Just Plain Fancy

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Naomi Vlecke lives with her farming family in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. The Amish first came to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s, and to this day preserve a religious and "plain" life-style. As part of her household chores, Naomi looks after the chickens with her little sister, Ruth.

Naomi, an Amish girl whose elders have impressed upon her the importance of adhering to the simple ways of her people, is horrified when one ...

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Overview

Naomi Vlecke lives with her farming family in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. The Amish first came to Pennsylvania in the early 1700s, and to this day preserve a religious and "plain" life-style. As part of her household chores, Naomi looks after the chickens with her little sister, Ruth.

Naomi, an Amish girl whose elders have impressed upon her the importance of adhering to the simple ways of her people, is horrified when one of her hen eggs hatches into an extremely fancy bird.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Naomi and Ruth are sisters who live on a farm in Pennyslvania's Amish country, where people take pride in their uncomplicated lives. But Naomi complains that everything in her life--from her clothes to her chickens--is plain. The girl longs for ``something fancy.'' When she and Ruth find an unusual egg by the side of the road, they place it in their hen's nest, hoping it will hatch. It does, and the bird that emerges is obviously not a garden-variety chick. The sisters name it ``Fancy,'' and keep its existence a secret from the grownups, who they fear will shun it. On the day the elders of the community have gathered for a working bee, Fancy breaks out of the henhouse and spreads its feathers in front of the group. By this time perceptive young readers will have gathered that Fancy is a peacock--and Polacco's pictures reveal it to be a magnificent one at that. Naomi is praised for raising such a beautiful bird, and learns that some kinds of ``fancy'' are acceptable. Polacco's warm story and sensitive illustrations offer a fresh, balanced perspective on Amish life. Ages 4-8. Oct.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Polacco's clear, lively, watercolor/pastel crayon illustrations play with varying perspectives in a way calculated to draw children into a world of order and simplicity: the Amish country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Readers are introduced to Naomi and Ruth, Amish sisters, aged about ten and four. One day, while searching for mislaid eggs, Naomi tells Ruth that she longs for something ``fancy'' in her otherwise ``plain'' life. Her wish is fulfilled when the girls discover an unusual egg. When it is hatched, a very special chick emerges, appropriately named Fancy. Fearing that he will be considered an outcast because he is too fancy to be Amish, the girls keep their pet a secret for nearly a year. Finally, at a summer working bee, the bird can be contained no longer. He spreads his glorious plumage across two whole pages, and readers and the elders discover that he is a very handsome peacock. One of the elders calms Naomi's fears, telling her that a peacock is God's handiwork and that there can be no shame in their pet's being what he was meant to be. Brimming with details of Amish farm life, the illustrations are bound to inform as they entertain. The characters' expressive faces, the energy of the drawings, and the appropriateness of composition to mood and content of the story all unite to make this a picture book that's sure to tickle readers' fancy. --Carey Ayres, Port Washington Public Library, NY
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2011

    FOUR STAR-GREAT BOOK

    Two girls named Naomi and Ruth live in a farm Pennyslvania where amish people live how they are plain they mostly use nature.Naomi got sick of being plain like the chickens she wants at least one fancy thing in her life.One day they both discover a odd egg laying outside it was different from the other eggs she put it in the hen's nest.Another day when the egg hatched,it was not plain like the other so the called it Fancy. They also had to keep away from the elders because the fear that the elders will kick it out of the village.Next there was a working bee where the men build houses and the women gossip and knit. Then boom!Fancy shot right out of the hen's nest into the th group of the amish they loved peacock Naomi was suprised the people said that the peacock was part of nature.My oppinion of this book is it is great detailed story and ages 6-10.

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