I thought that I would do my first book review for you on Olivia by Ian Falconer.
This is currently my 4 year old’s favourite book. When storytime rolls around, I ask my daughter which book she’d like to read. She rummages through her book trunk for about 5 minutes and almost always lands back at this book.
Olivia is an absolute delight! A gorgeous little pig who likes to dress-up, sing songs, dance, think, snooze (sometimes) and is even quite good at building sandcastles. Her days are filled with the wonderful minutia that makes up a small child’s life and, at the end of them, when she snuggles up in bed and her mother reads her a story (or three) Olivia the little pig, feels very full of love.
This book is best suited for preschoolers.
What I love about this book
I love this book because it is incredibly relatable for the parents of any preschoolers. It is an enjoyable read because little Olivia reminds me exactly of my own daughter. My daughter also takes delight in reading this book because she relates to the negotiations, conflicts and activities that Olivia has with her family.
The language used in the book is easy for preschoolers to understand and is written in a straightforward and active manner as you are taken through a day in the life of Olivia.
The illustrations are fantastic with a simple colour scheme and perfectly captures the essence of the story.
My favourite moments
My favourite moments in this book include:
- Olivia exceeding expectation with her sandcastle building skills.
- Olivia’s outfit collection.
- Olivia’s non-stop energy and dislike of naptime.
- Olivia’s trip to time-out after re-creating artwork on the walls at home.
- Olivia’s bedtime story negotiations.
Storytime Tips and Activities
- Use the front page title as an opportunity to teach letters and words. The large clear font lends itself well. For example – after your child is able to identify the letter, go through “tell me some words that start with O/L/I/V/I/A”
- Get your child to point out all the activities that Olivia is undertaking.
- Get your child to identify all of Olivia’s clothing items as she plays dress-up.
- Take the time to let your child mull over the illustrations and ask questions about what Olivia is doing. Relate this back to their own daily routines.
- Run your finger over each word as you read them. The book doesn’t rhyme, so it is easy to do this without ruining the rhythm/speed required to read it well.