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Olivia [Hardcover]

Ian Falconer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
Price: CDN$ 14.43 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $12.26  
Hardcover, Oct. 1 2000 CDN $14.43  
Paperback --  
Board book CDN $8.54  

Book Description

Oct. 1 2000 Olivia
Have fun with Olivia...
  • dressing up
  • singing songs
  • building sand castles
  • napping (maybe)
  • dancing
  • painting on walls
  • and -- whew! --
going to sleep at last.

Frequently Bought Together

Customers buy this book with Olivia and the Fairy Princesses CDN$ 14.43

Olivia + Olivia and the Fairy Princesses
Price For Both: CDN$ 28.86

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    Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
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Product Description

From Amazon

Olivia would be Eloise, if Eloise were a pig. She is good at singing 40 very loud songs and is very good at wearing people out. And scaring the living daylights out of her little brother, Ian, particularly when he copies her every move. She is also quite skilled at reproducing Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm #30" on the walls at home. When her mother tucks her in at night and says, "You know, you really wear me out. But I love you anyway," Olivia precociously pronounces, "I love you anyway too."

The New Yorker artist Ian Falconer's endearing charcoal portraits of his porcine heroine are spotted with fire-engine red gouache in all the right places--perhaps a tribute to Hilary Knight's red, pink, white, and black celebrations of Olivia's human counterpart? When she dresses up, the bow on her ears, her red lipstick, and her high-heeled shoes are all red. (The only time her shades-of-gray body is pink is when she is sunburned and the area where her bathing suit was is white!) Falconer does a fine job of letting the spare text set up the jokes for the visual punch lines--a dryly humorous interplay that adults will appreciate as much as children.

