young Ms. Henessee’s narration was clear, adorable and easy to listen to. I thought it was really cool when I heard the tree branch sound effects. I didn’t expect that and it added to the level of interest and engagement.

Lionel’s antics reminds me of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, so it’s a wonderful way to teach kids about the consequences of practical jokes that aren’t funny at all. If a parent chooses to use the audio version of this short story, listen for the other sound effects. It took me listening three times in the process of writing this review to hear that the tree branch sounds aren’t the only ones that enhance this story.

I also liked how the story teaches new words by incorporating them naturally during the storytelling and adding “That is a fancy way of saying…” and they’re recapped at the end of the book under Fancy Nancy’s Fancy Words. My favorite is Orchard, a garden of trees. That’s the cutest description I’ve ever heard and I really liked it!

It wraps up with Lionel doing something goofy and the little heroine finding the perfect apple for her dad.

I wish they had audiobooks like this when my kids were little. I could do voices but I know I wouldn’t have been able to do the kind of cool sound effects I heard in Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! It’s like a mini play and gives a child a well-rounded word experience. So, my recommendation is that parents do both – read the story and have their kids listen too. Since Ms. Hennessee’s voice is young, bright and energetic, I think kids will be able to relate and engage with the heroine’s apple adventure.

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