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Meet Miss Fancy

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A charming and significant story set prior to the Civil Rights Movement about a boy who finds a way to challenge segregation laws.

Frank has always been obsessed with elephants. He loves their hosepipe trunks, tree stump feet, and swish-swish tails. So when Miss Fancy, the elephant, retires from the circus and moves two blocks from his house to Avondale Park, he's over the
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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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 ne
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super cute picture book! I highly recommend.
What if you were a child, a young boy, and loved elephants more than anything? You loved to draw them and talk about them. You loved their "hosepipe trunks and their flap-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails." But, but, you've never ever seen a real elephant. This is a story about that boy, Frank, and his adventure with Miss Fancy, one elephant who spent some years in Avondale Park in Birmingham, Alabama. He is that boy who lived only two blocks from the park and helped c ...more
Mk Campbell
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Here's the Hook:
Frank, an avid elephant lover, has never seen an elephant, and it feels like fate when one moves in just two blocks away! Unfortunately for Frank, the park where Miss Fancy lives proclaims "NO COLORED ALLOWED." Instead, Frank throws peanuts from afar and dreams of the day when he will be able to play with Miss Fancy like the white children do. Even with hard work, determination, and brains, is petting Miss Fancy in Frank's future, or is the question of crossing segregated lines
Jessica Haider
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in Birmingham, AL in the early 1900s, Meet Miss Fancy tells the story of Frank, a black boy who is fascinated by elephants. When the local park gets an elephant, Frank is excited to finally see an elephant in real life, except the park has signs saying "No Colored Allowed". Frank starts a petition to request that his church be allowed to hold a picnic in the park. Frank perseveres with his wish to meet Miss Fancy.

This book led to some great discussion with my 5 year old about discrimination
Taylor Stewart
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored Irene's previous work and "Meet Miss Fancy" is no different. It is absolutely lovely to see a story featuring a small piece of magic from Birmingham's past while also highlighting the real truth of living in the Jim Crow South before the Civil Rights Movement. This story is heartwarming as we see our friend's passion for elephants and his dream to meet Miss Fancy of Avondale Park come to life.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it - great illustrations and story telling about Fancy, an elephant that lived in Alabama through the 30's and the fictional story of a boy who desperately wanted to meet Fancy. Parts are based on history - Fancy really did exist, and an African American church really did petition to be able to hold a picnic on the grounds of the town park, but with draw the request after it's approval because of the controversy.
Bonnie Grover
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Based on a true history of Miss Fancy, who lived in Birmingham, AL. This book is set in the era of Jim Crow laws. This is not only a beautiful story from a historical perspective, it is also a story of perseverance, dreams, and possibilities. I will definitely use this book in my classroom. Thank you #BookPosse
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Fictional picture based on the real Miss Fancy the Elephant that lived for a bit at the park in Birmingham, Alabama. The main character, Frank, loves elephants, but the "No Colored Allowed" sign means that he can't visit Miss Fancy.

Is it wrong that I hate to see smiling elephants when they are kept in captivity?
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. This is a part of Birmingham history that I was completely unfamiliar with. The writing is lovely and the illustrations in the book are lively with great expression and movement. Excellent.
Great Books
Frank battles the laws of segregation to meet a real elephant that he has been forced to love from afar. This excellent depiction of a young boy learning about racism, also demonstrates the power of determination.

Reviewer #11
Jeff Corrigan
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although historical fiction, the story is based on a real elephant that lived in Alabama for several years at a park in the segregated South. Elephant lovers will be pleased.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Something fell a little flat with this one- might have been better structured as non-fiction? Recommended for historical fiction and elephant fans ages 4-6.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Mostly in it for the illustrations.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
A nice introduction to Miss Fancy. I personally felt a little weird about the way some of the segregation stuff was portrayed. It's matter-of-fact, but it also almost seems like it's brushed off as not that big of a deal. Still, a good bit of it was grounded in facts. Definitely recommended for any Birmingham area libraries.

Ages: 6+
Diversity: Black boy MC, direct discussion of segregation laws.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderfully conceived. The illustrations are absolutely stunning. The book is set prior to the Civil Rights Movement. Frank really wants to meet and touch Miss Fancy, the elephant, but he isn't allowed into the park because he is black. I have many conversations with my 5-year-old about Civil Rights, and this book offered good opportunities to talk further about the topic.
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Irene Latham is a poet and novelist who was born the middle child and first daughter of five kids.

Irene has lived all sorts of places and traveled worldwide. Since 1984 she has called Birmingham, Alabama, home.

She thinks growing up with three brothers was great preparation for raising her three sons. She also thinks getting a sister was one of the best things that has ever happened to her.

Irene i
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