Olivia – Ian Falconer

Olivia is a simply adorable little girl pig. Full of spunk, personality and imagination, she’s the sort of pig who will appeal to everyone, parents and children alike.

On the first page, we are introduced to Olivia, and we are told that she is good at lots of things. She happens to be singing, holding up a book called “40 Very Loud Songs.” I don’t know if children will appreciate the humor in that, but the parent reading the book aloud to their child will get a chuckle out of it. On the next page we are told that she is very good at wearing people out, and we see several images of her running around, standing on her head, playing with toys, dancing, and the like.

She plays dress-up, tying her ears up in a big red bow and applying lipstick of the same shade. She looks gorgeous.

When she gets dressed in the morning, she has to try on everything she owns, from a ball gown to a swimsuit, a baseball cap to a tutu. She models each outfit like a professional.

She enjoys building sand castles at the beach, creating skyscrapers while all the other children are making plain old bucket castles. But she absolutely hates taking her nap.

She goes on trips to the museum, and we are treated to her viewpoints on the different paintings she sees. Of course, it’s not so delightful when she decides to imitate some of that artwork on the wall at home. Finally, after a long day of wearing everyone out, she’s worn out too and goes to sleep.

The charm of this book is in its simplicity. The illustrations are basic line drawings, the primary colors being black and red. There is nothing elaborate about the book at all. But the concept is sweet, the pig is just as cute as she can be, and the whole story is told with just a touch of wry humor. I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to sharing the other books in the Olivia series with you.

(This book was published in 2000 by Atheneum Books, Simon and Schuster.)

Related Blogs:

The Picture Books of Tim Egan

Parents in the Pigpen, Pigs in the Tub

Children’s Picture Books about Monkeys