Olivia is a lovely and sweet children’s book by the author Ian Falconer. Olivia is about a high energy little pig, with a huge imagination and a talent for pushing the boundaries with her mother. Olivia’s family recognizes her talents and need for action so they bring her to many interesting places such as the museum and the beach. However, Olivia’s energy usually outlasts that of her family even when she is given outlets for her enthusiasm. Eventually, Olivia’s energy gets the better of her and she finds herself in timeout. All ends well though when the timeout ends, and Olivia and her mother read a bedtime story together. The illustration’s in Olivia are gorgeously done. My favorite thing about the pictures is the way they show Olivia’s motion and energy by providing multiple pictures of Olivia on one page showing her ballet dancing. The pictures are mostly black and white with red used sometimes to make the pictures impactful. As a matter of fact, I feel that the pictures are equally as important as the text. Olivia would not have its quaint and precious feel without those pictures on each page. The illustrations partner perfectly with the words to bring further comedy to the plot. Olivia is a delightful (and look) read for both adults and children. I recommend it for families with children in preschool as well as for the classroom with ages 3 to 5 years of age. Olivia provides a lot of opportunity for extension for early childhood educators and their lesson plans.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- “At last, a pig with self-esteem!”
— Gloria Steinem
- “Many dream of dancing on the stage, but Olivia has the legs for it.”
- — Mikhail Baryshnikov
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- Willems, Mo. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Hyperion, 2003.
- Donaldson, Julia. The Gruffalo. Macmillan, 1999.
- Rubin, Adam. Dragons Love Tacos. Dial Books, 2012.