Tuesday, July 27, 2010

pig week: Olivia

You knew pig week wouldn't be complete without the amazing Olivia, so here she is! Olivia has become quite the phenomenon now complete with her own website, tv show, and merchandizing. But before she was all that, she was just a black and white pig, in fabulous red clothes, with a little bit of attitude and a whole lot of heart.

I first met Olivia on a shelf at a local seaside bookshop while on vacation with Elizabeth when she was only 8 months old. Still not quite identifying with her preschool impishness, I only had an infant myself, I was nonetheless completely drawn in by the amazing illustration of Ian Falconer.

With his mix of charcoal and simple color, usually red, and occasional splashes of photograph, like the Jackson Pollack painting in the first Olivia or the fireworks in Olivia Forms A Band, Falconer breathed new life into the picture book genre earning a Caldecott Honor for his first work.

Olivia quickly became one of Elizabeth's favorite books, a constant on her bedside book pile and she eagerly collected each new Olivia book as they were published. Of course, along the way, Philip became equally immersed, and most recently Finn has been seen with the entire pile of books in his bed.

Because what little one wouldn't identify with all of Olivia's everyday adventures, including wearing herself out.

When pressed to identify her favorite, Elizabeth hesitated before saying that she loves all the circus acts that Olivia performs in Olivia Saves the Circus.

Stay tuned for more swine here during pig week...


  1. I have seen Olivia over and over in the stores and after reading this I'm shocked that I never have opened the book. It looks delightful!

  2. I love the illustration, but sometimes Olivia is a smidge too precocious for my taste.