by Ian Falconer
Rarely has a toddler possessed as much personality as precocious Olivia. She is a porker of a heroine who knows what she likes. The color red, for example. She loves red tights, red sunglasses, a red T-shirt and red tank top and, of course, her red sailor dress with black-and-white striped tights, featured on the book’s cover. “This is Olivia./ She is good at lots of things,” the book begins, and “She is very good at wearing people out.” Your youngsters get to watch Olivia engaged in a variety of activities in 13 black-and-white vignettes. The color red appears sparingly--for a hammer handle, a yo-yo, a ball, a mixing bowl spatula and a jump rope--as Olivia progresses from her seemingly boundlessly energetic self to absolutely spent (“She even wears herself out”). Whether she is making an awe-inspiring sandcastle model of the Empire State Building or imagining herself on the stage as one of Edgar Degas’s ballerinas, Olivia is the star of this show. Your youngsters will surely take Olivia to heart.