It's show-and-tell time at Olivia's school and she's telling her class about the time she went to the circus and all the performers were sick...so Olivia had to do everything. She tamed the lions, balanced on stilts, juggled and even played the clown. 'Was that true?' Olivia's teacher asks. 'Quite true,' says Olivia. 'Are you sure Olivia?' 'To the best of my recollection,' she says.
When not telling Olivia's story Ian Falconer designs sets and costumes for the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the Royal Opera House in London. He lives in New York City.
She's b-a-a-c-k. The precocious star, in her trademark red, has started school, where she's required to wear a boring uniform. Lucky for Olivia she has a gift for accessorizing. Taking her turn to tell the class about her vacation is a proud moment: "Olivia always blossoms in front of an audience," the text states in a case of absurd understatement. It is at this precise page turn that Olivia starts to tell her fantasy story and the artist's palette turns from red and charcoal, to bright salmon and charcoal. The circus performers are sick and Olivia is able stand in for them all. "Luckily I knew how to do everything," she declares with typical Olivia humility. She is everything from Olivia the Clown to Olivia the Tightrope Walker, wearing an assortment of salmon-and-charcoal outfits, her mouth set in a purposeful (never fearful) line. So adroitly does Falconer charm and entertain, that it is easy to overlook the consummate skill required to completely capture personality in spare line and economical text. Sly, ironic details and superb book and page design support the effort. Two spreads open into four: simply captioned "Olivia Queen of the Trampoline," it alternates Olivia flying into the air, her shadow cast precisely onto the trampoline and Olivia as she disappears face down and then rear end down, leaving nice impressions of her very distinguishing features. A photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt hangs over her bed, an apt model for a determined young woman, unquestionably destined for greatness. Fans will not be disappointed by this uniquely new sequel.