Not only do we love the Olivia books by Ian Falconer, but one of them is perfect for Five in a Row. We just discovered Olivia Goes To Venice. I wish we would’ve had this book when we rowed Papa Piccolo. But discovering Olivia Goes to Venice has inspired us to Revisit Papa Piccolo this week.
Even if you don’t use F.I.A.R., this book is a wonderful way to learn about Venice. It uses real color photos of famous landmarks, such as the Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, and the Bridge of Sighs, with the characters of Olivia, her family, and other tourist pigs seeing the sights of Venice.
The first book, Olivia, won the Caldecott Honor. Falconer has written nine other Olivia books since. Venice is the latest one. The books are based on the author/illustrator’s niece and nephews, Olivia, Ian and William.
What’s the appeal of Olivia? Well, she’s confident. She’s cultured. She’s fashionable. She’s precocious. She’s energetic. She has high aspirations. Who wouldn’t love a pig like that?
There are lots of other Olivia books by various authors, based on the television series, but the original ones by Falconer are classic. Falconer uses black and white drawings with red to accent, mostly for Olivia’s various fashion statements. He also draws a pig that actually looks like a pig would look if it walked around on it’s hind legs and wore clothing. I’m a realist, I like pigs to actually look like pigs. Just another one of my quirks, I suppose.
In this YouTube video, Falconer talks about what inspired him to write Olivia in Venice.
And for all you classical homeschoolers out there, you may want to know that there is Olivia, The Essential Latin Edition.
We can’t wait to add more Olivia books to our home library.
All Olivia images are courtesy of Amazon.com.