Oh, the excitement and joy on Christmas Morning! Keep reading…
The bundle of energy and squeals of little kids as they open their presents on Christmas Morning has always reminded me of Olivia, the lovable little pig that stars in a book named for her, Olivia, written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. Perhaps this is not the first book that will come to mind when thinking of a Christmas story, but there is something about the stark minimalistic black charcoal drawings with splashes of bright red gouache that reminds me of the holidays.
Olivia follows a rambunctious little pig as she builds sand castles, dances, and paints and scares the living daylights out of her little brother (warning, “She is very good at wearing people out. She even wears herself out.”). Falconer has a wonderful dry sense of humor that really shines through even with minimal text. I am sure you’ll get a squeal from your little ones when they discover Olivia this holiday season.
A fun fact for fans, each year many Australians look forward to the unveiling of Myer’s Christmas Windows. A yearly tradition, the department store brings to life a story book in its store windows, and in 2009, animators, artists and craft people recreated Olivia helps with Christmas. To see this story brought to life and other previous holiday window themes, check out www.myer.com.au
Olivia, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author and Illustrator Ian Falconer
Ian Falconer did not started out as a writer or an illustrator; Olivia originally was a gift for his baby niece (also named after her). The story was first submitted to a Manhattan agency, which turned it down, so Falconer sat on it and continued designing sets and costumes for stage productions. It wasn’t until a couple of years later, when Simon & Schuster saw Falconer’s work on the cover of The New Yorker, that they approached him about illustrating children’s books.
To follow the antics of Olivia (and Ian Falconer) check out her website: www.oliviathepiglet.com
Publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Atheneum; 1st ed edition (October 1, 2000)