Preschoolers (and their parents) will see themselves in Olivia--a typical high-energy, over-the-top kid who likes the beach and Degas paintings, but hates naps. On the other hand, she combs her ears and is unusually gifted at sandcastle building. While we are certainly reminded of Eloise, Falconer's portrait is simpler in scope, less demented, and, as a result, less adult. Bottom line: precocious is fun, and we're tickled pink to have Olivia join the parade of, let's just say, individualistic youngsters. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Come one, come all for this extraordinary debut for both Falconer and his unforgettable porcine heroine. The author/artist begins this day-in-the-life tale with a kind of behind-the-scenes peek at Olivia. Articles from her wardrobe are strewn across the endpapers-red tights, red sunglasses, a red T-shirt and red tank top-until the title page reveals her selection: a red sailor dress with black-and-white striped tights. "This is Olivia./ She is good at lots of things," the narrator begins, like an emcee introducing the star of the show. The genius of the volume is its economy: the brief text brilliantly plays off the artwork, rendered only in shades of red and black with an occasional background setting; a deceptively simple design unifies each spread. For one such spread, demonstrating "She is very good at wearing people out," Falconer shows Olivia engaged in a variety of activities in 13 black-and-white vignettes, using red sparingly-for a hammer handle, a yo-yo, a ball, a mixing bowl spatula and a jump rope-as she progresses from energetic to spent. Against a completely white background, these vignettes seem to bob on invisible undulating waves, with the intermittent splashes of red creating a sense of movement and urgency-until Olivia's collapse at the lower right-hand corner of the spread beneath a single line of text ("She even wears herself out"). The few full scenes amplify the deadpan humor: a beach setting allows for the full impact of Olivia's spectacular sandcastle model of the Empire State Building; a full-bleed black-and-white image of a tutu- and tiara-clad Olivia bowing to unseen fans answers the narrator's question "What could she be thinking?" as she stares at her favorite painting, featuring Degas's ballerinas, in a museum. Whether in full scenes or vignettes, Falconer keeps the focus on his inimitable protagonist. He clearly understands his audience: a standout spread shows Olivia getting dressed in her red-only wardrobe ("She has to try on everything") in 17 separate fashion poses. Falconer's choice to suggest Olivia with a minimum of details and a masterful black line allows readers to really identify with her-no doubt, they will. There's a little bit of Olivia in everyone. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This is Olivia. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Had to Buy This--You Don't! Oct. 22 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Yes, Ian Falconer is a noted illustrator and the pictures are nice. It's cute---BUT---- there are a thousand other books about cute, naughty little pigs, cows, chickens, etc out there!
This one was lucky enough to be written by someone with enough publishing connections to get hyped to death. All the library and trade journals had HUGE ads touting this book, and as a result, demand is high. I'm going to have to buy every durned Olivia book that comes along the pike for the next few years. But this is not the fabulous, marvelous masterpiece people are making it out to be! The best picture books in general have text and pictures that work together. Take away the illustrations in Olivia, and there'd be nothing there.
As someone else said, borrow it from your library--we could use the circulation and your tax dollars pay for stuff like this.
And while you're at it, take a look at Lillian Hoban's Frances books, Kevin Henkes's books about Lily and all the other really great books that will be around for years to come. I doubt that these will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre May 1 2002
Format:Hardcover
This book is okay but not one that I would recommend buying. Borrow it from the library and then decide if you have to have it for your very own. The pictures are large and there is not much text. I found the color scheme very lacklustre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Basic June 3 2013
Format:Board book|Verified Purchase
The beginner approach to the charming Olivia- pig of great imagination and grace. Great for small hands and laps. Will not bore parents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most charming pig since Wilbur himself April 23 2004
Format:Hardcover
Ian Falconer has done many an amusing cover for "The New Yorker" in his day, so it is only fitting that he be responsible for the most New York-inspired children's book since Eloise decided to wreck havoc in the Piazza. For those of you who have never met the charming Olivia, this is probably the best book to begin with. Less pretentious than its sequels, in it you meet Olivia, her family, and her penchant for extravagant imaginings. Drawn in beautifully shaded black and white, this particular tale is dotted with brilliant flashes of Olivia's red belongings. Her adventures are quite tame. Following the day to day adventures of an average child, the viewer views Olivia going to the beach, into her closet, to the museum, and at last to bed.
Reviewer Dwight Garner recently noted in his New York Times Book Review that, " 'Olivia' is one of those kids' books... that hip mommies and daddies like to give to the children of other hip mommies and daddies in order to demonstrate, yet again, what delightfully hip mommies and daddies we all are". There's no denying that this book is decidedly hip. I've yet to see a mom in a children's book look as particularly metropolitan (read: New Yorkish) as Olivia's black clad momma. And when Olivia creates a castle, she doesn't go halfway. She creates a sand-skyscraper. Mr. Garner does bring up an interesting point, though. Is "Olivia" something kids actually love and hold dear to their hearts, or is it something that parents love and hope their kids will get into? Who doesn't want their children to be inspired by a character that reads about Maria Callas before she goes to bed?
I don't know how kids feel about the story. But what I do know is that it's a quality piece of work. The art is beautiful. The story sublime. Plus it's a riot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERIOR Feb. 21 2004
By Suzy
Format:Hardcover
This is the most fantasically, incredible book. I have bi-polar disorder and the joke ok my house is Olivia is a BP pig! This was so great!!! LOVED the Jackson Pollack impersonation!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great value March 12 2010
Format:Board book
I wasn't sure if this was going to be the full Olivia story, just in boardbook form... but it was! Delightful and sturdy, excellent value for your money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great Aug. 16 2009
Format:Board book
thanks very much to the company. the book was in excellent condition and came promptly to my door. good work!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Olivia Rocks! Feb. 20 2004
By W.M. C.
Format:Hardcover
This book rocks! The art was delightful, even the expressions on little Olivia's piggy face. She is an active little "girl" who is into so many different things: from beautiful art (the details of real life masterpieces included in the book's museum scenes are priceless) to basking in the sun to scaring away her little brother Ian. She will delight you and your children or your students or whoever the little people in your life are. Olivia is a modern classic.
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