Olivia Helps with Christmas
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Olivia Helps with Christmas

4.1 31
by Ian Falconer
     
 

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Everyone's favorite Caldecott honor-winning pig and #1 Santa enthusiast is helping to make the season brighter than ever.

Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of

Overview

Everyone's favorite Caldecott honor-winning pig and #1 Santa enthusiast is helping to make the season brighter than ever.

Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Do you see how hard it is to be so helpful during the holidays? A lovingly-told and lavishly-illustrated Olivia Helps With Christmas is the perfect stuffing for any stocking, and a bright star atop the Olivia series.

Editorial Reviews

Olivia is an energetic, very feminine porcine who, like any other anthropomorphic pig, eagerly awaits the holidays each year. This Christmas is different. Our corpulent little piglet can barely contain herself as she and her parents prepare for the big day. Olivia Helps with Christmas will escalate the excitement of any holiday countdown. More magical than any visions of sugarplums dancing.
Julie Just
Falconer's clever illustrations—in charcoal, gouache and photo montage—tell us one thing while his story is telling us another…Olivia charms by throwing herself into whatever she does…
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

More a succession of family anecdotes-in-the-making than a plot-driven story, the holiday installment of a much-loved series finds the adroitly accessorized piglet and her family decking the halls of a house in the country on Christmas Eve. Olivia, charged with "a very special job" (Mom-speak for interrupting the "Santa watch" Olivia and her younger brothers mount by the rain-streaked picture window), proudly shows off the table she has set by herself, topped with a decorated miniature tree: "Why, that's beautiful, darling. Where did you ever find that perfect little . . . " her mother beams; open the gatefold to see the rest of the room, where a saw and a stool stand next to the family's (decapitated) " . . . tree?" as the mother falteringly completes the question. Readers will claim other episodes as their own favorites; as usual, Falconer knows how to play pictures and text off each other to maximum comic impact. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-Children who are familiar with this irrepressible pig will know what kind of help Olivia is likely to provide as her family prepares for the holiday. Her antics seem a little forced in this selection, but the dazzling illustrations, highlighted with green as well as Olivia's signature red, are as charming as ever; and the ending-a snowy Christmas-is quite satisfying. This is a good bet for family sharing.-Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Oh, Olivia. We thought Christmas at your house would be much more fun. Despite several amusing moments in this latest offering about Olivia the precocious pig, Falconer has neglected to fully develop the narrative line of the plot or to further Olivia's development as a distinct character. She participates in some holiday preparations with her usual flair, such as chopping off the top of the Christmas tree for a table decoration, but other incidents fall flat, as when Olivia struggles and falls while trying to use her new Christmas skis. In a rather cheap joke, she feeds blueberry pie to her baby brother, causing immediate blue vomit, which will of course provoke laughter from youngsters but has nothing to do with Christmas. Several gatefold pages extend the holiday happenings without adding much humor; the final spread adds some sparkle with Olivia's grandiose dream of a scene from The Nutcracker. Falconer's charcoal and gouache illustrations are clever, as always, though it's sometimes hard to distinguish between Olivia and her brother when they alternate between red and green clothing. The overall effect has neither Christmas cheer nor the satisfying, saucy humor of previous Olivia adventures. (Picture book. 3-6)
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway
Whether readers jump in with great expectations for another hilarious riveting Olivia adventure, or simply seeking a warm welcome to the marvelous Christmas season, Olivia fans will not be disappointed with this classic board book. Bright red and green highlight key elements on every page as traditional family preparations flood hearts with similar customs and easily bring treasured memories to mind. From the very first scene to the final "act," Miss Olivia exhibits her exquisite charming qualities with unabashed self-confidence about every essential step as Falconer shares his own childhood traditions throughout. However, it should be noted, Santa Claus is referred to multiple times with great anticipation, but never literally seen which is by the author's design. Even so, splendid facial expressions with ?hair-raising' pointy ears bring personalities to life for mom, dad, Olivia and her two brothers. Not exactly a story with building plot lines or intrigue, this sentimental rendering about Olivia and her growing family (pets included) still infuses characteristic humor with a fabulous surprise or two to bring readers of all ages back again and again. Reviewer: Susan Treadway

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416907862
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
10/02/2007
Series:
Olivia Series
Edition description:
Repackage
Pages:
58
Sales rank:
315,564
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD410L (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 Helps with Christmas 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fa la la la la la!Olivia has made her way into town! Watching for Santa out the window, setting the table, and sticking her snout up the chimney!Who could not resist the soot on her snout? Untangling light's! Get ready, Olivia is ready for Christmas!
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Many young readers have already met and fallen in love with Olivia, the perkiest porker to be found. If your favorite school-ager hasn't had the pleasure yet, now is a perfect time as Olivia gets into the spirit of the holiday season. Ian Falconer's illustrations are irresistible as is his text which is liberally sprinkled with quips. Who could resist smiling when Olivia gets soot on her snout as she peers up the chimney looking for Santa? Her family goes through the traditional pre-Christmas rituals, singing carols, trimming the tree (as Olivia tangles herself in strings of lights), and leaving a snack for St. Nick. We're treated to both visual and verbal gifts from the irrepressible Mr. Falconer on the night when 'not a piglet was stirring' (supposedly). - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ian Falconer is brilliant! This book captures 'the most wonderful time of the year' in the most wonderful writing and illustrating of the year. His mixed media illustrations are especially delightful. A 'must read' for the holiday season, and absolutely a 'must have' for Olivia fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Olivia is decking the hall's! Ian Falconer has made other funny books, but this one is his best yet!!!!If it's untangling lights,to setting the table, or watching Santa Claus, Olivia well make your Christmas a holly jolly one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 stars Great fun. Dame Edna's voice adds to the excitement of the season. Worth listening to!
memeLY More than 1 year ago
Gave to a grandchild with an "Olivia " quilt and read it on Cristmas day, what a memory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Olivia character because she is very precocious. The books have a lot of layers to them. There is always some infering that goes on. My favorite part of Olivia Helps with Christmas is when the dad goes to build a fire and Olivia stops him until after Santa's visit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always Olivia is good for a hearty laugh... If you like children's books, Olivia is a must.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loved this book, she loves to have me read it over and over again. I've also noticed that she shares it with all of her cousins and friends. It's so funny to hear her compare how she helps out the same way Olivia does. The pictures are amazing and so realistic, it's a great way to spark the imagination and interest in books at an early age. My daughter loves reading and she really enjoyed the Olivia collection.
dyr More than 1 year ago
Another in a truly classic character - - to be read again and again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very excellent Christmas story! This story is about little Olivia helping with Christmas to make it enjoyable for everyone. It's such a cute and touching story that everyone can enjoy reading together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is so freakin awsome
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Kaia Grobstok More than 1 year ago
i loved this fun filled book jk i didnt
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