Always saying "no" to Bratz? Read this book.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Fanny comes up with creative solutions after her mother refuses to buy her the glamorous kind of doll her friends have.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book deals gently with a difficult issue that most families have encountered at least once: What happens when a parent has to say "no" to something a child really wants? The message here is far from being preachy and resolves in a way that is positive for everyone involved.

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What's the story?

When her mom refuses to give her a glamorous doll like the ones her friends have, the one she really wants, Fanny uses a little imagination to come up with a doll of her own design. But somehow her creation doesn't look quite like she expected; it's more of an Annabelle than a Connie. And, that's the interesting part. Book includes a paper doll and blank doll pieces to help a young reader create a doll of his or her own design.

Is it any good?


In Fanny, the doll Annabelle's creator, Holly Hobbie has created a main character that is cute as a button -- a spunky, creative, imaginative button, that is. 

With the glamorous Connie dolls dressed as nurses, teetering in their heels, tittering through their puffed-up lipsticked lips, the homemade Annabelle doll happily, and busily, doctors stuffed animal after stuffed animal. While this scene plays on a bad nurse stereotype, so do the Connie dolls and so many like them that real girls encounter. And it's quite funny when these dolls are put in their place. The homemade doll may not be glamorous, but she's having fun, she's loved, and she's much more real.

Fanny is the kind of kid that would be hard to say "no" to. But when it comes to the Connie doll, Fanny's mother does remain firm and consistent, causing Fanny to find a creative and wonderful solution that reveals this girl's remarkable character and teaches a great lesson in the process. Holly Hobbie's watercolor artwork is simple, clean, and expressive, especially when it comes to the looks on the faces of all the girls, dolls, and stuffed animals.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Fanny and her birthday wish, and whether or not any of them has ever had a similar experience. Why do you think Fanny wanted the Connie doll? What did it look like? Why wouldn't her mother want her to have one? How do you think Fanny felt when her mother said "no"? How was Annabelle different? What did Fanny feel about Annabelle that night when they went to bed? What happened when Fanny's friends came to play? How did that make Fanny feel? How did things change in the end? Why?

Book details

Author:Holly Hobbie
Illustrator:Holly Hobbie
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:September 1, 2008
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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