Written and Illustrated by Ian Falconer Flyer

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Olivia the Pig

Olivia is the perfect book that kids and adults will love. It follow the life of a crazy, energetic, outgoing, creative, and fun loving pig. The book starts off with us getting to know her very energetic personality. Then we meet her family, pet cat, Edwin, and dog, Perry. She goes through struggles that many kids can relate to. Some of these struggles include: not knowing what to wear, not wanting to take a nap, and getting a time out when she doesn't do the right thing. She likes to play and move, she likes going to the museum, building sandcastles at the beach, reading bed time stories, and painting. Olivia is very much your typical kid.

Literary Elements

  • Plot- The plot is more of a snap shot of the everyday life of Olivia. There really isn't a rising action, conflict, or climax.
  • Characters- The characters consist of Olivia, her mother, her father, her little brother Ian, her dog named Perry, and cat named Edwin. All of the characters are pictured inside the book so we get a visual of what they look like.
  • Setting- The setting of this book is definitely modern day. She has technology in it like head phones and a radio. The setting changes throughout the book as we follow her day to day life. She is at home, the beach, outside, and at the art museum.
  • Theme- I believe the theme of this book is day to day life and problems with growing up. Olivia is achieving her identity and personality.
  • Style- The book features short sentences followed by a picture. This kind of style never leaves the reader without a visual.

Physical Features

  • Size- The size of the book is fairy big. The text is medium size but easy to read. The size of the pictures are big. They take up more space than the text does.
  • Shape- This book features many different shapes. There is circles. squares, rectangles and many more.
  • Cover- The cover has a picture of Olivia the pig. It is in all black and white except for her red dress. The background is all white. The title is big and in all capital letters.
  • End Paper- The beginning paper is all white in the background and just has Olivia's clothes all over the floor. I think they chose to do that because it really shows you Olivia's personality before even reading the book. The end paper has an all white background. Olivia is taking off her outfit and dancing to her radio. This just shows how Olivia is very energetic and loves to dress up.
  • Font- The font is very basic. I think he chose a basic font so that the reader's main focus is the pictures.
  • Paper- The paper is pretty thick and makes turning the page easy.

Visual Elements of the family

  • Line- The lines in the picture seem fairly simple. He used very thin lines to draw the characters. It looks as if he could have used pencil to draw these pictures besides Olivia's shirt. I think the simplicity in the drawings makes the book more pleasing to the eye.
  • Color- Everything is in all black and white besides Olivia. Throughout the book things that Olivia is wearing or holding are bright red. I think this was done to draw the readers eye to Olivia. It shows her bright personality. It makes Olivia pop right off the page.
  • Shape- The shapes in the picture are simple. There are lots of curved lines and straight lines. I feel that I could draw these picture, they're not very challenging.
  • Texture- Simple thin lines, there is a bit of shading to make the image appear three dimensional. Olivia's shirt is always a very bold in texture.
  • Composition- The family is arranged to make them look as if they were taking a nice family photo.
  • Point of View- The family is the main point of view. Olivia stands out more than the rest because of her bright red shirt.
  • Distance- This picture is a close up of the whole family.
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Visual Elements of Olivia and her Brother

  • Line-thin lines used in drawing both Olivia and her Brother. Thicker lines are used in Ian's sweater. There is also thin lines used in the wall. The line shows that they are in a room.
  • Color- The colors used in this picture are black, white and red. Olivia's heels, bow and lipstick stick out because of their bright red color.
  • Shape-There is an oval mirror used in this picture and circle beads in her necklace. This picture really shows Olivia's style and how much her little brother looks up to her.
  • Texture-Simple thin lines, there is a bit of shading to make the image appear three dimensional. Olivia's accessories are in bold red.
  • Composition- The composition of this picture is made to feel like you're seeing them in a bedroom. The wall was drawn to give that impression.
  • Point of View- I think the mirror is added to this picture so you can see that from their point of view they are looking in the mirror and Olivia's brother is copying behind her.
  • Distance- They are pretty close to us and are located in the center of the room. They are close to the mirror.
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    Visual Elements of her Daily routines

  • Line- Thin lines are used in all of Olivia's tasks. There is a single thin line in the back of all these pictures to show the difference between the floor and the wall.
  • Color- All of these pictures are in Black and white except for Olivia's toothbrush.
  • Shape- The mirror is rectangular, the sink is as well. Olivia is standing on a round stool.
  • Texture- The cat is colored darker than Olivia. I think its done to show both the furry texture of the cat and the darkness of the cat.
  • Composition-The picture really shows Olivia in movement even thought she's not moving we get the impression that she is.
  • Point of View- All of these pictures are in a side point of view. We are not seeing the front of Olivia. Olivia is looking into the mirror we even see her reflection so it looks as if we can see in her point of view.
  • Distance- These are more close up shots of Olivia in motion.
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    Visual Elements of Olivia dressing up

