Olivia Forms a Band

( 28 )

Overview

Everyone's favorite Caldecott-winning porcine diva is back and with fanfare! There are going to be fireworks tonight, and Olivia can hardly wait to hear the band. But when she finds out that there isn't going to be a band, she can't understand why not. How can there be fireworks without a band?! And so Olivia sets to putting a band together herself...all by herself. Using pots, pans, her brother's toys, and even her father's suspenders, Olivia forms a band spectacular enough to startle any audience. Lavishly ...
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Overview

Everyone's favorite Caldecott-winning porcine diva is back and with fanfare! There are going to be fireworks tonight, and Olivia can hardly wait to hear the band. But when she finds out that there isn't going to be a band, she can't understand why not. How can there be fireworks without a band?! And so Olivia sets to putting a band together herself...all by herself. Using pots, pans, her brother's toys, and even her father's suspenders, Olivia forms a band spectacular enough to startle any audience. Lavishly brought to life in Ian Falconer's signature style, and introducing an eye-catching shade of blue, here is Olivia doing what Olivia does best -- making noise.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Ever the pig-with-a-plan, Olivia fashions a one-man band when she learns there won't be one at the evening's fireworks show. Her scheme involves bribing her brothers with milk and cookies for their toy instruments and rigging them together with Daddy's suspenders-a theft that reveals her stunned father's polka-dot boxers. Witty charcoal drawings with dollops of color highlight Olivia's irrepressible antics, from trying Mom's scarlet lipstick to sporting candy-striped tights under the Supreme Court Justice robe she wears in her dreams. Nothing is beyond this precocious piglet. (Ages 4 to 6)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
After demonstrating that she could perform in not one but all of the star attractions under the Big Top in Olivia Saves the Circus, the hoofed heroine here proves that she can be a one-piglet band. When Olivia discovers that there will be no band to accompany the summer fireworks, she announces, "I know! We'll be the band!" Once more, Falconer's mastery of detail and pacing results in outlandish comedy. On the left, a stop-action scene conveys the family's response-a wide-eyed look of panic; on the right-hand page, cat and dog take off in opposite directions, baby William crawls away, and Olivia's father hides behind a newspaper. " `Fine,' said Olivia. `I'll be the band.' " Falconer again uses his signature vignettes to comical effect in a kind of comic strip succession, as Olivia, sporting a red polka-dot union suit, gives baby William a bottle in exchange for his xylophone, and trades toddler Ian a cookie jar for his drum; a show-stopping sextet of spot illustrations depicts Olivia removing her father's suspenders to reveal red polka-dot boxers ("Look, Daddy, we're twins"). When Olivia emerges as a multi-tasking piglet in a sky-blue striped unitard, Daddy's suspenders (they hold the xylophone and drum in place) and a pot lid on each foot, a gatefold exhibits fantasy images of Olivia as drummer, flautist, tuba player and more, beneath four-plus measures of classic marching music. The band may not have made it to the picnic, but Olivia gets the last laugh-and so do readers. Another crowd-pleasing performance for the porcine starlet and her creator. Ages 3-7. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Olivia dreams grandly, as children do and children should. When she is told the family will be going to see fireworks in the evening, she decides that there must be a band. She boldly proclaims, "We'll be the band!" The expressions on the faces of her parents and the piglets make it clear that Olivia is on her own, so Olivia declares, "I'll be the band." The illustrations of her efforts to collect everything she needs are hilarious. After she finds just the right outfit to wear, Olivia begins to practice. The noise has the family holding their ears and the cat's hair standing on end. Although Olivia is perfectly happy with the sound and convinced that she sounds like a real band, she decides not to bring the band instruments to the fireworks. She does primp and pose while getting ready to head out and, finally, the family leaves to have a picnic. The sunset is striking and they have a wonderful, but exhausting, evening. Olivia sleeps soundly that night, having yet another dream. H'm, Olivia on the Supreme Court? Why not? 2006, Anne Schwartz Books/Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, Ages 3 to 7.
—Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-The latest escapades of a precocious piglet and the mother who attempts to both nurture and civilize her opens on the morning of a fireworks display. The charcoal-and-gouache scenes with their signature red highlights on uncluttered white backgrounds depict Olivia's family, but readers are soon treated to a series of surprises that include the introduction of a new color (turquoise), collage elements, a fold-out, and full bleeds. When the protagonist declares that a band is essential for the evening's entertainment and that, lacking one, she'll fill in, her mother's thought bubble fills with a photograph of a leaping rock band; Olivia's depicts the marching variety. The fold-out starts with the heroine as the sole majorette and reveals a full-size band of Olivias, with the score of a Sousa-like march printed boldly above. Falconer builds to a crescendo of two and a half pages that portray a picnic at sunset followed by a dazzling display of feathery fireworks. These compositions are predominantly charcoal; the family members, backs to readers, are outlined in the reflected yellow glow of an ascending rocket. The palette returns to the original color scheme in the denouement, a bedtime moment to which all ages will relate. With perfectly nuanced dialogue and a mixture of comical and artful scenes, Falconer explores the logic, invention, and humor emanating from a talented youngster, serious about the mission of the moment.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Falconer adds a new color for this fourth offering in readers' long-standing love affair with the inimitable Olivia-and she still rules. The occasion is a family outing to a fireworks display. Disappointed that there will be no band, Olivia decides to make her own. Deserted by her disobliging family, she spends the day hilariously rounding up all the instruments necessary to turn herself into a one-pig band. "To Olivia, she sounded just like a real band." (Cue the double-page fold-out in "Tempo marziale.") At departure time, Olivia decides to abandon the band and apply makeup. Amazing makeup. This evokes a rare, blunt response from Everymom: " . . . you're gorgeous! Now wipe that glop off your face." After the most glorious of sunsets and magical fireworks displays, the exhausted family is home to bed, where Olivia dreams yet another BIG dream with herself seated self-assuredly in-well, we won't spoil the surprise. So consummately consistent are Falconer's characterizations and so perceptive are Olivia's constant fans, that every deft facial nuance will be met with squeals of approval for the most popular pig in America-and her long-suffering mother. (Picture book. 4+)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford and Marilyn Courtot
Olivia dreams grandly, as children do and children should. When she is told the family will be going to see fireworks in the evening, she decides that there must be a band. She boldly proclaims, "We'll be the band!" The expressions on the faces of her parents and the piglets make it clear that Olivia is on her own, so Olivia declares, "I'll be the band." The illustrations of her efforts to collect everything she needs are hilarious. After she finds just the right outfit to wear, Olivia begins to practice. The noise has the family holding their ears and the cat's hair standing on end. Although Olivia is perfectly happy with the sound and convinced that she sounds like a real band, she decides not to bring the band instruments to the fireworks. She does primp and pose while getting ready to head out and, finally, the family leaves to have a picnic. The sunset is striking and they have a wonderful, but exhausting, evening. Olivia sleeps soundly that night, having yet another dream. Hmm, Olivia on the Supreme Court? This really is the only part of the story that dates the book because it is not close to the composition of the court, even as recent as 2009. This version of the book comes with a CD read by Dame Edna and it is delightful. The music really does accentuate the drama and provide youngsters with a whole new experience, and at that age they really will not know the composition of the Supreme Court. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford and Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416924548
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/6/2006
  • Series: Olivia Series
  • Pages: 50
  • Sales rank: 183,693
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Falconer

Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of the Olivia book series. The character of Olivia—a precocious little pig who loves fashion, ballet, opera, and getting her own way—is based on Falconer's real-life niece. Falconer's illustrations have graced numerous covers of The New Yorker magazine. In addition, he has designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House, among others. He lives in Los Angeles.

Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of the Olivia book series. The character of Olivia—a precocious little pig who loves fashion, ballet, opera, and getting her own way—is based on Falconer's real-life niece. Falconer's illustrations have graced numerous covers of The New Yorker magazine. In addition, he has designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House, among others. He lives in Los Angeles.

Biography

Ask any book-loving toddler who Olivia is, and you're likely to get a big smile and an enthusiastic description of a rambunctious, creative, and lovable little pig in return. Ian Falconer's Olivia books are a bestselling sensation that has grabbed the attention of kids from coast to coast.

Falconer did not start off as a writer and illustrator of children's books, but he did have an impressive background in art. After studying art at New York University, Parsons School of Design, and the Otis Institute, Falconer hooked up with noted artist David Hockney to design sets and costumes for stage productions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London. He also made a name for himself as an illustrator for The New Yorker.

However, Falconer's life changed when he first laid eyes on his baby niece, who, by no coincidence, is named Olivia. "I was just entranced by her," he told Barnes & Noble.com. "I wanted to make a little present for her, so I started working on this book."

