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
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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.
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