Olivia's Opposites

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Overview

Come and go with Olivia!
In this enchanting board book, toddlers will join everyone's favorite piglet as they learn about opposites.

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Overview

Come and go with Olivia!
In this enchanting board book, toddlers will join everyone's favorite piglet as they learn about opposites.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Figuring up from down is a blast when Olivia's helping us! In this playful companion board book to Olivia Counts, Ian Falconer's popular piglet leads toddlers through an imaginative lesson in opposites.

Long, short, coming, going -- Olivia does it with flair. On the "up" page, the adorable heroine is jumping high in the air, and she's lying flat on her back on "down." "Coming/going" shows Olivia in a red safety helmet, riding in on a scooter and practicing her balancing on the way out. And with her lion tamer gear on, Olivia gets into a roaring match with a ferocious feline on the "quiet/loud" spread. More charming Olivia opposites include plain and fancy, open and closed, and long and short.

Depicted in simple and charismatic three-color illustrations, Falconer's Olivia is one entertaining teacher. Youngsters will be drawn to her go-get-'em attitude, and with her snout held high in the air, Olivia's as pleased as punch to help them learn. Olivia is one piglet that's definitely the opposite of dull. (Matt Warner)

Publishers Weekly
What better way for toddlers to learn the basics than with two board books starring Ian Falconer's Olivia? Youngsters start with one ball at the beach (in the signature red-and-white stripes) and finish with ten Olivias jumping rope, doing handstands and sprawling on a beach towel in Olivia Counts. A red numeral accompanies each scene. In Olivia's Opposites she demonstrates word pairs with comic flair (for instance, she models a scarlet evening gown for long and a red tutu for short). Both feature b&w and red illustrations from Falconer's Caldecott Honor book, Olivia, and its companion, Olivia Saves the Circus. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Our porcine heroine is appearing again and this time in books for the truly younger set. A pair of board books, one that relates to the concept of opposites and the other that stresses counting, is now available. These are not your typical opposites. There is Up and Down, Long and Short, Open and Closed, but Coming and Going as well as Plain and Fancy are pretty sophisticated for the board book crowd. The Falconer humor is there—in particular in the spread featuring Quiet and Loud. No one can top Olivia when it comes to shouting. Olivia's Opposites is another enjoyable offering for those who have grown to love this perky little pig. 2002, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster,
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
In Counts, sketches in charcoal and gouache depict the piglet with one ball, two bows, three pots of paint, etc., up to a final spread of 10, with Olivia performing different stunts and in different outfits or accessories. In Opposites, she wears a long evening dress and a short tutu; is intimidated by a loud lion before bellowing back; appears in a plain pair of red briefs, then is decked out with fancy red heels, bows, lipstick, and jewelry. Of the two, Opposites is totally engaging; Counts is an additional choice for young fans.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
She's up; she's down. She's plain; she's fancy (very fancy), because Olivia the piglet is definitely a star character with a firm sense of style. Her creator has fashioned a clever and quite successful explanation of the concept of opposites, presented in board format with laminated pages. In just six pairs of opposites, he shows contrasts in motions, sound, and appearance, with lots of action and humor to make both preschoolers and their parents smile. Olivia zips onto the page on her scooter to illustrate "coming," and then zooms right off the next page with a handstand on the scooter handles to demonstrate "going." In another delightful pairing, Olivia is "quiet," while a lion from her circus days is "loud," and on the next page, it's Olivia who is loud, and the lion that is quiet and meek. The final word pair shows Olivia's mouth wide "open" and then "closed," echoing the parallel construct of an open and closed book. Falconer (Olivia Counts) again uses charcoal and gouache for his illustrations, creating a sophisticated palette of gray, black, and white with Olivia's favorite bright red for her clothing and accessories. Surely Olivia needs to learn her alphabet and identify colors beyond red next. Have we had enough of Olivia? Quite the opposite.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689850882
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Series: Olivia Series
  • Edition description: BOARD
  • Pages: 12
  • Sales rank: 114,556
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.50 (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.

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2009

    Who doesn't love Olivia ????

    I introduced my 18-month-old granddaughter to Olivia just before the new Nickelodeon series debuted in January. I bought Olivia, Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia Opposites and a couple of others. She LOVES
    "O-LIB-EE-A"!!! In no time, she had memorized all the books -- you could stop anywhere and she would fill in the next word (yes, she's only 18 months!). The Olivia TV show, by the way, is wonderful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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