Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Olivia by Ian Falconer

Olivia is a bit of a modern classic (especially in the States where it was originally published) and we've come to it quite late really. She was first published 15 years ago and Ian Falconer has had numerous other Olivia titles after the first and original 'Olivia'. I think there is even a tv series as well. 

It's quite an arty picture book in that the colour palette is limited and a lot of the backgrounds are white. The insertion of two famous paintings by Degas and Pollock help to elevate it slightly too! My two seem to really enjoy having it read to them and find the many parallels between them and Olivia hilarious. Especially the wearing people out bit. Rosie was particularly impressed by the elaborate sandcastle (Chrysler building in New York) and incredulous and then decided it would be impossible. I think our beach trips might get interesting this summer!

The text is simple but succinct. It works so well and it all feels so familiar (the irritation with the younger sibling, wanting to decide exactly what to wear, decorating the walls, I could go on!). But over and above all that is the incredibly beautiful and wonderful line drawing that makes the artwork. Gorgeous! 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Meet the Parents by Peter Bently and Sara Ogilvie

I saw a lot of people saying how funny and fantastic Meet the Parents is last year so when I saw it in my local library today I picked it up straight away. 

It's a simple idea beautifully realised with the wonderful artwork of Sara Ogilvie. We love her books with Anna Kemp (Dogs Don't Do Ballet) as well. 

The premise begins with a description of all things parents tell kids to do, brush teeth, tidy up, wash your hands, say please! But then it starts to outline the things parents are great for, covering them with sand at the beach, carrying everything, wiping all types of fluids on! 

Sara Ogilive is particularly good at showing expressions on her characters faces and there is a lot of brilliant funny detail. The text is great, really funny with a wonderful ending. This book worked really well with both my girls, which is always handy at bedtime!