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Olivia
Olivia
by Ian Falconer
Illustration by Ian Falconer

Olivia is a delightful little pig. She's good at lots of things, especially wearing people out - including herself. When she gets dressed, she tries on everything; at night she's ready to go to sleep, but only after four stories.

Age: 3 Year-olds | Title: Olivia  |  Author: Ian Falconer  |  Publisher: Atheneum Books

Olivia is a delightful little pig. She's good at lots of things, especially wearing people out - including herself. When she gets dressed, she tries on everything; at night she's ready to go to sleep, but only after four stories.

Your little one is sure to adore this Caldecott Medal Honor Book winner, as Olivia is just like any little kid - I mean pig. Larger in stature and longer in length than the usual board book, Olivia is the perfect transition book from 'baby books' to 'toddler books' for your little one. The sentences are simple and never overwhelm the page, as the no-frills sketched pig, Olivia, and her antics are clearly always the focus. The pictures are primarily in black and white accented with bright red. A pleasant surprise toward the end is a mixed media approach, when Falconer displays two mini prints of actual paintings when Olivia and her mom visit the museum. Information on the paintings, their titles and where they can be found in real life is outlined on the final page as the only real color. Backgrounds are used sparingly and primarily when Olivia is lost in her imagination

The most interactive element of Olivia for young readers (or listeners) is certainly the humor, as it is so prevalent that there is bound to be something your child will giggle over. Perhaps they will enjoy the two-page spreads showing Olivia doing numerous activities, or trying on different clothes; Olivia tries on pantyhose all the way up to her neck - not that they would properly fit a pig anyway! Will your little one catch on to the silly mention of Olivia 'combing her ears'? Your child may also relate to Olivia through other ways, such has dealing with an annoying younger sibling, not wanting to take a nap, or even getting in trouble and having a time out. This is a great book for your child to practice sounding out some words, follow along while you read, or for you to stop on any page and talk about what you see.

I read this book to my three-year-old friend, Sam, and we were both giggling over Olivia's antics! Sam thought it was so funny when Olivia's little brother Sam copied her and put on lipstick, while I giggled at the sight of Olivia decked out in floaties, a swim cap, goggles and earplugs at the beach. We both laughed at the severely sunburned Olivia, as we could relate to that feeling. Overall, the book brought a ton of laughs and will certainly be read and enjoyed many more times.

--Audra

Ian Falconer is a painter and illustrator whose illustrations have graced many covers of "The New Yorker" magazine. In addition, he has designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, among others. Olivia is his first children's book. Mr. Falconer lives in New York City.
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