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Olivia Helps with Christmas Hardcover – October 2, 2007


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Olivia Helps with Christmas + Olivia and the Fairy Princesses + Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 410L (What's this?)
  • Series: Olivia
  • Hardcover: 58 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416907866
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416907862
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Everyone's favorite Caldecott honor-winning porcine and #1 Kris Cringle enthusiast is helping to make the season brighter than ever. Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Do you see how hard it is to be so helpful during the holidays! A lovingly-told and lavishly-illustrated Olivia Helps With Christmas is the perfect stuffing for any stocking, and the newest star atop the Olivia series.


Amazon.com Exclusive
Olivia's Family Traditions
It did not matter how much discussion there was to be had with his editors during the process of creating Olivia Helps with Christmas, there was one thing that Ian Falconer was absolutely certain about... Santa Claus would appear NOWHERE in the book. Olivia and her brothers and sisters would do everything they could to get ready for Santa, and they sure would be anticipating Santa's arrival, but readers would not see the fabled Kriss Kringle. With all the ideas that were put on the table for this book, that was one Falconer would not stray from.

And with good reason.

This was to be a different type of Christmas book. A book about how a family celebrates Christmas, and how a lot of family holiday traditions really revolve around preparations. In fact, the reason the book has such a personal feel to it is because many of the traditions that Olivia and her family celebrate were taken straight from Ian's childhood memories: Being asked to set the Christmas table was a big honor for Ian (as it is for Olivia in the book). The caroling by the piano, the "Santa watch," the order in which things were done (tree up Christmas Eve, dinner, caroling, hanging stockings), even the phrase "warming your trotters by the fire"--all of it has roots in the Falconer home. And since Ian never did catch a glimpse of Santa at Christmas, neither could Olivia. It's for the best, really. Olivia likes to be the true star of her books--Santa would have met his match.

For your viewing pleasure: A bonus illustration of Olivia not available in Olivia Helps with Christmas!

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

The drawings are beautiful.
Surfchicken
The adult humor is just right for children, we recommend all Olivia books!
ryan brightman
I purchased this book for my 5 year old daughter for Christmas.
T. Crist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book feels just like Christmas Eve does to a young one - frenetic, thrilling, and filled with anticipation. The book doesn't flow in the way the other recent Olivia books do, and there isn't a real storyline beyond them waiting for Christmas and enjoying the holiday in a sweet way together.

Each page tells its own story in a few lines. Olivia and family begin by getting a tree and coming home from shopping, then there is a page on Olivia helping put up the tree, feeding William the baby, peering up the chimney for Santa, putting up Christmas lights, setting the table, singing carols, setting out cookies for Santa, and so on till Christmas morning arrives and there are PRESENTS!!! All through the book are the charming touches and interludes that we love in Olivia books. I don't want to ruin them for you, but there were many scenes that made me laugh out loud!

In the more recent books, Olivia does something that drives the plot, and the story gains momentum in that way. This book feels more like the first Olivia book, where we are introduced to her and follow her through a number of separate activities in which she shows her great charm. It was hard for me to shift from expecting a little storyline to just enjoying the illustrations and the small touches of cleverness, and honestly I was a tiny bit disappointed at the lack of continuity through the book.

That said, if you go into it expecting a style more like the first one than the latest three, you will enjoy it a lot!

The pictures are clear and beautiful, Olivia's little brother Ian is really growing up and becoming a part of things, and Perry the dog's scene in which he "helps" Santa with the cookies is hilarious. I think parents and children alike will enjoy this charming little book. I am 28 years old and enjoy Olivia anyway (who says I am too old?), and this one is certainly going into my permanent collection for Christmas rereads.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Many young readers have already met and fallen in love with Olivia, the perkiest porker to be found. If your favorite school-ager hasn't had the pleasure yet, now is a perfect time as Olivia gets into the spirit of the holiday season.

Ian Falconer's illustrations are irresistible as is his text which is liberally sprinkled with quips. Who could resist smiling when Olivia gets soot on her snout as she peers up the chimney looking for Santa?

Her family goes through the traditional pre-Christmas rituals, singing carols, trimming the tree (as Olivia tangles herself in strings of lights), and leaving a snack for St. Nick.

We're treated to both visual and verbal gifts from the irrepressible Mr. Falconer on the night when "not a piglet was stirring" (supposedly).

- Gail Cooke
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia E. Bryant on January 7, 2009
Format: Misc. Supplies Verified Purchase
This sweetie of a doll was the favorite passed around this Christmas! The expression, the polkadot jammies, and well attached gift stole the show. We also got the book--she's on the back in this outfit! The kids and adults alike gave a thumbs up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By frisky2000 VINE VOICE on February 17, 2009
Format: Misc. Supplies
Plump and precious, little Olivia is a favorite in our home. She comes ready to be hugged and cuddled, with her pretty present held nice and tight. This is one of the cutest story book characters of our kids' generation, and I'm so happy that the plush toys are well made and bear such a great likeness. Makes story time and pretend play even more fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emille Dillard on January 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Not my favorite Olivia book but is cute especially for Christmas presents. Olivia is as usual getting into trouble but the illustrations are fantastic. Great for a gift but not an all-time favorite of my kids.
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Format: Hardcover
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house Olivia was stirring up cheer and a bit of mischief waiting for Santa's arrival. Ian Falconer's lovable and spirited porcine heroine is back in her fifth feature, OLIVIA HELPS WITH CHRISTMAS, about the anticipation of Christmas Eve and the magic of Christmas Day.

From setting the dinner table to trimming the tree, from last-minute shopping to singing carols, Olivia and her family have a full day preparing for the holiday. When finally tucked into bed, Olivia cannot sleep; she is sure she hears Santa on the roof (but, alas, it is only a raccoon). Still, in the morning, Olivia and her little brothers find a pile of wonderful (skis!) and not-so-wonderful (sweaters and pajamas) gifts under the tree. They look forward to a day of playing together in the snow and a night of Nutcracker dreams. While Olivia is focused on the presents, she is also having fun just being with her family and adding her own touches to their holiday traditions.

Falconer's story and drawings are as charming as ever, and there is just as much for adults to enjoy here as there is for kids. This lovely book captures the energy, willfulness and imagination of children, as well as the weary patience of parents. OLIVIA HELPS WITH CHRISTMAS is a perfect holiday read, but it's sweet and funny enough to be savored at any time of the year.

--- Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
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Format: Hardcover
We love the Olivia books. I think this one is our favorite (even more than the original Olivia book and Olivia saves the circus). Since we have to reread them multiple times, daily, us adults especially enjoy the subtleties of expressions and meanings that our little toddler misses now but will begin to appreciate in years to come (maybe that's why we love to collect these instead of just get the library books).

Our precocious 2 year old definitely identifies with Olivia and has us keeling over with laughter when she repeats segments of this book, in almost perfect imitation of Mom's Olivia voice. "Daddy, what can you be sinking - do you want to cook santa!"

This book is richer in colors than the previous books which I think perfectly balances the more static story line. Here you get red and green - appropriate for Christmas - with other odd touches of color. I love discovering the layers of technical detail and thinking that Ian Falconer puts into his books. I'm glad to expose my kid to them, even if I suspect she's turning into a mini Olivia!!!
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