Title: Olivia Helps With Christmas
Author: Ian Falconer
Year published: 2008
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Number of pages: 50
Recommended age: 3 to 8 years
Daughter's Rating: ★★★★★
Mom's Rating: ★★★★★
Summary (from Amazon): Olivia is getting into the Christmas spirit. There are presents to wrap, ornaments to hang on the tree, snowpigs to build…But what mischief and mayhem will she get up to this time? This delightfully told and beautifully illustrated new Olivia story belongs under everyone’s Christmas tree this year!
What it’s about: This book is about Olivia helping her mother get ready for Christmas. Olivia gets tangled up in lights and cuts off the top of the tree to put on the table. Olivia, her mother, her daddy and her little brothers Ian and William are in the story. The story happens at her house. Olivia tries to help but she gets in the way.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked it when the baby is sick because Olivia feeds him blueberry pie. I liked it when Olivia gets a black nose because she put it up the chimney when she’s looking for Santa. I also liked it when Olivia and her two brothers look out of the window for Santa and when Olivia drew her own picture as a present.
I didn’t like it when Olivia opens her presents too quickly on Christmas morning. The characters in the story are very funny. The story makes me feel happy and the funniest part is when Olivia gets tangled up in the lights.
My bottom line: Yes I would definitely re read this book. Yes, I would recommend it to my friends and I would recommend it for both boys and girls.
What it’s about: This is a gloriously funny and sweet story about Olivia and how she helps out at Christmas. Her helping ends up causing her mummy and daddy quite a few problems because she’s quite a dominant little character! The story is simple yet beautifully told with magnificent understatement by the author. It celebrates strong characters and a loving family. I love the Santa Watch scenes, beautifully illustrated and so true. The author conveys the excitement perfectly. This book is written by someone who clearly understands what it’s like to have young children around on Christmas Eve!
What I liked and disliked about it: I love the writing because it makes it such a joy to read as an adult and simultaneously enjoyable for children too. The illustrations are beautiful and add so much more to the story providing plenty of opportunities for discussion. The final illustration includes a painting from The Nutcracker while Olivia dreams of being a ballerina and it’s absolutely beautiful. Olivia is a real character, lovable yet very individual. On a personal note, this resonates greatly with our family! It’s also nice to introduce children to different Christmas family traditions.
My bottom line: I would absolutely recommend this book for children and grown ups alike and it would work equally well for both boys and girls in my view. There are other books in the Olivia series and they are all immensely enjoyable reads.
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