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Olivia Goes to Venice Hardcover – September 28, 2010

123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3–Olivia tops her past ventures and escapades when she convinces her family to spend spring vacation in Venice. They wander over many bridges, are enchanted by the beautiful palazzos on the Grand Canal, and feed the pigeons. The pigs consume numerous gelatos and almost sink a gondola from the extra weight they've put on. Of course, Olivia wants to remember her lovely vacation, so she brings home something unique from the city. Her choice is so Olivia, and the Venetians will never forget her for it either. Charcoal and gouache illustrations and photos of the city are digitally enhanced and provide a similar feel to Laurent de Brunhoff's Babar's USA (Abrams, 2008 ). Fans of this series will no doubt find this title humorous and enjoy the piglet's newest adventure.Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In her sixth adventure, Olivia is off to Venice, where she partakes of the city’s charms, including gondola rides, walking tours, gelato, and more gelato. The charcoal-and-gouache drawings of Olivia and family are set against magnificently Photoshopped background shots of Venice, sometimes digitally altered to humorous effect. Although this seems more sophisticated than other Olivia tales (perhaps because of the setting), fans will enjoy seeing their favorite bossy piggy, this time at leisure. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Series: Olivia
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1St Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416996745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416996743
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

439 of 465 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Mayo on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is a page in the book that is downright creepy. In it, TSA (or some security organization) is wanding Olivia for weapons. There are two of them, and Olivia has her hands held over her head. "As they went through the airport, Olivia was searched for weapons. She was very pleased." ... what an odd, propaganda-ish page. Coupled with the TSA's tendency to touch the genitals of anyone they wish -- children included -- it seems more like a desensitizing exercise and an attempt to make the unacceptable, acceptable to our children. Upon seeing this page I returned the book, my niece will be getting something else for her birthday.
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177 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Mobylisa on September 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I want to start by saying that we LOVE Olivia around here. We have and love all five previous books; we have read them and shared them countless times. I've even defended the books by commenting on reviews here that complained that "Olivia is a bad role model" etc..

We pre-ordered the book and I could not wait to get it. We have great memories of European travel and can't wait to share that with our son. He has shared his first experiences with the beach, the museum, helping around the house, etc., with Olivia. And my son is just discovering the world map and the concept of other languages and so I thought the timing was perfect.

Nope. This book is different from the others.

First, the illustrations. The art is fascinating, and I give it credit. Very different from the three (or rarely 4) colors in the previous books. The Venice streetscape shots populated with the pigs are vivid and interesting. Venice is breathtaking wherever it is. But the simplicity that made the book so accessible to little ones - and so distinctive - is lost.

More disappointing and less forgiveable - because I can understand wanting to experiment with illustration style - is the diction, attitude, and "feel" of the books. "Low blood-sugar?" "near hysteria?" "search for weapons?" "typical tourists" Really? The simple but true language of the earlier books was perfect.

Being run out of Venice? Destroying San Marco Square? A "fat joke"?

Gelato is great but surely could be better introduced and used. Never before has an Olivia book so beat anything to (cliche-filled) death.

Look, this might be a good book for a third grader who is a reluctant reader. I see from the description above that this may have been geared to such a person.
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293 of 319 people found the following review helpful By Bronzino on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Truly appalling that a children's book includes an illustration of TSA-like goons searching a "child" for weapons. Even more appalling is that Olivia "is pleased" by this search. Children should not be raised on fear nor should they be taught to believe illegal search and seizure is normal and proper. Sick minds who prey on children will seize upon examples such as this. Mr. Falconer and Amazon.com should be ashamed of themselves.
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183 of 200 people found the following review helpful By Ranger_Fan73 on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
No redeeming qualities about this book. Skip for your toddler. The getting searched at the airport sent shivers down my spine.
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157 of 175 people found the following review helpful By S. Barretta on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just saw this book. There is a page showing Olivia getting searched by airport security for weapons. The page says "she was very pleased." What?!? Pleased she is being unlawfully groped?

This is disgusting.

I cannot recommend this book to any parent who wants to raise children who are able to think for themselves. On the other hand, I don't believe in censorship, as people who disagree with me have the right to say so under their first amendment rights. This book *should* be accompanied by lots of discussion on what's right and what's not.
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174 of 196 people found the following review helpful By C. Kirk on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In no way is this book appropriate for anyone, let alone kids. Not only are the illustrations weird, but the messages in the book are downright awful. The book makes fun of people, calling some "fat" and "ugly." I thought as parents we were trying to get our kids to STOP using these terms and to be nice to people. When they read this book or hear adults reading it to them, what else are they supposed to think except that it's okay to use those terms?

Also, there's a page in the book where Olivia is getting searched at the airport by two TSA agents. It says they are searching her for "weapons" and "Olivia is very pleased." Disgusting. More than one child has been seen being touched in the genitals by the TSA. Is this book a blatant attempt to manipulate our children into accepting the groping they get at the airports?

Do not get this book. Ever. It's terrible.
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By M. Montana on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely disgusted by the TSA page... You are essentially supporting the molestation of children in this book, and I can NOT condone that. I hate to rip down an entire book over a single page, but wow that is way over the top, and I can't even fathom what you were thinking when you drew that!
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By michael landers on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Any praise given to today's airport security sickens me and it should do the same for everyone else! There are people in this world (myself included) who can no longer fly due to irrational security methods at airports! I urge you to correct your heinous mistake and write out everything that praises theTSA or any airport security in the world that still suffers from post 9/11 hysteria
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