- Age Range: 3 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Series: Olivia
- Hardcover: 50 pages
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 6, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 141692454X
- ISBN-13: 978-1416924548
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Olivia Forms a Band Hardcover – June 6, 2006
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Everyone's favorite Caldecott Honor-winning porcine diva is back and with fanfare! There are going to be fireworks tonight, and Olivia can hardly wait to hear the band. But when she finds out that there isn't going to be a band, she can't understand why not. How can there be fireworks without a band?! And so Olivia sets to putting a band together herself... all by herself. Using pots, pans, her brother's toys, and even her father's suspenders, Olivia forms a band spectacular enough to startle any audience. Lavishly brought to life in Ian Falconer's signature style, and introducing an eye-catching shade of blue, here is Olivia doing what Olivia does best--making noise
Exclusive Art from Ian Falconer's Olivia Forms a Band
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3–The latest escapades of a precocious piglet and the mother who attempts to both nurture and civilize her opens on the morning of a fireworks display. The charcoal-and-gouache scenes with their signature red highlights on uncluttered white backgrounds depict Olivia's family, but readers are soon treated to a series of surprises that include the introduction of a new color (turquoise), collage elements, a fold-out, and full bleeds. When the protagonist declares that a band is essential for the evening's entertainment and that, lacking one, she'll fill in, her mother's thought bubble fills with a photograph of a leaping rock band; Olivia's depicts the marching variety. The fold-out starts with the heroine as the sole majorette and reveals a full-size band of Olivias, with the score of a Sousa-like march printed boldly above. Falconer builds to a crescendo of two and a half pages that portray a picnic at sunset followed by a dazzling display of feathery fireworks. These compositions are predominantly charcoal; the family members, backs to readers, are outlined in the reflected yellow glow of an ascending rocket. The palette returns to the original color scheme in the denouement, a bedtime moment to which all ages will relate. With perfectly nuanced dialogue and a mixture of comical and artful scenes, Falconer explores the logic, invention, and humor emanating from a talented youngster, serious about the mission of the moment.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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Olivia is hilarious and her imagination is played out in these books. This one is her idea of forming a band on 4th of July. I love how most pages are simple illistrations using only minimal color. The black and white images are adorable and really pop with the touches of red.
Great book for children of all ages.
This was the best so far, I think. I loved the introduction of photos into the book, in particular the use the photos when Olivia's mother asks her what kind of band she wants to form. The rock band rocking out that Olivia's mother has in mind just cracks me up, and the straight-laced marching band of Olivia's dreams balances it perfectly.
Little William is growing up and is shown actually having some personality now. I love the page where Olivia tells her family that they should all start a band, and you see them going from interested to, variously, slinking off, looking engaged in the newspaper and dishes, and very carefully looking at anything BUT Olivia.
The suspenders scene with her Dad is hilarious too, where she takes off his suspenders to use for her band, and his pants fall down, exposing his voluminous boxer shorts with red polka dots, identical to Olivia's PJ's with red polka dots. "Look, Daddy, we are twins!" and her enthused expression just cracks me up.
The scene with her looking in the mirror and grinning is both slightly creepy and really funny. I never envisioned Olivia with Hollywood, human teeth, so that was a little odd, but it certainly has the impact that Falconer desires - of putting us in the fantasy world of a child with lipstick on. Olivia thinks she looks quite the movie star!
All in all, this book meanders in enough directions to make some wonderful jokes, but keeps to the main theme well too. The illustrations have a ton of funny moments and I loved the jokes and the way pictures were included.
I know a lot of parents dislike the final joke of the book, where Olivia is dreaming and imagines herself in the Supreme Court, because it isn't a joke aimed at children. As an adult who enjoys the books, that ending cracks me up every time, and I think kids might be fascinated by that bit because it probably makes their parents laugh. I remember as a child having a few books that went over my head for the jokes occasionally, and those books often became ones which meant the most to me in later life, because when I reread them as a teen, I finally got what my parents were snickering about, and I could enjoy them on many levels.
Anyway, five stars for his one. I've read and reread it many times and the appeal hasn't faded for me yet. Olivia is just too funny!
But I found the overall plot line a bit less compelling in this one. The climax to making the band sort of deflates when she ends up not taking the band to the picnic and fireworks. Yes, it's funny at the end when Mom stumbles across all the instruments but it was a little less fulfilling in general.
Falconer is also brilliant, I will say, about just making Olivia a strong, strong girl. I love the dream image at the end where Olivia dreams she is sitting amongst the Supreme Court justices! Amazing!