I first discovered Ian Falconer’s Olivia when I was covering for the librarian at my first school and was faced with entertaining a large group of Kindergarten students. We had already finished the lesson the librarian had left and there was still what seemed to me at the time a massive amount of time remaining before the teacher was scheduled to pick up the class. (It was probably only five minutes or so.) So I grabbed a book off the table. It was the original Olivia and I’ve been in love with this little pig ever since.
In this latest adventure, Olivia and her family spend their vacation in Venice. They tour the city, crossing the canals, feeding the pigeons, taking gondola rides, and eating numerous gelatos – so many gelatos they almost sink the gondola. As the time for returning home nears, Olivia wants to find just the perfect souvenir from the trip. Her choice is pure Olivia and one that will not surprise her fans. As always Falconer’s mixture of charcoal and gouache illustrations are a delightful background for the story. This is the original Olivia, not the Saturday morning cartoon spinoff. I love Falconer’s stories and illustrations. I am quite disappointed to discover a number of Olivia books being released that are based on the TV series. The illustrations in those books are not Falconer’s, but unfortunately a cheap imitation. Olivia Goes to Venice, however, is pure Falconer and a must have for true Olivia fans.
Recommended for ages Preschool – 3rd Grade.
Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5