Olivia Forms a Band Book Poster Image

Olivia Forms a Band



Precocious pig Olivia lights up 4th of July.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book features pig protagonist Olivia being her usual independent, creative -- but not necessarily obedient -- self. The Olivia brand includes other books, dolls, a cookie kit, etc.

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What's the story?

It's the 4th of July, and Olivia wants to start a band. When no one else in her family wants to join, she becomes a one-girl show. Of course, when it's finally time to go see the fireworks, she has lost interest.

Is it any good?


This is a rather meandering story about a spirited swine who decides to form a band to help celebrate the 4th of July. But it's a charming installment in the Olivia collection.

It's Olivia's spunky, childlike energy -- not the storyline -- that makes this book so enjoyable (choosing the perfect outfit is her final step in creating her one-girl band). That and the stylish illustrations, that is. This Olivia installment blends Ian Falconer's trademark black, white, and red with aqua flourishes. Parents and kids alike will crack up at the images of Olivia donning lipstick and admiring herself in the mirror, or the parting shot of an illustrated Olivia sitting amongst a photo of the Supreme Court justices.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how they'll celebrate the holiday. The may be inspired to try the activities shown in the book: planning a picnic or even forming a family band. Parents may want to use Olivia's bad example to remind their kids why it's important to clean up after they've finished an activity.

Book details

Author:Ian Falconer
Illustrator:Ian Falconer
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:July 3, 2006
Number of pages:50

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Parent of a 5, 8, and 12 year old Written bybeckyhall April 9, 2008


Ian Falconer's books are as much for the parents as for the kids. This book is hilarious, and the pictures tell most of the story. CommonSense's review called the plot "meandering," but no more so than a usual day with a preschooler! Kids will love Olivia's crazy ideas, and parents will love how much it rings true to life. ("Olivia, wipe that glop off your face and get in the car NOW!")


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