Title: Olivia
Author: Ian Falconer
Publication Year, publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000
external image olivia_the_pig_image-web_ready.jpg
Basics: For ages 4 to 7
Type: Picture book
Length: 32 pages
Categories: gifted and talented, fiction
Main Characters: Olivia, a little girl pig, her mom and dad, her brother, her cat Edwin and dog Perry

"This is Olivia," begins Ian Falconer's delightful picture book about a precocious piglet. "She is good at lots of things." In charming and hilarious illustrations, Olivia's busy adventures take her through dress-up, playing with her cat, going to the beach and museum, (reluctantly) taking a nap, and going to bed after just one story...no, three stories.
This simply is one of the finest children's picture books of the year, and sure to be named on everyone's Top of 2000 list. Quietly humorous and tongue-in-cheek narration, fluid and expressive black-and-white-and-red artwork, and the charming portrayal of the busy and mischievous Olivia make this an instant classic. Sight gags abound (Olivia's ambitious sandcastle, her pink-pink sunburn, her dreams of being a ballerina, and her songbook "40 Very Loud Songs") and Falconer, a New Yorker cover artist and theatre designer, portrays the never-ending energy of a tiny pig, er, girl, with wit and charm.
Don't miss this one: suitable for all ages from the very young to the very old, "Olivia" is the prize of the season. It's the kind of book kids will be begging to have read to them before bed: bargaining for not once, not twice, but three times.

Personal recommendation: I would recommend this book for young children who can delight in both the pictures and simple text.

GT Recommendation: Olivia is full of GT qualities. She has such an imaginative and creative energy which keeps her quite off task. Her humorous obsessive personality can get her into trouble. She is precocious in every way, which can be quite bothersome to people around her. Her GT qualities help us teachers to embrace each and every unique aspect about her.

Interview with Ian Falconer

2003 Interview - Written:

Intro Song to Olivia Show

Link to Olivia The Pig website.