Thursday, 22 November 2012

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

This book (by Ian Falconer) is hilarious. Olivia is such a precocious little piglet! I actually laughed out loud a couple of times whilst reading this book.  Whilst it appeals to the child audience it is most certainly aimed at adults too .I loved it!

And why is Olivia depressed? Well, she is having an identity crisis of all things!  She just can not understand why all the other little girls want to be princesses.  At Pippa's birthday party everyone was dressed as a fairy princess- even some of the boys!  Olivia however 'chose a simple French sailor shirt, matador trousers, black flats, a strand of pearls, sunglasses, a red bag, and her gardening hat.'  

What a stylish little pig!

Olivia's style is one of the things I love about the Olivia books.  She makes me laugh because she always wears such sophisticated outfits for one so young!  She definitely has some airs and graces about her.  I especially love her striped towel and turban combo in this picture:

Olivia spends the course of the book wondering why all the others want to be the same and wondering what she should be that is different.  Her mother reminds her that it wasn't too long ago that she (Olivia) wanted to be a fairy princess too.  

'That was when I was little' replies Olivia. 'I am trying to develop a more stark, modern style.'

This is my favourite page in the whole book! A double page spread (I have scanned only a section of it here) of Olivia posing about in a black sheet like thing.

So funny!

Anyway, Olivia does eventually decide what she wants to become at the end of the book after going through a number of different career choices:  a nurse, an adopter of orphans, a reporter...  I won't spoil the surprise for you but I will say that what she decides to become is very Olivia

Also I should probably say something about the illustrations too. I love the way Ian Falconer uses a limited palette in the Olivia books. It enables the reader to really focus on the central character (which is what I am sure Olivia would want!) so she becomes very much centre stage.  It fits perfectly with her personality. I also really like the way that there is the occasional black and white photo incorporated into the pictures.  It gives them a bit more of an interesting and dare I say 'arty' feel which I think Olivia would approve of, being a very cultured pig and all.  

Have you read any of the Olivia books? Which is your favourite one?


Anna Brinded said...

olivia is brilliant! the tv show is also hilarious. i saw the one where she goes to her posh friend's house.

Plushpussycat said...

OK, here's another one for me to read. I'm going to order it from the library now. I may be hooked already! xo Jennifer

Stephanie said...

No I have not and this one is very clever. I laughed out loud at the outfits she was wearing especially that one where she was stretching in different ways trying to put it on her. This one is a delight. Thank you for sharing this one.

Vicky Lovejoy said...

Oh I really love the sound of this book and I'm definitely going to get hold of a copy, I think I will really love it!!
Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hugs ♥ Vicky ♥

Tammie Lee said...

isn't it wonderful when a limited palette expresses a great deal, i love that too.
looks like a fun book!

Sharon Souter said...

I've never heard of Olivia before. The book looks gorgeous and very clever. I love stories that appeal (on different levels) to both children and adults.

Erin K said...

Oh I've heard so many awesome things about this book. Looks so clever and funny, with a wonderful limited colour palette. Hmm, I wonder if I could find it over here?? Thank you so much for sharing this. <3

Sharon Souter said...

Hi Victoria - I'm back to let you know that Sharon's Little Sunbeam will be shining on you this month. Hope you enjoy it! (details on my latest post)

Jess @ The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

Olivia is awesome! I love the books and the show- thanks for sharing! Found you through Sharon's Sunlit Memories. Your artwork is beautiful- glad I popped over : ) ~ Jess