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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses Hardcover – August 28, 2012


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Olivia and the Fairy Princesses + Olivia + Merry Makers Olivia Plush Doll, 11-Inch
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The Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2012 This book has been selected by our editors as one of the Best Picture Books of 2012.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Series: Olivia
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442450274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442450271
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.” (The New York Times Book Review, August 2012)

“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.” (Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2012)

* “Falconer’s hammy piglet…opens this delightful installment declaring, “I think I’m having an identity crisis.... I don’t know what I should be!”….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.” (Publishers Weekly)

“In this latest, delightfully droll episode, readers find their precocious pig suffering from an identity crisis.... Olivia’s whirring brain begins to consider what she might like to be…. 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…panache aplenty.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“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

“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.” (Booklist)

“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.” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, September 2012)

"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 Plain Dealer)

About the Author

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.

More About the Author

Ian Falconer is the author and illustrator of all the titles in the bestselling Olivia series: Olivia, Olivia Saves the Circus,Olivia...and the Missing Toy, and Olivia Forms a Band. His illustrations have also graced many covers of the New Yorker. In addition, he has designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), among others. Mr. Falconer lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

My 7 and 9 year old children, both boy and girl, LOVE this book.
Michael B. Wall
If you know someone who needs cheering up and encouragement to go ahead and be different, this would make a great gift - a lot better than a card.
Gen of North Coast Gardening
I love the Olivia collection, this book is just adorable and worth it.
LaetitiaD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By H. Strawser on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a parent tired of the princess craze, I was looking forward to this book's release so I could read it to my daughter. I love the other Olivia books. I found Olivia's derision of her peers a little mean-spirited. She's always been an oddball who's wanted to stand out and do her own thing, which is what makes her special, but in the other books that I've read, it's never been about knocking down others' choices. I wish Falconer could've gotten his point across without tearing others down. We checked this out from the library, so we'll be skipping it in our wishlist. It is cute and funny, though. Maybe it's the start of an older, more mature (and slightly more status conscious) Olivia.
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By BostonMama on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My ravenous reader almost-4-year old recently earned herself a book by going above and beyond in helping her little brother. As a reward, I told her she could pick out any book she wanted. She adores prinesses, fairies and ballerinas, and recognizes Olivia (we own the original book), so when she spotted this one, she immediately pulled it from the shelf. She was particularly pleased that Olivias costume on the front matched her fairy Halloween costume from this past year almost to a T.

As noted in the other reviews, the book isn't about Olivia pretending to be a fairy, ballerina or a princess or anything else. It's about Olivia making fun of, and criticizing other little girls who like ballerinas, fairies and princesses and everything pink. When Olivia says that she only liked ballerinas "when she was little," my daughters face fell completely. She's very serious about her ballet class, is beyond excited to be having a ballerina birthday party this month (which she sees as a very "big girl" thing) and loves her dance class more than anything in the world. And when Olivia makes fun of all the little girls who go as princesses on Halloween and says they "aren't special anymore," my little girl, who is already telling me she wanted to go as a princess next year, and loves dressing up as princesses, fairies, and ballerinas, looked embarrassed. It never occurred to my daughter that someone might make fun of her choices or see them as unoriginal, immature or blasé. Or that someone might see themselves as better than her. Good grief; this book is intended, I thought, for small children! As I was reading this book, I basically wanted to tell Olivia to buzz off and stop hurting my little girls' feelings. Olivia is NOT a kid I'd want my kid hanging out with, that's for sure.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Branagan on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We usually love the Oliva books but this one is way too dark and really just odd. There is one page in particular that references Little Red Riding Hood with Oliva dressed up with a red hood and dark wolf eyes in the background. My daughter is terrified of this page and also confused. What are these eyse and why can't we see the rest of him, she asks? We're putting this one away for a while until she's older. Bummer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By sarah i. on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY. Say it with me. AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY. It is a continent with more than 50 countries (54-57 depending on how you're counting them) with about 2000 languages spoken throughout. So "Olivia and the Fairy Princesses," I appreciate your attempt to diversify the princess image, but you cannot say, "..an Indian princess or a princess from Thailand or an African princess or a princess from China." Or you can, but it means I'm going to have to throw your otherwise cute little book about battling the fairy princess machine across the room and drag out a map and explaining to my children that the princesses of Africa look no more alike than any of the other princesses of Asia, and that lumping all of Africa together is just racist garbage perpetuated by lazy Westerners who can't be bothered to tell other cultures apart but still insist on talking about them as if they're experts so they can congratulate themselves for being "inclusive," and no kid really wants to hear that at bed time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie on April 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great story, great character. our local bookstore told us about it when getting the First Olivia book. We are hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Perry on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been buying the Olivia series for my daughter (also named Olivia) since the first one came out. She is now 14 and still loves her Olivia books!

I didn't even realize there was a new one out, until I stumbled across it in the bookstore. After ordering it on Amazon, I read a number of negative reviews. I, however, think it's kind of awesome.

I can understand that the themes of the book may be a little disappointing to a pre-schooler (not trying to be exactly like everyone else, etc.), but I think it sends a great message to girls (and boys, too) that you can be true to yourself instead of doing exactly what everyone else is doing. It doesn't mean you have to be a misfit.

I will probably continue to buy the Olivia books, because my daughter and I both love them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ParentReviewer on January 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this story isn't the greatest. Lots of words that are too hard for this age and not as good as the original books. The illustrations are still like the original and not like the newer books based on the TV show, however the story lacks the charm and humor we have enjoyed in the past.
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