Olivia and the Fairy Princesses
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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

4.2 9
by Ian Falconer
     
 

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In this picture book starring the world’s most imaginative pig, Olivia embarks upon a quest for identity with very lofty goals—and being a princess is NOT one of them!

Olivia is having an identity crisis! There are too many ruffly, sparkly princesses around these days, and Olivia has had quite enough. She needs to stand out! She has to be special! She

Overview

In this picture book starring the world’s most imaginative pig, Olivia embarks upon a quest for identity with very lofty goals—and being a princess is NOT one of them!

Olivia is having an identity crisis! There are too many ruffly, sparkly princesses around these days, and Olivia has had quite enough. She needs to stand out! She has to be special! She wants to do more than just fit in! So what will she be?
Join Olivia on a hilarious quest for individuality, and rest assured, you won’t find THIS pig pleased to be in pink!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Throughout the Olivia books, Falconer’s hammy piglet has played such roles as circus performer, experimental music dynamo, and fashionista. She opens this delightful installment declaring, “I think I’m having an identity crisis.... I don’t know what I should be!” When her father chirps, “You’ll always be my little princess,” Olivia mopes, “All the girls want to be princesses,” and so do “a couple of the boys.” Falconer pictures his heroine defying crowds of pink-tutu’d, wand-waving look-alikes by sporting a voguish sailor shirt and Wintouresque black sunglasses; Olivia later dresses as a blue warthog at a Halloween party (“It was very effective”). And while other dancers compete to become a fairy princess ballerina, Olivia opines, “I’m trying to develop a more stark, modern style,” letting loose with a series of dramatic poses in a stretchy charcoal-gray fabric tube (the book’s dedication: “With deepest apologies to Martha Graham”). Olivia stubbornly dresses in red-and-white-striped long johns, resists damsel-in-distress bedtime stories, and lies awake considering philanthropic lines of work. Lest this be seen as pure propaganda, however, Olivia’s ultimate career decision places everything in perspective: “I want to be queen.” Not all will be persuaded to join the pink princess backlash, but it’s a start. Ages 3–7. Agent: Conrad Rippy, Levine Plotkin & Menin. (Aug.)
Booklist
“Olivia is depressed. She sees that individuality counts for little in her world…. After she spends the night pondering what she can be other than a princess, the last page shows her glorious answer…as with previous books, most of the fun comes from the delicious artwork executed in signature charcoal perked up with reds…. There are also some strong messages here about individuality and reinventing yourself according to your own vision. It’s an idea you’re never to young to learn.”
The Plain Dealer
"I approach sequels cautiously—they frequently don't measure up to the original. Happily, this one doesn't disappoint.... Falconer's droll humor is evident in both words and pictures...pure Olivia."
The New York Times Book Review
“Thank God for Ian Falconer and his Olivia. She is the popular school-age pig, the latest in a lien of independent, high-spirited young ladies that goes back at least to Madeline and Eloise, and also includes Frances the badger and Lilly the mouse. Her seventh full-fledged adventure, “Olivia and the Fairy Princesses,” is, to my taste, her best since her introduction 12 years ago.”
Wall Street Journal
“The legions of young children (and parents) who have relished Ian Falconer's "Olivia" books are well aware that the redoubtable eponymous piglet has a distinct personality and a flamboyant sensibility all her own. As a stand-in for the most amusing sort of precocious child, Olivia revels in her uniqueness and finds it provoking that other people need to conform. Yet at the same time, she is not wholly indifferent to the pleasures that other little girls enjoy.”
August 2012 The New York Times Book Review
“Thank God for Ian Falconer and his Olivia. She is the popular school-age pig, the latest in a lien of independent, high-spirited young ladies that goes back at least to Madeline and Eloise, and also includes Frances the badger and Lilly the mouse. Her seventh full-fledged adventure, “Olivia and the Fairy Princesses,” is, to my taste, her best since her introduction 12 years ago.”
From the Publisher
“Olivia is back and as strong-willed as ever in this rumination on individuality. The usually upbeat piglet is depressed. “I think I’m having an identity crisis.” All of the children in her class want to be princesses…. But Olivia likes to be unique…. Falconer’s trademark use of minimalistic color to make Olivia stand out from the crowd is in full force here. His visual humor underscores his punch lines and illustrates Olivia’s imagination…the subtle, sophisticated humor is pitched at adults as well as children. Falconer’s witty parent-child banter will resonate with listeners old and young alike. Anyone who is afraid of challenging words and complex ideas should stay away, but parents looking for a way to expand their children’s minds with more than a few chuckles along the way will find this story just the ticket. More please.”

School Library Journal, August 2012

September 2012 The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Independent-minded Olivia continues to be an endearing and distinctive heroine, and many a kid (and adult) weary of Barbie-pink fluff will find Olivia’s perspective refreshing…the hordes of piglets clad in rosy tutus are actually quite adorable, but confident Olivia pictorially makes a strong case for striped ensembles and primary hues as she attractively poses in Falconer’s charcoal and gouache illustrations.

This is a helpful reassurance that there are enjoyable alternatives to pink princesses for imaginative play and dressup possibilities.”