That gift for his niece would become the first in a series of smash hit children's books, although it was no overnight sell. Falconer first submitted the book to a Manhattan agency, which loved his expertly rendered illustrations but felt he needed to work with an established writer. "So, I sat on it," he explains. "Then a couple of years later, Anne Schwartz at Simon and Schuster called me. She liked my New Yorker work and asked if I would be interested in doing a children's book. I brought her Olivia." Fortunately, Schwartz had the foresight to recognize the potential of Falconer's peppy pig and his first book was published.

Olivia is particularly unique in the world of children's picture books because of its stark minimalism. Inspired by the similar style of Dr. Seuss, Falconer chose to create uncluttered images in black and white with the occasional splash of red. His story was equally minimal, describing the antics of a hyper-active piglet who tests her mother's patience by belting out songs, drawing on the walls, dancing, and...well... acting like a kid. "She's not really a bratty character but she does get away with a lot," Falconer says of his creation. "She manages to do what she wants, create havoc and sort of gets away with it, because whatever she's doing, it's also kind of interesting. I think Olivia could possibly be a little more thoughtful of others, but she'd be not nearly as much fun."

Kids certainly picked up on the fun in Olivia, sending the book onto the New York Times bestseller list and inspiring a parade of new adventures for everyone's favorite piglet. In Olivia Saves the Circus, she spins tall tales about lion taming and tightrope walking. In Olivia ... and the Missing Toy, she plays amateur detective. In Olivia's Opposites and Olivia Counts she even teaches some valuable lessons for the toddler mindset. All of the books are distinguished by Falconer's trademark humor and unmistakable illustrative style.

In Olivia's latest escapade Olivia Forms a Band, Olivia makes a racket like never before when she decides to start a one-pig band using items she finds around the house. Only a rapscallion like Olivia can get away with making music on pots, pans, toys, and even a pair of suspenders and still remaining 100% adorable. The book also breaks new ground as it introduces some welcome shades of blue into the visual mix.

Falconer's legions of pint-sized fans will surely be delighted by Olivia's latest adventure. Meanwhile, the real Olivia is taking the popularity of the pig she inspired like a regular celebrity. "I did a book signing out in Connecticut, and about half way through the book signing, Olivia came in with her parents just to say ‘hi'," Falconer explained with a grin. "She had to have been five at the time, and she just sat down and started signing the books. She felt as if she ought to be signing as well!"

Good To Know

Falconer has brought his unique talent to "The Happiest Place on Earth." He is responsible for designing floats in the new Main Street Parade.

Olivia is not the only character in Ian Falconer's books that was inspired by a real person. He says that everyone in the little piglet's family was inspired by members of his sister's family.

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

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2011

    Band

    This book is a really good childrens book about when a little pig named Olivia starts a band. All small children will definetly like this book and grownups probably will too.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2006

    Amazing Olivia!

    We have a four-year-old named Olivia, and it is like Ian was writing the books about her antics. She is SO much like this strong-willed little pig! We own the series, and are always anxious to see a new one come out. Adorable illustrations!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Another excellent book

    I loved this book. This was my favorite Olivia book since the original. I laughed out loud while reading it. I can just imagine the sound of Olivia's 'band' as she practices. I can't wait to see what adventures she has in her next book.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Highly recommend this book and the entire Olivia series

    The Olivia series of books are entertaining for children as well as adults. The narrator has a delightful and soothing voice. My granddaughter and I use these as bedtime stories. Best of the e reader children's books!! 5++++++++ rating.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    Amazing

    Everyone should read!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    Be aware of read to me eBooks

    I bought an ipod touch for my daughter who has autism. She wanted the Olivia Forms a Band book for Christmas. I thought downloading this book to her ipod touch would be an awesome gift. Unfortunately, ipod touch does not support read to me eBooks and I am out $9.99. I was very disappointed. Love the Olivia books series, just make sure your device can support read to me eBooks. I wish they had this book in regular eBook format.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2006

    Olivia Rocks!

    I love all of the Olivia books - oh, and so does my six year old son! This new one is a lot of fun. My husband thinks it's the best of the bunch. Enjoy!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Warriors

    THIS CLAN ISNT EVEN ON DAILY! IM FINDING A NEW CLAN!
    SANDPAW

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    A lovely little pig.

    Another excellent book by Ian Falconer. the drawings are, as usual, amazing. Olivia is such a fun, strong, determined and ingeniuos little pig! Nothing can stop her, and just when you think it's time to relax..she's already thinking about her next adventure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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