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Fanny & Annabelle    by Holly Hobbie order for
Fanny & Annabelle
by Holly Hobbie
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)

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* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Author and illustrator Holly Hobbie has created another meaningful book for first readers. Fanny & Annabelle is the story of a young girl who decides to write her own picture book starring Annabelle, her doll. However, the story mirrors events in Fanny's life, too.

Annabelle's Adventure tells of Annabelle shopping for a locket for Aunt Sally. When Annabelle finds out she doesn't have enough money, she wonders if she should just take the locket from the store without paying. Fanny can't decide how Annabelle should solve this dilemma. Later that day, when Fanny finds an envelope on the sidewalk that contains $100, she writes of Annabelle finding the envelope. Fanny runs home with the money. While Fanny wonders if she should keep the money to buy her mother a birthday present, Fanny has Annabelle wonder if should use it to buy Aunt Sally a locket. The following day Fanny meets a girl looking for a pink envelope with money in it. Will Fanny speak up, or stay quiet? And what will Annabelle do?

This story considers the principle of honesty, presenting a realistic situation and showing how the young protagonist reasons out her choice options. Along with that, the book encourages children to read, write, and illustrate, to be creative like Fanny. Three punch-out bookmarks are included in the book, one of which is blank and ready for coloring by the reader. The book also depicts a single mom and daughter who find joy as a family, albeit not a traditional one, a refreshing perspective. Filled with Hobbie's whimsical illustrations, Fanny & Annabelle is enchanting as well as engaging.

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