Written and illustrated by Ian Falconer, Olivia is the first in a series of children’s books, published in 2000.

The Class of Dance by Edgar Degas (1874)

The Class of Dance by Edgar Degas (1874) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Falconer, who lives in New York City, also designs costumes for the New York City Ballet and the Royal Opera House and covers for The New Yorker magazine, and this background comes through in the fanciful costumes Olivia wears.

Olivia is a story about a sweet little, active and creative pig.

She has a little brother and a cat.

She takes naps and negotiates the number of bedtime stories she will get.

She goes to the museum, where she finds one painting she loves, about ballet, by Edgar Degas, who is famous for his paintings of ballerinas, and for which Falconer got permission from the Musee d’Orsay, in Paris, to reproduce.

And, Olivia finds one painting she does not understand, a Jackson Pollack, whose style looks to some like paint shot from tubes onto the canvas.

This painting hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Falconer got permission from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society to reproduce it in the book.

Olivia, of course, thinks she can reproduce it at home on her wall.


It’s not hard to see why Olivia is an enduringly favorite childhood pig.

Your grandchildren will delight in the illustrations while they laugh at her antics.

A #1 New York Times bestseller, Olivia is a Caldecott 2001 Honors book and was named to the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children” list in 2007, by the National Education Association.

It was named among the “100 Top Picture Books” of all time in 2012 by the School Library Journal.

Click on the title to order a copy of Olivia for your granddaughter from amazon.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers



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