Ian Falconer, Children’s Book Author of OLIVIA, Dies at 63
Illustrator, children’s author, and theatrical set designer Ian Falconer died Tuesday in Connecticut. The author is best known for his children’s book series Olivia, which is about a clever young pig. The award-winning series, with its stylish color scheme, debuted in 2000 and went on to include seven more books that altogether sold more than 10 million copies.
Falconer was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut, studied art history at New York University and painting at Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute. He later designed theater sets and costumes for David Hockney, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the New York City Ballet, and The Royal Opera. In 1996, he gifted his niece the first Olivia book before publishing it in 2000 and naming it after her.
Close friend and playwright Jeff Whitty said of Falconer, “Ian pointed out beauty in the overlooked. He balanced bright, boyish curiosity and the wisdom of a grizzled sage.”
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