That irrepressible porker is back.
This time Olivia’s up to espionage, or eavesdropping, or listening in on her parents’ conversation—call it what you will—and misinterprets what she overhears. In typical fashion, Olivia decides she doesn’t like what she’s heard and sets out to “investigate.” This means trying to blend in and play incognito, not an easy task given the piglet’s penchant for standing out. Her teacher’s innocent and well-meant explanation of an ominous-sounding word casually uttered by her dad ups the stakes to something that seems truly dire. When her mom tells her they’re going on a surprise trip, Olivia can’t help but imagine the worst: they’re headed for—oh, no!—an institution where, no doubt, she’ll be locked up for serious misdemeanors. Turns out, the dreaded place is actually New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Olivia’s going to the ballet. How lovely for Olivia, but it does seem at odds with her mother’s frustration with her daughter’s latest infractions. The story’s thin, but, as usual, this newest installment in the popular series is full of funny bits, while adults’ bewildered, clueless expressions and Olivia’s earnest obliviousness in the charcoal-and-gouache illustrations are priceless. References to Julia Child and ballet terms will be above most kids’ heads, and a gratuitous accidental visit to the stage instead of the restroom feels tacked-on.
Once die-hard fans spy this, they’ll make a grab for it. (Picture book. 4-7)