Sunday, January 08, 2012

Multitasking: Olivia Says Good Night by Gabe Pulliam and Farrah McDoogle

Olivia was reading a story to Ian. It was a wonderful story about a princess who had an adventure in the desert.
"The best part was when they built that beautiful tent," said Olivia.

"That was my favorite part, too," said Ian. "But there should have been robots."

Suddenly Mom calls TIME on the reading session, determined to move her two along on the continuum to that final good night, telling Olivia to make sure she and Ian clean up their rooms and get ready for bed. "I guess your amazing idea will have to wait until tomorrow," said Ian sadly.

Now Olivia wants to please her Mom. But her imagination is already off and running, dreaming of being a princess living in a treasure-filled tent in the desert.So as she helps Ian by gathering his scattered playthings and tidies up her own room, she is already lost in her plan to build her own exotic desert tent suitable for a princess pig. Instead of tidying her blanket, she drapes it into a tent covering the whole bed. And in the bath she has another brilliant idea: her tub toys will make great undersea treasures for her princess tent. A few deft decorating details gives her bed/tent an exotic look fit for a princess, and the special pajamas Grandma gave her for Christmas make the perfect ensemble for desert royalty.

"That's a beautiful tent! said Mom. "Great job.

But it's missing something!"

"What?" said Olivia.

"A beautiful girl sleeping inside."

Farrah McDoogle's and Gabe Pulliam's latest installment in the Olivia Adventures, OLIVIA Says Good Night (Simon & Schuster, 2011) shows that a fertile imagination can make bedtime a personal project rather than a chore. Patrick Spaziante's illustrations duplicate the creative insouciance of Ian Falconer's porker character with judicious use of strong colors, predominantly Olivia's signature red, set against bright white pages, to make the lively Olivia come alive on the page.

One question. Will there be robots for Ian in the morning?

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