Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham, illustrated by John Holyfield

Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons for Young Readers

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Summary:  Frank is excited to hear that Miss Fancy, a former circus elephant, is moving to Avondale Park near his home in Birmingham, Alabama.  Unfortunately, the “No Colored Allowed” sign at the park’s entrance prevents him from going to visit her. He can climb up in a tree and throw peanuts to her, but it’s not the same as getting to stroke her trunk the way the white kids can.  When Frank hears that Miss Fancy has been escaping from the park, he has an idea. He leaves a trail of peanuts from the park entrance to his house, and the next morning, Miss Fancy is at his front door! Using his bag of peanuts, Frank lures the elephant to the zoo, where he is rewarded by the police officer there with a ride on her back.  He triumphantly rides her all the way into the park. Includes an author’s note with additional information and a photo of the real Miss Fancy. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A lively, energetic story about a boy who uses determination and ingenuity to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem.  The colorful illustrations add to the fun.

Cons:  Although Frank’s wish comes true at the end of the story, the “No Colored Allowed” sign is still posted at the entrance to the park.

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