Olivia Forms a Band

Ian Falconer, Author, Ian Falconer, Illustrator . Atheneum/Schwartz $17.95 (50p) ISBN 978-1-4169-2454-8

After demonstrating that she could perform in not one but all of the star attractions under the Big Top in Olivia Saves the Circus , the hoofed heroine here proves that she can be a one-piglet band. When Olivia discovers that there will be no band to accompany the summer fireworks, she announces, "I know! We'll be the band!" Once more, Falconer's mastery of detail and pacing results in outlandish comedy. On the left, a stop-action scene conveys the family's response—a wide-eyed look of panic; on the right-hand page, cat and dog take off in opposite directions, baby William crawls away, and Olivia's father hides behind a newspaper. " 'Fine,' said Olivia. 'I'll be the band.' " Falconer again uses his signature vignettes to comical effect in a kind of comic strip succession, as Olivia, sporting a red polka-dot union suit, gives baby William a bottle in exchange for his xylophone, and trades toddler Ian a cookie jar for his drum; a show-stopping sextet of spot illustrations depicts Olivia removing her father's suspenders to reveal red polka-dot boxers ("Look, Daddy, we're twins"). When Olivia emerges as a multi-tasking piglet in a sky-blue striped unitard, Daddy's suspenders (they hold the xylophone and drum in place) and a pot lid on each foot, a gatefold exhibits fantasy images of Olivia as drummer, flautist, tuba player and more, beneath four-plus measures of classic marching music. The band may not have made it to the picnic, but Olivia gets the last laugh—and so do readers. Another crowd-pleasing performance for the porcine starlet and her creator. Ages 3-7. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
Hardcover - 50 pages - 978-1-4169-1738-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-7475-4
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-1-4169-9620-0
Hardcover - 50 pages - 978-1-4169-8037-7
Hardcover - 39 pages - 978-1-933032-23-8
Ebook - 50 pages - 978-0-85707-347-1
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 50 pages - 978-1-4424-2735-8
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