Olivia (Hardcover) by Ian Falconer; Atheneum, 2000.
ISBN: 0689829531. pp: 40.
Ages: 4-8, gr: preschool-3



Olivia is a rather precocious pig. She has a great deal of energy and tends to wear out her mother. Olivia is, however, fascinated with the art museum—especially two paintings. One painting is by Jackson Pollock and the other is by Edgar Degas.


  1. To the teacher- Before reading Olivia, have several books and/or prints by both Jackson Pollock and Edgar Degas. Talk a little about the lives of these two artists. Show students prints of their paintings. Talk a little bit about the artists’ different styles of paintings. After students have become somewhat familiar with the styles, hold up a print and ask the students who the artist is, Pollock or Degas.

  2. Ion Falconer has created charcoal portraits of Olivia, the pig. Make up your own animal character and use charcoal to draw its portrait.

  3. Olivia has been compared to Eloise. Read an Eloise book and find ways the two are alike. (Eloise series by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight, published by Simon & Schuster.)

  4. Read one of the books written by Jean Van Leeuwen about Oliver Pig or his sister, Amanda. Would you rather spend a day with Olivia or Oliver? Why?

  5. Olivia would be happy to know there is a National Pig Day. Can you find out when it is? What could you and your friends do to celebrate National Pig Day?

  6. Some stores sell Olivia stationery. Pretend you are Olivia writing a letter to her Grandmother. You can create your own stationery design for your letter.

  7. Read more books about Olivia.
    • Falconer, I. (2001). Olivia saves the circus. Atheneum. grades preschool-3.

    • Falconer, I. (2002). Olivia counts. Atheneum; Board edition. grades toddler-k.

    • Falconer, I. (2002). Olivia’s opposites. Atheneum; Board edition. grades toddler-k.

    • Falconer, I. (2003). Olivia . . . and the missing toy. Atheneum. grades preschool-3.

    • Falconer, I. (2004). Teatro Olivia. Gardners Books (and Rizzoli Publications; Package edition). grades preschool-3.
    • Falconer, I. (2005). Olivia’s Christmas. Atheneum. grades preschool-3.

    • Falconer, I. (June, 2006). Olivia forms a band. Atheneum. grades preschool-3.


More for the teacher

Accelerated Reader: Quiz #44266 EN; Book Level 2.0; Points= 0.5
Book Adventure (Sylvan): Quiz Level 2
Reading Counts: Reading Level 1.9; Points= 1.0
Lexile Level 270
Guided Reading Level J
word count= 320

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