Olvina Flies

Olvina Flies

by Grace Lin, Sharon Washington

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The ideal picture book for every child’s first plane trip.

Olvina was starting to feel very nervous. “Maybe I should get off the plane,” she thought. “Chickens aren’t supposed to fly.”

When Olvina gets invited to the Tenth Annual Bird Convention in Hawaii, she decides it’s high time to overcome her fear of


The ideal picture book for every child’s first plane trip.

Olvina was starting to feel very nervous. “Maybe I should get off the plane,” she thought. “Chickens aren’t supposed to fly.”

When Olvina gets invited to the Tenth Annual Bird Convention in Hawaii, she decides it’s high time to overcome her fear of flying. But on the day of her big plane trip, Olvina’s tummy is filled with butterflies and she has second thoughts. After all, chickens aren’t supposed to fly. Or are they?

This tender and funny story is for children who love to fly as well as those who have not yet had the experience. From takeoff to landing, Olvina’s journey is one kids won’t want to miss!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Comical details and a creative collection of boldly hued patterns on clothing and walls animate Lin's (One for Me, One for You, reviewed above) buoyant backdrops to a tale of a chicken who's a chicken when it comes to flying. When Olvina receives an invitation to the Bird Convention in Hawaii, she tells her pig friend Will that she can't go, since the journey entails flying over the ocean, "and chickens can't fly!" She dismisses Will's suggestion that she travel by airplane, yet after making a list of all the events she missed because she wouldn't fly, decides she will take her maiden plane trip after all. Lin humorously depicts some minor setbacks (she has to unpack her suitcase at the check-in counter to find her ticket and breaks out in a nervous sweat while watching the air safety video), but ultimately Olvina has a fine flight and becomes fast friends with her seatmate, a penguin also bound for the convention. Their fellow passengers provide some entertaining visuals: a monkey's carry-on luggage consists of a large bunch of bananas, and a mouse, buckled into a standard-size seatbelt, stores her tiny suitcase and hat in the overhead compartment. Perhaps the most diverting is the image of exhausted, backpack-wearing birds flying outside Olvina's airplane window, reinforcing the wisdom of her decision. This tale will engage youngsters while helping to dispel fears of flying. Ages 4-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Olvina chicken desperately wants to attend the Tenth Annual Bird Convention in Hawaii. The only problem is she is too chicken to fly. Urged on by her porcine friend Will, Olvina summons the courage to buy a ticket. Dreading the moment of take-off, she is encouraged and comforted by her seatmate, Hailey penguin, who like Olvina must resort to man-made flight to make the trip to the convention. This gentle and reassuring tale will help calm the anxieties of first-time fliers and elicit certain sympathy and a touch of smugness from frequent fliers. The crayon-colored illustrations are filled with comic details and children will giggle at the other birds winging their way to the convention outside of the plane and Olvina's embarrassment at security when she discovers she has accidentally packed her ticket. A definite winner. 2003, Henry Holt,
— Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreK-Gr 3-Like other chickens, Olvina can't fly, so she wonders why she has been invited to the Annual Bird Convention in Hawaii, a trip that requires a flight across the ocean. Her friend Will convinces her to go by airplane even though the idea frightens her. Despite her jitters, he manages to get her onto a plane, where she meets a penguin bound for the same destination. They have a grand time, and Olvina's postcard to Will enthusiastically declares, "Flying was easy!" Lin's gouache paintings are framed in patterned borders, and patterns decorate clothing, wallpaper, floors, and even airplanes as signature swirls dance across the sky. Visual jokes fill the pages-a deer flight attendant sports the name "Doey," a mouse rides the security conveyor belt with his tiny suitcase, and a monkey reclaims his bunch of bananas. Amy Hest's "Baby Duck" (Candlewick), another timid bird, is a perfect companion for Olvina.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An invitation to the Tenth Annual Bird Convention in Hawaii motivates Olvina to overcome her fear of flying on an airplane (since chickens themselves can't fly, silly). Her friend Will, a pig, encourages her, drives her to the airport, and stands by her in an embarrassing moment when she has to unpack her bag at check-in because she packed her ticket inside. She boards, nervously sweats on take-off, and her friendly fellow passenger offers her gum to help her ears. Coincidentally, he is also going to the Convention (he's a penguin and it's too far to swim to Hawaii) so they share a taxi and time together. The last pages show snapshots of them on the beach, snorkeling, and drinking coconuts along with a postcard to Will (addressed to Will Gelato at 4 Frosting Circle) with a "P.S. Flying was easy!" The intent is clear here, a message wrapped in a story to help kids feel more relaxed about flying and Lin (One for You, One for Me, above, etc.) gets it across with humor and understanding. Peopling the characters as animals gives her opportunity for puns and silliness in both the visuals and narrative. Her bordered, colorful gouache illustrations are droll and provide clever touches (e.g., a monkey retrieving a bunch of bananas from the security conveyer belt). Fun, reassuring, and very useful. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Grace Lin wanted to write a book that would help children feel more relaxed about flying. “That first plane trip can be a little scary so I hope Olvina’s story will let children know they are not alone in their fears,” says the author. Ms. Lin is the author and illustrator of Dim Sum for Everyone and The Ugly Vegetables.

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