6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2014
We love Olivia and her originality! I am sorry that some reviewers were disappointed by the attitude of this book, but it was a welcome relief to my husband and I who do our best to keep the princess craze out of the house. Our daughter is still exposed to it, of course, so this is a nice break from the onslaught. We waited until we thought she was ready for this level of a book. Of course she didn't understand corporate malfeasance at first, but we gave a simple explanation and enjoyed the joke obviously meant as some comic relief for the parents that have to read children's books again and again. (Just like how good children's shows or movies often throw in a few jokes for the parents.) I just think this book is meant for a slightly older audience than the other Olivia books. If your child is really into fairy princesses and would take someone speaking against them personally, this just might not be the book for you.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2012
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.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
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.
34 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2013
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.
I wrote a lukewarm review for the original Olivia, too, because I thought Olivia was ill-behaved and the message was kind of off. But this book absolutely takes the cake. If my little girl acted like Olivia, I'd be horrified. I think Ian Falconer has lived too long in New York, among the Housewives and some of the more critical, jaded, judgmental, mean-spirited upper middle class women who live there, and has put that judgment and cynicism into the character of a little girl (pig). It's not cute. It's nasty.
And, like a previous reviewer, I didn't think Olivia's suggestion that instead perhaps she wanted to "adopt orphans from all over the world" was funny. It reads as though orphans are some sort of accessory or trading commodity. Nor did I think the suggestion that she "be a reporter and expose corporate malfeasance" was witty. Obviously, it flies right by any child. Even the child of a white collar criminal litigator, who tried to explain it, and then tried to explain the strained relevance to the story. If Falconer truly had wanted to drive home the idea that little girls can have more meaningful goals in life besides princess hood, he would have chosen some more reasonably understandable professions. But, he wasn't thinking of the interests of the little girls reading the book; he was thinking about the statement he was trying to make to their parents.
At the end of the book, I asked my daughter if she like the story. She looked unsure and a little sad and nodded her head. I know she really wanted to like it, but it made her feel bad about herself, So, while she's napping, the book is going bye bye. For good.
And, a word about independence: My daughter is smart as a whip, extremely verbal, hilarious, and very independent-minded. Everyone laughs and says she's one of a kind. It never occurs to her care what others think, and that's great. I think that's the point Falconer is trying to drive home. But the book is a HUGE FAIL. Because all he accomplished was making a little girl suddenly care what others think she should like and do.
I think we're taking a break from Olivia--forever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
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!
on November 30, 2012
Princesses may be the first thing that pops into the mind of a little girl. They love the way how princesses are dressed in fancy gowns, wear royal crowns and marry a handsome prince. My little sister was just like that when she was 8. But there's one little girl who has her own view on princesses: our favorite little pig.
In Olivia's new book, we follow her in a bad mood. She talks to her parents about how she no longer wants to dress as a princess. Olivia explains it by saying that all the girls in her class all dress up like princesses, and how she wants to stand out of the crowd. She does that in her own "modern" style, which truly do make her stand out.
This little piggy really steals the show with high and flighty humor. Olivia roped me in with her opinions and determination. The story and illustrations done by Falconer are both charming and irresistible. Kids will get a laugh for sure with the book, even with the misleading title. Olivia will also teach kids to try to stand out and show your own unique side. Don't be surprised what Olivia wants to be in the end (A).
on February 5, 2013
This book is about Olivia, a piglet who wants to stand out among her friends, and how she goes about doing so. While her mother tries to get her to go to sleep, she comes up with all sorts of ideas of ways to be unique in her princesshood: why not be an African princess, or a Thai princess, or a Chinese princess? Finally Olivia decides that rather than being a princess, she wants to be a queen, and that ends the book.
I felt that this book was too short, and the language is pretty sophisticated for its target audience. My goddaughter couldn't sit still while I was reading it, which I took as a sign of boredom with the story. My goddaugher's little friend, who was also listening in, left before I'd even finished the book. What's here is fine, but I thought the story should have further explored ways of being a princess or taking on other roles entirely, as Olivia explored her options. Because of these issues I can only give this work three stars. What's here isn't bad, but there should have been more.