Fanny & Annabelle
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2009)
Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner and Mom for Reader Views (10/09)
On a wet and dreary Saturday, Fanny decided to make her very own picture book. The main character would be Annabelle, who just happened to be Fanny’s favorite doll. And she was going on an adventure. She wasn’t sure what kind of an adventure just yet, but there would be one. With that, Fanny begins to tell a story about Annabelle and her Aunt Sally, who coincidentally are very similar to Fanny and her mother.
Grace: “I like to draw pictures for stories, and now that I am learning to write words, maybe I can write a book soon.”
Ella: “I can draw a book and you can help me with the words, right Mommy?”
In Fanny’s story, Annabelle would like to buy a golden locket for her Aunt’s birthday. But she soon realizes that she doesn’t have nearly enough money. Now, the story was becoming harder to write. Fanny didn’t know how Annabelle would find the $100 necessary to purchase the locket. Then, while Fanny was out for a walk, she finds an envelope with $100 in it.
Grace: “Wow, that’s a lot of money – she’s rich!”
Ella: “I wish I had $100 – there’s lots of stuff I could buy with it.”
Problem solved, or is it? Fanny is faced with a moral question which will impact Annabelle’s story as well as her own. And, in the end she makes the right choice.
I found this book to be very cleverly written – two stories with some very similar parallels all in one book. What a great idea!
Both of my daughters could relate to Fanny having a favorite doll, just like they do. But, they were just a little too young for the writing your own picture book part. This is where the excellent illustrations in the book helped my girls understand the story within the story. When I explained to the girls the reason that Fanny needed to give back the money, they both understood.
Grace: “If I lost something, I hope somebody would give it back if they found it.”
I think this book gives children a chance to see how to use some idle time in a constructive way, while showing them that doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. “Fanny & Annabelle” by Hollie Hobbie serves as a wonderful lesson for children and a needed reminder for adults.