OLIVIA...AND THE MISSING TOY by Ian Falconer
Kirkus Star

OLIVIA...AND THE MISSING TOY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

The line-master is back . . . in perfect form. When Olivia’s beloved stuffed toy disappears, the hunt proceeds in typical fashion as she falsely accuses her brothers and searches her house on a “dark and stormy night.” She discovers that her dog has chewed the toy to bits. Never one to hold a grudge, she repairs the toy and forgives the offending pooch, who at book’s end lies cuddled beside her in bed. This contains elements Falconer’s readers love: endpapers that add a cunning fillip (Olivia’s relationship with her toy), velvety monochromatic palette with accents of red and (in this entry) green, incisive characterization rendered with minimal line (the subtlest change in mother’s expressions), photographic homage to a feminist icon (Martha Graham), adroit gatefold (revealing canine criminal), happy ending, and above all the ironic contrast established between subtle nuance and Olivia’s over-the-top personality. Containing more full-bleed illustrations and less white space, it may not seem as elegantly designed. Yet what it sacrifices in design it gains in a more fully developed plot. The heightened atmosphere and melodrama suit Olivia just perfectly. (Picture book. 3+)

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-85291-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2003




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