Manege Frei Für Olivia - Ian Falconer I treated myself with a used copy of Olivia Saves the Circus, one of the two "real" Olivia books I didn't own yet, via Amazon. The story and the pictures are wonderful. I do love Olivia. In this volume she is supposed to tell her classmates about her holidays and spins a tale which revolves around her single-pawedly substituting all artists and clowns and animal tamers of a huge circus show, because the entire performing staff suffered from an ear inflammation and - certainly - because Olivia already knew how to do these things. I love the half-exasperated, half-speechless look of her teacher and her absolutely-pleased-with-herself stance. ENDEARING! That unafraid piglet should really become my role model.

My infatuation with my new old book made my astonishment even more heartfelt, when I turned the last page and found this - a hand-made card addressed to a previous owner:

Found in a used book

It says "Dear Mira-Mouse, I hope that you will enjoy this new picture book. For your brother I have bought a pair of dungarees. I think that you will like the book. I am looking forward to being able to visit you again, when we have moved. Have lots of fun reading the book. Your aunt Sanne and Matze."

Since I've kept almost all my old picture books - and my childhood correspondence, too, I am wondering: Had Mira read the book at all? Did she read it only once and then forgot about the card? Did Mira like the book? Does Mira like her aunt? Does Mira miss the book and the card now? Has Mira's Daddy sold her book with or without consulting her? Strange this string of thoughts a card addressed to an unknown receiver can evoke. Absolutely strange.