  • Line- There is thin line used in all of Olivia's outfit changes. Some lines are zig zagged like the ones at bottom of her dress. There is also some curved lines like in her swim suit, underwear and hat.
  • Color- Olivia is in black and white but her dresses, sweaters, shoes, hats, pants, purses, swimsuits, sun glasses, and ear muffs are in bright red.
  • Shape- Most of the shapes used are in her accessories. Her sunglasses are round and her backpack is rectangular.
  • Texture- Her clothing and accessories are colored. I think it makes it standout more and I think the bright color gives the accessories more of a texture compared to them being in black and white.
  • Composition- Olivia is arranged like this to show us her many different ways to dress up. It shows us her style.
  • Point of View- We get to see Olivia in the same point of view but in many different ways. She has a lot of different clothes to dress in.
  • Distance-Olivia is very small so it seems as if she seems far away.
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    Museum Visual Elements

  • Line- Olivia, her mom and her brother are all drawn in thin lines. There is also a straight line at the bottom to separate the floor and the wall. In the painting there is many different splattered lines.
  • Color- I like how there is a different color used besides black, white, and red in this picture. We get to see real art work incorporated into a book. The color of the painting are beige, white and black.
  • Shape- The main shape we see in this picture is the big rectangle painting.
  • Texture- The painting looks very rough textured it looks as if its three dimensional.
  • Composition- Olivia, her mother, and brother are looking at the giant painting.
  • Point of View- This picture has them really small and the picture huge to show how big it really is. They also have them placed below the picture looking up to show you that they are looking up at the painting.
  • Distance- Since they are small I think they were meant to be more far away from our view.
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    Olivia's Painting Visual Elements

  • Line- There are thin lines used in the drawing of Olivia. There is also lines at the bottom to show that Olivia is in her room. However, in the paint splattering the lines are very thick and messy.
  • Color- Everything's in black and white besides Olivia's painting that had thick dark black and thick red.
  • Shape-The paint cans are circular and the room itself is meant to be square.
  • Texture- The painting has a really thick texture too it.
  • Composition- The drawing is arranged to make it look like Olivia is painting on the wall. Which she is but she shouldn't be doing.
  • Point of View- We have the whole room point of view. We see everything from her, to the walls, to her paint cans.
  • Distance-She seems far back from her painting. It looks as if she stepped back to admire it.
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    Visual Elements of Olivia in Movement

  • Line- Olivia is drawn using thin lines. Her pants have curved lines.
  • Color- Everything is black and white besides Olivia's pants they are bright red.
  • Shape- The only shape in these pictures are her.
  • Texture- Her pants look to be a soft texture.
  • Composition- She's arranged as if she moving even though she isn't. The movements look real.
  • Point of View- We have many different points of view in this picture. The first is a front view. Then when she's kicking her leg up we get a side view, then a front view again and it finishes with a side view of her leaping in the air. We feel as if she's dancing right off the page.
  • Distance- In the book these pictures take up a whole 2 pages they are really big. I believe they are meant to be an up close picture.
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    Summary of all Visual Element Pictures

    The style contributes to the overall meaning of the book because the minimalistic style of the book gives the focus to the main person, Olivia. The main focus of every page is her. They show her in bright red to draw your eye to her. They want us to see Olivia's personality from the second we open the page.

    Artistic Style

    The book Olivia's artistic style is cartoon art. I think it was made a cartoon because Olivia is very free spirited and energetic. The pictures are simple and straightforward but humorous at the same time. I believe her emotions and movements are very exaggerated. Making her a cartoon was a good choice to fit with her personality.

    Artisic Media

    Ian Falconer used gouache and charcoal drawings In the book Olivia. The book is different from many other children's picture books because of it minimalism style. Ian Falconer was inspired by the great Dr. Seuss. Falconer chose to draw uncluttered images in black and white with a dash of red, along with the use of real artwork. Each book in the series has another signature color in addition to the original black, white and red images. Olivia was inspired by Ian's niece.

    Elements of Illustration

    Framing- There is no framing used in this book. There is lots of white space and the words and pictures are placed in the white space. There is no border separating the pictures and the words.

    Arrangement- Every sentence there is a picture of what the sentence says. The pictures and the words are placed pretty sporadically on the page.

    Narrative sequence- Since this book is telling us about the day to day life of Olivia its done in chronological order.

    Page turns- The pages are thick so it makes turning the page easy. This book is an easy page turner. You always want to see what adventures Olivia is up to next.

    I believe the illustrations contribute to the overall meaning of the story because all of these elements are used to portray Olivia's personality. There is no framing used because her thoughts and actions are very quick and unorganized. I think it was arranged the way it was to show the reader a visual after every sentence. Chronological order was used because that's the best to use when describing day to day events. The author wants the reader to keep turning the page so he made Olivia's life very exciting.

    Interplay of Text and Illustration

    The text and illustrations work together to bring the story Olivia to life. The text tell the readers what is going on in the story. They tell us what Olivia is doing, what she's thinking, what she wants and doesn't want. They tell us all the events that happen in Olivia's life. The illustrations show you exactly what Olivia is doing. They provide that visual that the reader likes to see. If Olivia is brushing her teeth the author will show a picture of her doing that. The text always is followed by a picture. This book does an amazing job of connecting the text and illustration.


    This book is such a fun and easy read. Its perfect for children and adults. If you're looking for a book both you and your kids will love this is the perfect one. The illustrations are absolutely amazing. They are simple but exciting. They show the life adventures of Olivia. This book of adventures will leave you wanting more. A good thing is author Ian Falconer has many more Olivia books. The only thing better than Olivia is more Olivia! I recommend this book for all ages. It's a must read book!