Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Olivia Goes to Venice

Olivia Goes to Venice

Ian Falconer
Picture Book  Series
For ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416996743

It is spring break, and Olivia and her family are going to visit Venice. Olivia really enjoys being “searched for weapons” at the airport, and she is delighted when her mother tells her that Olivia will be able to get pizza and ice cream to eat wherever she goes in Venice.

When they get to the magical city, Olivia and her family walk around. They cross bridge after bridge until Olivia decides that her “blood sugar is getting low,” so they all get some gelato. After seeing the Grand Canal for the first time, Olivia is so overwrought that she needs another gelato, or three. In the Pizza San Marco Olivia “so overwhelmed by its beauty” that she needs, yes indeed, yet another gelato.

On the whole, the visit goes very well, until Olivia decides that she needs a souvenir of her stay in Venice. Then Olivia’s parents realize that it is not a good idea to let their daughter wander off in a place where there are so many fragile historic buildings.

Using digitally altered photos and his signature illustrations, Ian Falconer takes Olivia on yet another adventure. This time be prepared for a very surprising ending that is sure to make readers of all ages laugh out loud.