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Fanny Hardcover – September 1, 2008

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Fanny, who wears eyeglasses, a headband, a tutu, leggings, and sneakers, is no ordinary girl. More than anything, she wants a high-fashion Connie doll. However, her mother does not like the way the doll looks, so Fanny is unlikely to get one. She attempts to resolve this situation by making her own rag doll, which she loves well enough until her friends make fun of it. Fanny persists by bringing it on a playdate. The Connie dolls are dressed as nurses while Annabelle is the surgeon operating on the sick stuffed animals. When the rag doll's proud owner gets home, she makes Annabelle something that every girl needs—her own doll. The soft watercolor illustrations show this protagonist to be an independent thinker as well as a talented seamstress. Sometimes not following the crowd can have unexpectedly wonderful results.—Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
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From Booklist

When Fanny’s two friends bring their glamorous, sophisticated-looking Connie dolls over to play, she shows them her homemade doll, Annabelle. The girls’ polite silence leads Fanny to look at Annabelle critically and stow her away in a drawer—at least until her friends go home. Then she listens to her heart. The next time the three girls play dolls together, Annabelle takes a prominent, competent role in the girls’ make-believe: she plays the vet, assisted by two willowy nurses. The understated story is nicely nuanced, making its points quietly and leaving children to draw whatever conclusions they will. The beautifully painted scenes that take place in Fanny’s room at night are wonderfully evocative, while some of the  illustrations  of the characters are more exaggerated and less effective. Still, many children will empathize with Fanny’s strong emotions and appreciate her creative knack for bringing about her own happy ending. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: Fanny (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166874
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Holly Hobbie has worked as an artist for more than thirty years and is the author of seven previous and highly acclaimed Toot & Puddle picture books, as well as an illustrated memoir, The Art of Holly Hobbie. The mother of grown children, she lives with her husband in Conway, Massachusetts

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Oh this just doesn't make a jot of sense. It doesn't. Look, under normal circumstances books with big flashy morals make me cringe. You know what I'm talking about. Books with agendas. The ones that foist some kind of message on you like "be yourself" or "cheating is wrong". To make a book with that kind of blatant preachifying actually work as a whole you need to be some kind of amazing writer. You need serious skills. And then I pick up Fanny by Holly Hobbie. I pick it up, I read it, I choke up, I read it again, and for the life of me I have absolutely no idea why a book that could have been so messagey and didactic instead ends up sweet, loving, and smart. What the freaking heck happened here? For Holly Hobbie (author/illustrator of those fabulous Toot & Puddle books) to switch gears entirely and write a picture book about a little girl, LET ALONE a picture book that thwaps Barbie and Bratz dolls upside the head, and for that same book to be an overwhelming and utter success.. well, I can't explain it. By all logic this book shouldn't work. The fact that it will charm you utterly and completely is a testament to Ms. Hobbie's mad skillz in the writing and illustrating arenas. Bow before her, people. Then scratch your head in bafflement.

If there is one thing in the world Fanny wants it is a Connie doll. One of those big-lipped designer dolls all her friends already have. And when Fanny's mom says in no uncertain terms that she will not purchase that toy for her daughter, Fanny comes up with a solution. Why not make her own? The end result is a lovely comfy doll she names Annabelle that looks nothing like the store bought Connies everyone else has.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nctmac on December 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent for children who are unique in their own special ways. Fanny is a little girl who wants the doll that every other girl has, but her mom won't get it for Fanny. Fanny decides she'd make her own doll. When her friends see her doll, they ignore it and instead play with the popular dolls. Fanny puts away her doll since it was different. Fanny get's a sewing machine from her mom, which her friends also put down. That night, Fanny starts thinking about her doll and didn't want the doll to be scared/lonely. By morning, Fanny has realized how special her doll is because she made her. Fanny is then invited over to her friends house and proudly brings her doll. Fanny and her friends play with the popular dolls and Fanny's doll. At the end of the book, Fanny gets creative again. Really cute book!!

This is a great book because it addresses a common issue amoung children (and parents too). Children will identify with Fanny because of the emotions she experiences with her Mom and her friends. In the end, Fanny was proud of her creative uniqueness which she was able to comfortably incorporate into her next play date with her friends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jemmie on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book for girls! I read through this the first time without telling my daughters about it (just in case we had another Purplicious incident) and was amazed at how well this book presented essentially the same type of life-lesson without the unacceptable behavior! They loved it and asked me to read it again, then re-read it after that! They have faced some of the same doll issues (they still want Bratz, but we have never allowed them to have the dolls, their games, books, or videos, etc.) and could easily related to the main character in that sense. It's always heart-warming to find good, girl-positive books that present great ideas for topics of discussion between mother and daughter.

I highly recommend this one to anyone who wants their daughter to understand that it's perfectly alright to dance to a slightly different tune. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 6sensesfeeling5 on March 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover
I know I'm the odd Mom out here, with all of these five star reviews, but I think a different perspective is always worth sharing. I SO wanted to love this book! And, frankly, the illustrations and writing alone are worth at least another star. But I'm so disappointed that I'm going to have to go with two.

I picked up the book due to a Reading Rainbow summary, which described a little girl who really wanted a specific doll, and denied that doll, decided to make her own. What a fantastic idea for a story! I was anxious to read a tale of empowerment and creativity and self-sufficiency, oozing with a positive message, hoping even to encourage my own daughter to make her own doll. But reading through the book, I felt that potential crumble along the way.

[Spoiler alert]

So Fanny does indeed ask for a Connie doll (for her birthday, then Christmas, then another birthday), which resembles those big-eyed, big-lipped, overly made-up fashion dolls so popular today. Her Mom refuses to get her one because they're "...just too... much." So Fanny heads to her room, and cobbles together her own adorable doll! Seeing that she's very different from the Connie dolls, she names her Annabelle. With a nod of approval from her mother, Fanny decides that Annabelle is "marvelous." So far, I'm loving this. But then the story takes a turn I didn't expect.

Fanny takes Annabelle on a play date with her friends and their Connie dolls, where the friends outright reject Annabelle. (Message: different is bad [even when you've put your heart and soul into it].) Fanny is made to feel so uncomfortable that she stuffs her marvelous creation into a dresser drawer. (Message: if your peers disapprove of something you love, you should abandon it.
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