Olivia

Ian Falconer, Author, Ian Falconer, Illustrator Atheneum ;Books for Young Readers $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-82953-6
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.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Book - 978-0-7435-7473-0
Hardcover - 33 pages - 978-0-689-83495-0
Paperback - 35 pages - 978-0-689-86088-1
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-84738-099-9
Ebook - 40 pages - 978-0-85707-344-0
Paperback - 36 pages - 978-1-4424-3944-3
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4424-2732-7
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-4169-8034-6
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-2-02-041087-8
Hardcover - 34 pages - 978-84-8488-017-2
Hardcover - 978-3-7891-6504-7
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-89-8488-768-8
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-930332-08-9
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-7-5434-6455-1
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-0-7407-3025-2
Board Books - 978-2-02-056486-1
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-4169-4218-4
Paperback - 978-1-4169-4589-5
Board Books - 34 pages - 978-0-689-87472-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.