Olivia Saves The Circus

Picture Books | October 1, 2001

byIan Falconer

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Step into the ring with Olivia, where the lights are dim, the color soft, and a little girl's imagination is the main attraction.

Olivia remembers her trip to the circus very well. The performers were out sick, so she had to do everything. She...

-rode on a unicycle
-jumped on a trampoline
-juggled five balls!
-tamed lions
-and flew through the air.

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From the Publisher

Step into the ring with Olivia, where the lights are dim, the color soft, and a little girl's imagination is the main attraction.Olivia remembers her trip to the circus very well. The performers were out sick, so she had to do everything. She... -rode on a unicycle -jumped on a trampoline -juggled five balls! -tamed lions -and flew thr...

Ian Falconer Ian Falconer is a painter and illustrator whose has illustrated the cover of The New Yorker magazine many times. He has also designed sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, among others. "Olivia" is his first children's book, for which he won the 2...

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Format:Picture BooksDimensions:44 pages, 11 × 8.5 × 0.4 inPublished:October 1, 2001Publisher:Atheneum Books For Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:068982954X

ISBN - 13:9780689829543

Appropriate for ages: 4

Customer Reviews of Olivia Saves The Circus


Extra Content

From the Author

A conversation withIan FalconerCreator of OLIVIAQ: We know that the OLIVIA books are about your niece, but are there any autobiographical parts as well? If so, what?A: Of course. One always draws on one's own experiences as well. I was always a very busy child -- making things.Q: How did you decide to portray OLIVIA as a pig?A: Pigs are very intelligent creatures. They seem to have a more human quality than, say, chickens -- like dogs.Q: Were you surprised by OLIVIA's enormous success?A: Yes. I was completely overwhelmed.Q: You have worked in a wide variety of artistic media, including set design, costume design, magazine illustration, and book illustration. What do you like best about creating children's books?A: I've always felt that children's books are for the most part condescending toward children and miss how smart children are. Their little hands and mouths may not be able to articulate what is going on in their sharp little brains. Writing children's books is an opportunity to express this, and it seems to be appreciated by both children and adults.Q: Olivia's family plays a supporting role in both books. Are any of the characters in Olivia's family based on your own family?A: All of the characters are my sister's family: my niece Olivia's parents, her two little brothers, and their cat and dog. But they are all just peripheral. It's really all about Olivia -- at least in her mind!Q: Why did you choose to illustrate OLIVIA in only black, red, and white, rather than in full color? And what is the significance of the salmon color in OLIVIA SAVES THE CIRCUS?A: By eliminating most colors, it helps you focus on facial expressions and graphic situations without a lot of color and details obscuring the basic emotional architecture of the story. Salmon comes from Olivia's dream-world palette. More theatrical.Q: The work of Jackson Pollock has become instantly recognizable to young children since your inclusion of one of his paintings in OLIVIA. How did you come to select that painting in particular?A: Because most kids would look at it and say, "I could do that in about five minutes."Q: Many people have remarked upon the unusual portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt on the wall of Olivia's bedroom in OLIVIA SAVES THE CIRCUS. Why did you select Mrs. Roosevelt to be featured in the book and why this particular portrait of her?A: I chose Eleanor Roosevelt because she is a great role model and because it's totally absurd. This particular picture is animated and funny.Q: What were some of your favorite books as a child?A: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Higglety Pigglety Pop! And Eloise, of course.Q: What artists do you consider to be your greatest influences?A: Picasso and Matisse (although you wouldn't know it from the books).Q: Did you have a favorite pet as a child? Do you have any pets now?A: Yes. A dachshund named Runzel and a seagull named Henry.Q: You had a seagull?A: I found it after it had been abandoned, so it was semi-wild. Eventually he was released into the wild.Q: Did you particularly like the circus as a child? Did/do you have a favorite circus attraction?A: Yes, I enjoyed the circus. There was an old clown named Lou Jacobs in the Ringling Brothers circus who did an act as a hunter with a dachshund dressed as a bunny rabbit.Q: Did you ever tell an outlandish "show and tell" story of your own?A: No, not that I remember. Although I had a very active imagination, I was very shy in front of other people. (But I dressed up a lot.)Q: Where is your next OLIVIA book going to take your heroine?A: Only Olivia knows!Q: What are you working on right now?A: Costumes for a production of Turnadot at the San Francisco Opera and Olivia Book #3.