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VINE VOICEon 19 June 2008
My daughter and I loved Olivia when I first came across her back in 2003
She's smart, creative and aspirational in the way four-year old girls are, wanting to be a ballerina, and opera singer, and an artist etc... She's sassy and unsquashable, which is highly amusing to the reader as she leaves in her wake a trail of parental exhaustion and bemusement.
Ian Falconer's illustrations are exceptional, this stylish and expressive little pig with great humour, perky ears and cock-sure snout in the air.
The original Olivia was black and white with red used for great effect in every picture. For that festive feeling Olivia helps with Christmas has both a rich green and a red. There's a great opening line, `Twas the day before Christmas', and the pigs are hard at it shopping, and decorating the tree. Olivia helps with the lights, Mum helps with an illuminated Olivia; Olivia helps lay the table in her own creative way, and so on. The breakfast scene on Christmas morning can't fail to make any parents grin. And Olivia is again an artist, yet a cross little girl who can't ski too well, a world class ballerina, yet sooty nosed and stripey-pyjama-ed. A real treat for Christmas, and a joy the rest of the year too.
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"Twas the day before Christmas, Olivia and her family had been out all morning, busy with last-minute shopping." The story moves on from there into a series of vignettes as her father carries Ian and a tree into the house while her mother carries William and a huge stack of colorful packages.

"Olivia was exhausted, yet there was still so much to do." Olivia orders her father and Ian to put the tree up while she feeds William some yummy blueberry pie (and you can guess what happens next).

Next, Olivia begins studying the fireplace, impatiently waiting for Santa. To distract her, Olivia's mother asks Olivia to untangle the Christmas tree lights . . . which isn't such a good idea. After finishing the tree, the three children stare out the window looking for Santa.

Olivia asks her if she can help set the table. Her mother is at first impressed to see the originality of the table, until she considers what else might have happened.

After dinner, the family sings carols, and Olivia lets out a big "Gloria." Then, the stockings are hung with care by the fireplace and a snack is left out for Santa. Now, it's time for bed.

But a sound on the roof awakens Olivia. Too bad it's not Santa!

The next morning brings snow, presents, full stockings, and a missing snack for Santa.

After a quick breakfast, there's time to open presents. Olivia gives her parents a huge present that they'll never forget.

Afterwards, the kids take their snow gear outside to play.

On Christmas night, they light a fire and Olivia later goes to sleep dreaming of wonderful things.

As you can see, this story is more about the Christmas experience of a child who doesn't attend religious services than it is about Olivia's special qualities and humor about her. But I'm sure that all Olivia fans will be glad they have a chance to enjoy the gentle good times in this book.

The illustrations are rich and vivid. In a number of places, there are folded over pages to complete the continuity of a scene or story.

You'll be humming Jingle Bells long before you end this book.

Merry Christmas to all!
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In my opinion this is THE best Christmas title among my kids books. Olivia is funny, opinionated and stylish. The books are obviously aimed at adult humour as well as at their target audience and the illustrations are excellent. My son adores the present opening - some presents, of course, go down better than others... Both of my children are hysterical during Olivia's carol singing efforts - but Olivia means to be heard. Absolutely wonderful and I can not recommend any books in the series highly enough. In a way, these remind me of the "Eloise" books, with the same strong female character. If your daughter wants something less 'Princessy' than a lot of books aimed at girls, then these are for her. Mind you, my son likes them too, so they are obviously a winner.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 October 2007
Many young readers have already met and fallen in love with Olivia, the perkiest porker to be found. If your favorite school-ager hasn't had the pleasure yet, now is a perfect time as Olivia gets into the spirit of the holiday season.

Ian Falconer's illustrations are irresistible as is his text which is liberally sprinkled with quips. Who could resist smiling when Olivia gets soot on her snout as she peers up the chimney looking for Santa?

Her family goes through the traditional pre-Christmas rituals, singing carols, trimming the tree (as Olivia tangles herself in strings of lights), and leaving a snack for St. Nick.

We're treated to both visual and verbal gifts from the irrepressible Mr. Falconer on the night when "not a piglet was stirring" (supposedly).

- Gail Cooke
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on 5 February 2009
This is a beautiful and very silly book that will appeal to tiny children and adults alike. I have bought one for most of my friends children and it has been loved by all. My family are still reading it avidly in February. I cannot rate this author highly enough. Buy it! This is without a doubt his best book.
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on 27 November 2014
My son usually takes some time to warm up to new books, but this was an instant hit! He's 2 so I'm trying to introduce him to Christmas traditions from the tree to Santa, and this book is perfect for that . Olivia is a wonderfully spunky little character too. Best Christmas book I got!
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on 2 November 2012
This is a brilliant book, lots of humour for both children and adults alike. I bought this book originally when my son was younger but i've bought it again for my friend daugther because i know she will love it. It's going to make a lovely Christmas present.
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on 24 December 2011
Requested by my elder daughter for my elder granddaughter, who is a very helpful five year old. I'm sure this will go down very well with everyone.
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"Twas the day before Christmas, Olivia and her family had been out all morning, busy with last-minute shopping." The story moves on from there into a series of vignettes as her father carries Ian and a tree into the house while her mother carries William and a huge stack of colorful packages.

"Olivia was exhausted, yet there was still so much to do." Olivia orders her father and Ian to put the tree up while she feeds William some yummy blueberry pie (and you can guess what happens next).

Next, Olivia begins studying the fireplace, impatiently waiting for Santa. To distract her, Olivia's mother asks Olivia to untangle the Christmas tree lights . . . which isn't such a good idea. After finishing the tree, the three children stare out the window looking for Santa.

Olivia asks her if she can help set the table. Her mother is at first impressed to see the originality of the table, until she considers what else might have happened.

After dinner, the family sings carols, and Olivia lets out a big "Gloria." Then, the stockings are hung with care by the fireplace and a snack is left out for Santa. Now, it's time for bed.

But a sound on the roof awakens Olivia. Too bad it's not Santa!

The next morning brings snow, presents, full stockings, and a missing snack for Santa.

After a quick breakfast, there's time to open presents. Olivia gives her parents a huge present that they'll never forget.

Afterwards, the kids take their snow gear outside to play.

On Christmas night, they light a fire and Olivia later goes to sleep dreaming of wonderful things.

As you can see, this story is more about the Christmas experience of a child who doesn't attend religious services than it is about Olivia's special qualities and humor about her. But I'm sure that all Olivia fans will be glad they have a chance to enjoy the gentle good times in this book.

The illustrations are rich and vivid. In a number of places, there are folded over pages to complete the continuity of a scene or story.

You'll be humming of Jingle Bells long before you end this book.

Merry Christmas to all!
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on 12 March 2015
Olivia books are fun and I have bought a few for my Grand-daughter to chew on now and enjoy reading later on.
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