September 2012 The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Independent-minded Olivia continues to be an endearing and distinctive heroine, and many a kid (and adult) weary of Barbie-pink fluff will find Olivia’s perspective refreshing…the hordes of piglets clad in rosy tutus are actually quite adorable, but confident Olivia pictorially makes a strong case for striped ensembles and primary hues as she attractively poses in Falconer’s charcoal and gouache illustrations.

This is a helpful reassurance that there are enjoyable alternatives to pink princesses for imaginative play and dressup possibilities.”

Kirkus Reviews
In this latest, delightfully droll episode, readers find their precocious pig suffering from an identity crisis. While all the other girls she knows, and even some of the boys, dress as ruffled pink princesses for parties and desperately want to be fairy princess ballerinas, Olivia's aspirations are more sui (or sooey?) generis. She may have wanted to be a ballerina once. But that was last year, when she was too young to know better. Now, on an uproarious two-page spread that depicts her in a series of Martha Graham–style postures, Olivia explains that she is "trying to develop a more stark, modern style." Befittingly, a framed photograph of Graham is in clear view above Olivia's bed as her understandably exasperated mother attempts to read to her from a book of fairy tales. Olivia rejects Rapunzel because she ends up becoming a princess, but she quickly realizes that she wouldn't want to be the little match girl freezing in the snow either. Olivia's whirring brain begins to consider what she might like to be instead--a nurse or a reporter perhaps? Her ultimate choice is quintessentially Olivia. Falconer's charcoal-and-gouache illustrations, black and white with splashes of color interspersed, showcase Olivia's unique spirit and dramatic flair. Not a whole lot of plot here, but panache aplenty. (Picture book. 4-7)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Poor Olivia has the doldrums. For a pig that has a mind of her own and a unique style, she finds herself in the middle of an identity crisis because all the other pigs (female and some male) also want to be princesses with their pink dresses, sparkling crowns, and glittering scepters. At the birthday party, the dance studio, and the Halloween party, princesses dressed in pink are the rage. The princesses are all carbon copies of each other. Olivia ponders over her dilemma of what she wants to be and considers other options for her identity. In one layout, Olivia's anguish and struggles are displayed in a Martha Graham-like portrait; later, readers will see the connection with the picture that hangs above Olivia's bed. Readers may need to discuss what Olivia really wants in order to understand the ending of the story. This book is part of the series of stories about Olivia, the pig with a distinctive personality. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Olivia is back and as strong-willed as ever in this rumination on individuality. The usually upbeat piglet is depressed. "I think I'm having an identity crisis." All of the children in her class want to be princesses. In pink, "...even some of the boys." But Olivia likes to be unique. "Why not an Indian princess…or an African princess…."? For the ballet recital, everyone wants to be the fairy princess. But Olivia is "trying to develop a more stark, modern style." The hilarious attempt results in a series of spot illustrations of Olivia in a dark tube dress, posing in different positions, à la Martha Graham. For Halloween, she is a warthog. And she has had enough of fairy tales with princesses. At last, she realizes what she wants to be: Queen, of course! Falconer's trademark use of minimalistic color to make Olivia stand out from the crowd is in full force here. His visual humor underscores his punch lines and illustrates Olivia's imagination. Showcasing words like "treatments" and "corporate malfeasance," the text will occasionally go over youngsters' heads, and the subtle, sophisticated humor is pitched at adults as well as children. Falconer's witty parent-child banter will resonate with listeners old and young alike. Anyone who is afraid of challenging words and complex ideas should stay away, but parents looking for a way to expand their children's minds with more than a few chuckles along the way will find this story just the ticket. More please.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442450271
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Series:
Olivia Series
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
72,348
Product dimensions:
8.88(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of the Olivia book series, including Olivia, Olivia Helps with Christmas, Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia Saves the Circus, to name a few. Falconer’s illustrations have graced numerous covers of The New Yorker. He has also designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House, and many others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of the Olivia book series, including Olivia, Olivia Helps with Christmas, Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia Saves the Circus, to name a few. Falconer’s illustrations have graced numerous covers of The New Yorker. He has also designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House, and many others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
August 25, 1959
Place of Birth:
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Education:
Studied art history at New York University and painting at Parsons School of Design and Otis Art Institute

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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
ChelMcQ More than 1 year ago
Olivia's desire to not be like everyone else is just the tale I want my toddler reading. Love it!
mrsvaljones More than 1 year ago
Olivia, the stubborn and funny pig, is back in another adorable children&rsquo;s book. This time, Olivia is tired of everyone wanting to be a fairy princess, even some of the boys. At birthday parties, the school dance recital, and even Halloween, all anyone wants to be is a Fairy Princess. But Olivia wants to stand out and be unique in her own way. As Olivia goes through a list of all the different things she could be, she finally decides something that tops them all. Illustrated in captivating black and white drawings highlighted with few colors, make Olivia&rsquo;s decision to be her unique self even more poignant. And the message that being different is okay creates a great moral well told through another impressive Olivia book. Recommended for readers age 3-7.
Wrenbrook More than 1 year ago
I am an adult woman and find the Olivia books fantastically charming! I love the character of Olivia and the style she is drawn in...The Stories are simple yet sophisticated. I look forward to each new tale... Thank You Ian Falconer : ) Wrenbrook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nkbvhh
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adorably unique & sweet book w/hysterical narration! Love the pictures! Thrilled it was $1.99 in lieu of $12.99! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good show good show jolly good show id givz 5 starz!