The Alphabet, Olivia-style

It’s amazing how early children fall in love with characters. Take for example, Olivia. For those not in the know, Olivia is a small pig with a BIG personality and LARGE attitude. Ian Falconer, the author-illustrator, has a knack for tickling the funny bones of both children and their parents.

This week I sent Catie Falconer’s newest, Olivia’s ABC (Simon and Schuster, ages 2 and up). Catie’s been an Olivia fan for quite sometime, so I expect this book to be a hit. Anyone who’s familiar with Olivia knows she’s going to present the alphabet in her own style.

Beginning with A for accessories, Olivia poses before a mirror, armed with red lipstick and wearing high heels and a hair bow to match. Many of the board book’s alphabet pages show more than one object, all of them are humorous and thoughtful in concept and design. On the C page, for example, Olivia lifts a cat to look under it and then lifts a couch in exactly the same manner. She wears earrings and an elegant dress on the E page, and then earmuffs and a frown.

Most children’s book fans know that alphabets are illustrator’s favorite vehicle for self-expression. Falconer triumphs in both his style and, of course, Olivia’s.

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