OLIVIA Won’t Let You Get Away With Not Skating And Not Falling

One of my default gifts for kids is a copy of one of Ian Falconer‘s Olivia books. The mild adventures of a 6 and 3/4-year-old pig who dresses in red and white stripes and likes to dance, they’ve never disappointed yet. Television made from good books rarely lives up to the source material, but Nickelodeon’s adorable new adaptation doesn’t disappoint either. I was a touch worried when Olivia’s mom’s introduction in the credits was hauling around a baby (Dad is reading a newspaper) and the girl piggies wanted to be skating princesses while the boy piggies wanted to play hockey, but by the time Oscar and Otto were portaying the stepsisters in a backyard production of Cinderella on Ice, I was sold. Which is a good thing, since resistance to Olivia’s enthusiasm is futile. She simply won’t let you sit on the sidelines–when best friend Julian morosely notes that he can’t ice skate and would prefer not to skate and not to fall, she fashions a patooty pillow for him and drags him out on the ice for the fun. We all need a friend like Olivia, and I suspect her target audience will find her a very good friend indeed. Toss in the charming animation, jaunty music, and occasional laugh-out-loud moments (Olivia’s big solo in Cinderella on Ice: “He’s a handsome prince, he’s a charming prince, and what a wonderful skater”), and the kidlets’ parents might find her a delight as well. Episodes air at 11:30am Eastern and Pacific, with reruns on Noggin later in the week.


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