Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Ian Falconer
Picture Book  Series
For ages 3 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2000   ISBN: 0689829531

Olivia is the kind of little girl pig who is “very good at wearing people out.” She is always busy, highly curious, creative, and willing to learn and try all kinds of new things. She is very good at some things too. For example she is a master sand castle maker and after a trip to the museum she decides to try to recreate some of the artwork she has seen. Unfortunately she does her painting on a wall in her house which does not please her mother at all. By this time though, her mother has come to expect that Olivia will at times be a bit of a trial but as always, a the end of the day her mother says “you really wear me out. But I love you anyway.”

This beautifully simple, deliciously illustrated picture book will resonate with every little child who sometimes does a little too much and with every parent who sometimes has to deal with that little too much. Children will see that no matter what they do they will be loved, and parents will smile as they recognize the Olivia in their own little boy or girl. Indeed we all have a little Olivia in us – or at least we should. For without that little bit of Olivia-ish-ness in our lives, life would be very dull indeed.

Charcoal illustrations rendered in shades of grey are splashed with red gouache paint to great effect. The result is vivid, striking, and unforgettable.

This book is a Caldecott Honor title.