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OLIVIA COUNTS by Ian Falconer Kirkus Star


by Ian Falconer & illustrated by Ian Falconer

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-85087-5
Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Atheneum

You can count on Falconer (Olivia’s Opposites, below, etc.) to keep adding droll, imaginative appearances for his precocious porcine protagonist, the inimitable Olivia. In this shorter format with sturdy, laminated pages, there is no real story, just Olivia showing us a few of her favorite things, from one red and white beach ball to ten different views of herself (several with echoes from her first story). Falconer continues his use of subtle charcoal gray shades, and he returns to Olivia’s favorite choice of lipstick red for her outfits, accessories, and toys. He also introduces four aunts and eight cousins (all in sober gray), who look as though they need jazzing up by Olivia in a future story, perhaps with her three pots of paint. The cover shows Olivia in her plaid school jumper against a gray chalkboard with the numerals from one to ten, with the number seven drawn European-style. Probably this style of numeral isn’t the best idea for the target readership, but isn’t that just the sort of thing that Olivia would do? This simple but satisfying work can serve as an introduction for younger preschoolers to the two longer Olivia stories, and Olivia’s adoring fans of all ages will give three cheers for any new Olivia tale, long or short. (Board book. 2-4)