Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy

May 22, 2014 - Comment

Olivia has one toy that she loves more than anything. She feeds him, dresses him and takes him everywhere. So when he disappears, Olivia is FURIOUS! She looks under the rug, under the sofa, under the cat. She shouts at Ian and baby William, she cries, she stomps…all to no avail. Then, one dark and

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Olivia has one toy that she loves more than anything. She feeds him, dresses him and takes him everywhere. So when he disappears, Olivia is FURIOUS!
She looks under the rug, under the sofa, under the cat. She shouts at Ian and baby William, she cries, she stomps…all to no avail. Then, one dark and stormy night, Olivia hears a noise…Clutching a candelabra, she creeps bravely into her bedroom, and sees a huge menacing shadow on the wall. Who is this monster, and what’s that hanging from his jaws?
All is resolved peacefully in this entertaining story starring our favorite pig and her favorite toy.Olivia, like many young pigs, experiences life very intensely. She is utterly obsessed with having her mother make her a red soccer shirt (even though the team color is green), until, of course, she discovers that her favorite toy, her very best toy, is missing, at which point she becomes utterly obsessed with finding it. She looks under the rug, the sofa, and the cat. She shouts accusingly at both her younger brother Ian and her baby brother William, who responds with an unsatisfactory “Wooshee gaga.” That night (a dark and stormy one), she hears a horrible sound emanating from behind a closed door, and, in a dramatic scene illuminated by her flaming candelabra and showcased in a fold-out spread, she sees the family dog Perry chewing her favorite toy to bits. As devastating as this is to a passionate young pig, “even Olivia couldn’t stay mad forever.” She sews up her dismembered toy and falls asleep that very night cozied up with both it and the toy-wrecking Perry. The New Yorker cartoonist and Caldecott Honor artist Ian Falconer (Olivia, 2001) fills his pages with delightful visual stunts, such as the time-lapse drawings of Olivia waiting and waiting and waiting for her mom to sew her soccer shirt and the exaggeratedly scary shadow the toy-eating dog casts on the wall. Olivia fans will rejoice to see their favorite pig being her usual extreme self. (Ages 4 to 8) –Karin Snelson

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