Great Expectations: Olivia Sells Cookies by Ian Falconer
"THIS IS THE TROPHY I WON LAST YEAR FOR SELLING THE MOST COOKIES OF ANYONE IN MY YOUNG PIONEERS TROOP. I GOT MY PICTURE IN THE PAPER, TOO!" FRANCINE BRAGS AT SHOW-AND-TELL."I'M THE BEST COOKIE SELLER EVER."
The gauntlet has been thrown, and Olivia rises to the challenge.
It's time for the annual Young Pioneer Girls' Cookie Sale, and this year Olivia, that ever-optimistic pig, has her business plan all ready.
She got the big MO on her side, her lucky red-and-white-striped tights, if she can just find them; she's got a transportation system set up (Julian pulling a red wagon loaded, loaded, loaded with the cookies); she knows there is demand out there in consumerland (who doesn't like cookies?); and she is confident she can outsell Francine this year.
But Olivia encounters buyer's resistance on her first sales presentation. Dad points out that two boxes of cookies are all her family really "needs."
"TO BE A GOOD SALESPERSON, YOU HAVE GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND SELL...AND NOT JUST TO YOUR OWN FAMILY."
Easy for him to say! Olivia and Julian head out the door and are nearly deafened by a jackhammer crew doing street repairs. Quickly they move on. As Olivia trudges down the block, she finds that all the neighbors have already bought cookies from Francine. Looking for more sales opportunities, she heads over the the local grocery store, where people obviously go when they're hungry. But Francine is already there, selling cookies right and left. It looks like Olivia has run up against brand loyalty--Francine's brand. She despairs of every selling her remaining stock.
Back home, things are no cheerier or quieter. The jackhammers are still pounding and Little William is bawling, so Olivia gives him her "lucky" tights--which so far have failed to bring her any luck. William stops wailing, and she realizes that it is noticeably quiet. Very quiet.
Suddenly Olivia realizes that the jackhammer crew must be knocking off for the day, and her sales antennae detect a fortuitous business opportunity!
"I'LL BET THOSE WORKERS ARE REALLY HUNGRY!"
As always, Olivia seizes the opportunity in the latest of her paperback adventures, OLIVIA Sells Cookies (Simon Spotlight, 2012). Kids setting out to peddle their Dos-Si-Dos and Thin Mints in the traditional midwinter marketing period will love commiserating and succeeding along with Olivia's latest adventure, adapted by Natalie Shaw and impeccably illustrated in creator Ian Falconers' trademark style.