So, you’ve probably already heard, seen, or enjoyed this book, but we finally got around to checking it out, and I’m in love! with Olivia by Ian Falconer. Of course, it’s a Newberry honor book, and it is like Eloise for a younger crowd. Pen Elaine and I are both excited to read it over and over and over. The way a pig can totally exemplify a young girl is amazing, but I can see my own little girl in every page (and my Honey agrees). Plus, Falconer has included actual art within the illustrations, so Pen Elaine and I feel a little more cultured when we read it. I remember my sister mentioning that her little girl had gotten into Olivia, as well, she being just 11 months older than my own. The words are short enough to hold a toddler’s attention and the illustrations are just priceless. One of my favorite pages mentions “last summer, when Olivia was little,” with an illustration showing her the exact same size as all the rest, and we all know how toddlers/preschoolers can think that they were little last week but now they’re big…I love it! Olivia is a gem you don’t want to miss. I even find myself trying to dress Pen Elaine like Olivia…She’s just so classy!
Reading is a favorite pastime, and now that Pen Elaine is on the brink of 2, we can see all the things she is learning from books. Already, her vocabulary is expanded by reading books. She recently impressed a group of friends with the word “boa constrictor” that I know didn’t come up in typical conversation; she learned it from Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear? by Martin/Carle. Reading expands language, knowledge, experience, and possibilities for imagination. Pen Elaine can also recite favorite books, fill in words, and even “read” some to herself. So, I think reading also encourages memory development. Besides, reading means crawling into my lap, and I can’t get enough of that sweetness!