Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review - Olivia the Spy

Olivia the Spy (Olivia #8)
by Ian Falconer
Date: 2017
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Everyone’s favorite pig is about to have a birthday…but will her penchant for eavesdropping lead to more than presents?

Olivia’s birthday is days away. Plans must be made. Who makes plans? Moms! Who simply must know the plans? Olivia, who is NOT above eavesdropping. But when she not-so-accidentally-but-kinda overhears her mom talking about her not-so-squeaky-clean-and-possibly-very-bad-behavior, Olivia’s imagination runs wild…because it sounds like not only will there be no birthday, but Mom might just be sending her to military school instead. What a BAD birthday that would be!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is my first experience with Olivia, and I have to say, I'm not impressed.

I don't mind that Olivia's a brat. What really got to me is how her mother was talking badly about her within earshot... and then the kid got blamed for eavesdropping. I didn't find the plot about Olivia thinking she was going to get sent to an institution (like military school) very funny; that could be pretty frightening for some kids. And does anybody learn a lesson? Not really. Olivia shows that she's "learned" something by spouting a bunch of long words that the audience for this book probably won't understand ("partial truths and misinformation", "insecure and suspicious"), and her mother apparently learns nothing at all (while Olivia is off crashing the ballet, the mother is standing with another pig, still talking about how much trouble her daughter is).

I didn't like the pictures. I especially didn't like how the photographs were incorporated into some--but not all--of the illustrations. It made the book look very uneven; I would've preferred straight illustrations (but maybe Falconer was too lazy to draw buildings and washing machines).

This is the only e-book my library has in this series. I'm not that disappointed; I don't think I'd want to read another of these books, anyway.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 1.17 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment