Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Olivia Forms A Band

Olivia Forms A Band

Ian Falconer
Picture Book  Series
For ages 3 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2006   ISBN: 978-1416924548

Olivia and her family are going to have a special treat tonight; they are going to have a picnic by the lake and then they are going to watch the fireworks. Olivia is appalled to hear that there isn’t going to be band. After all “you can’t have fireworks without a band.” There is only one thing for it. Olivia must create her own band and she spends much of the day doing just this. With pots and pans, a bell, a whistle, toy musical instruments, and her father’s suspenders, Olivia becomes a one pig marching band. The only person who likes her band is her baby brother William; babies like loud and obnoxious noises.

At last the time has come to go to the lake. Where is Olivia’s band? Well, it turns out that Olivia has exhausted her interest in bands and to the relief of everyone, except perhaps William, the band is left behind.

Any parent who has had to live through their child’s latest fad will feel that this book captures the essence of such an experience perfectly. From its frenzied beginning to its sudden demise, Olivia’s band is as real as it comes. Children will love her creative energy and will quite understand how it is that Olivia feels that her band sounds “just like a real band.” After all children are blessed with a seemingly bottomless well of imagination and ears that hear music when the rest of us hear a cacophony.

With wonderfully minimal illustrations executed in bright colors and accompanied by loud noises, Ian Falconer once again shares his delightful pig character with the world.