Great Illustrated Books


By Ian Falconer

Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books, 2000
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 3-7
ISBN: 689829531

The first captivating book about the delectable piglet, Olivia, begins, "This is Olivia. She is good at lots of things. She is very good at wearing people out. She even wears herself out." Olivia trundles stoically through her days, building a sand Empire State Building at the beach, dancing instead of napping, and painting a spattered Jackson Pollock-style mural on the wall after seeing one of his paintings at the museum. ("I could do that in about five minutes," she says. "As soon as she gets home she gives it a try.") On the following page, the pensive, paint-spattered tyke is sitting alone on the bottom step. "Time out," the caption reads. The quirky, understated language is just right for the adorable charcoal and gouache grey-toned illustrations, set off with Olivia in her signature all-red wardrobe.

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If you love this book, then try:

Beaumont, Karen. I Ain't Gonna Paint No More. Harcourt, 2005.

Cordell, Matthew. Trouble Gum. Feiwel & Friends, 2009.

Falconer, Ian. Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy. Atheneum, 2003.

Falconer, Ian. Olivia Forms a Band. Atheneum, 2006.

Falconer, Ian. Olivia Saves the Circus. Atheneum, 2001.

Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George. HarperCollins, 1999.

Hobbie, Holly. Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine. Little, Brown, 1999. (And others in the Toot & Puddle series.)

Laden, Nina. Roberto the Insect Architect. Chronicle, 2000.

McPhail, David. Pig Pig Grows Up. Dutton, 1980. (And others in the Pig Pig series.)

Palatini, Margie. Piggie Pie. Clarion, 1995.

Pomerantz, Charlotte. The Piggy in the Puddle. Macmillan, 1974.

Rylant, Cynthia. Poppleton. Scholastic, 1997. (And others in the Poppleton series.)

Schachner, Judy. Skippyjon Jones. Dutton, 2003.

Van Leeuwen, Jean. Amanda Pig and Her Big Brother Oliver. Dial, 1982. (And others in the Amanda and Oliver Pig series.)

Wells, Rosemary. Max Cleans Up. Viking, 2000. (And others in the Max and Ruby series.)

Critics have said

Come one, come all for this extraordinary debut for both Falconer and his unforgettable porcine heroine... 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.
Publishers Weekly