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Olivia Saves the Circus Hardcover – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 70L (What's this?)
  • Series: Olivia
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068982954X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689829543
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When it comes time to tell the class what she did on her vacation, Olivia isn't at all nervous. In fact, she remembers it quite clearly--she went to the circus, you see. "But when we got there, all the circus people were out sick with ear infections." What are the odds? But the show must go on! Fortunately, Olivia jumps right in to help out--riding elephants, posing as the Tattooed Lady (she draws on the pictures with a marker), taming lions, walking tightropes, juggling, clowning around, and more. In a marvelous fold-out, four-panel spread, our porcine heroine even reigns supreme as the Queen of the Trampoline. "And that's how I saved the circus. And now I am famous." Olivia looks proud. Her teacher looks mad. Ian Falconer shines in this dryly hilarious sequel to his 2001 Caldecott Honor Book Olivia. The charcoal and gouache illustrations perfectly capture Olivia's earnest expressions. Be prepared to be charmed anew! (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Could there be a more ideal place for Olivia than in the center ring under the Big Top? It will come as no surprise to her many fans that this is how Olivia claims to have spent her summer vacation. Using the same day-in-the-life format as his show-stopping debut (Olivia), Falconer shows Olivia making pancakes for her two brothers (including new addition William) before school. "This is a big help to her mother," accompanies a picture of utter chaos in the kitchen. The heroine adds her signature red accoutrements to her "really boring uniform," then heads to the classroom where it's her turn to tell about her summer ("Olivia always blossoms in front of an audience"); she holds both teacher and students (and readers) rapt as she describes her trip to the circus. "All the circus people were out sick with ear infections," says Olivia. "Luckily I knew how to do everything." Falconer outdoes himself with theatrical scenes of the diminutive leading lady teetering on top of an elephant's head, walking on stilts and, in a four-page fold-out spread, as "Queen of the Trampoline" flying off the trapeze and somersaulting in the air (the outline of her porkish figure trapped in the trampoline netting is worth the price of admission). He once again demonstrates how attuned he is to the way a child thinks when, at the very end of her share, in tiny typeface, Olivia tacks on a shred of truth, "Then one time my dad took me sailing The End." This star's numerous spectators can only hope that she will have many encores. Ages 3-7.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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

O.L.I.V.I.A. "Olivia Saves the Circus."
Judy K. Polhemus
The stories and the illustrations are great and very funny.
Lynet M
We love the Olivia books and this is no exception.
Amanda Lyons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C.S. on June 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am here to buy this book and it's predecessor. We picked up Olivia Saves the Circus at the library, and now I have to buy one because we can't renew it anymore! My son is only 16 months old, but he gets very excited when he sees this book come out at bedtime. One night I gathered up a few books to read before bed, and Olivia wasn't in the stack. He looked over the books, then scooted into the living room and returned with Olivia Saves the Circus, asking (in his own way) that it be read. Now he insists that it is part of his bedtime ritual. If I don't have it in the stack of bedtime books, he finds it and brings it along. And when we get to the trampoline part, he always throws up his hands and says, "Wow!" And both his father and I love it, too. The illustrations are wonderful, and the whole character of Olivia - her bold self-confidence, her independent spirit and imagination - is very charming. My favorite part is the end - "Maybe..." I love a pig who's sure of herself...
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John D. Bartone on October 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Roll out the red carpet, and welcome back Olivia. It's only fitting. Red is, after all, her favorite color. With OLIVIA and now OLIVIA SAVES THE CIRCUS, Olivia joins Wilbur
of CHARLOTTE'S WEB and Napoleon of ANIMAL FARM in the pantheon of great pigs in literature. Olivia would no doubt agree.
Similar in structure to the first book, this is a day in the life of Olivia, and Walter Mitty's got nothing on this little piggy. It is Olivia's turn to tell the class about her
vacation. She goes to the circus, but all the performers are out with ear infections. Luckily Olivia knows how to do everything, and in her outsized imagination that's precisely what she does.
Ian Falconer's wry, understated text and whimsical, expressive artwork are a perfect match, each fleshing out Olivia in its own way, complementing each other without ever becoming redundant. Olivia is artsy. She's crafty. She's a bundle of joy. She's a handful. She rocks. She rolls. She rules. She's not afraid to dream big dreams. She's her own pig, and that's why we love her.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
To a child, tall tales are totally and entirely distinct from lies. When you ask a kid what happened at school and they launch into an interesting if implausible tale of bandits, pirates, and space aliens you are not expected to punish them for their creativity. Such a mindset is needed when reading "Olivia Saves the Circus" by Ian Falconer. The sequel to the highly charming if somewhat bizarre "Olivia", this book follows the familiar little pig as she invents a tale of derring-do and breathtaking wonder. Kids love Olivia because she has adventures (if only in her own mind) that they would like to have. Adults love her because her books are witty, urbane, and pleasant to the eye. And I love them because they're funny. This book in particular is a highly amusing story that, if it doesn't make you giggle, will at least raise the hint of a smile on your face. Few pig-related picture books do as much.

If you've ever met Olivia before then you know what to expect from her. She lives with her mom, dad, and two little brothers in (what we can only assume to be) New York City. A striking individual, Olivia excels at perking up her drab school uniform with an excessive amount of red accessories. This particular day at school, each child is to tell the class about his or her vacation. Through the eyes of our heroine we hear how the local circus was in town but, tragically, all the performers were sick with ear infections and could not perform. Luckily for them, Olivia was up to the challenge of fulfilling every available position. Before our very eyes she's a tattooed lady (with the aid of some magic marker), a lion tamer, a tight-rope walker, a juggler, a clown, a trapeze artist, and so much more. "And that's how I saved the circus. And now I am famous".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's Olivia's turn to tell the class about her vacation, and she can't wait. "Olivia always blossoms in front of an audience." And so our feisty little pig begins the story about her day at the circus. Of course, all the performers were out sick with ear infections, but "luckily I knew how to do everything." She tames lions and walks tightropes, performs on stilts, juggles, and even rides a unicycle. Then she clowns, swings high on the trapeze, and is Queen of the Trampoline. Finally, she ends her show as Madame Olivia and her trained dogs. "And that's how I saved the circus. And now I am famous." Olivia is very proud. Her teacher is exasperated. "True?", she asks again and again. "Yes, to the best of my recollection", answers Olivia..... Ian Falconer has bettered last year's, Olivia, debut, and fans won't be able to get enough of this adorable and precocious little pig with her queen-size imagination. His witty, yet simple text is kept to a minimum and really captures the preschool mind. But it's his charming and clever charcoal artwork, with just a creative splash of color here and there to highlight his scenes, that really makes this book stand out. Both children and adults will laugh out loud at the antics of this delightful little heroine. Perfect for youngsters 3-7, Olivia Saves the Circus is a must for home libraries and a picture book kids will beg to read again and again. Olivia is back and better than ever!
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