Pip: The Story of Olive

Kim Kane

Pip: The Story of Olive
Allen & Unwin
1 April 2008

Pip: The Story of Olive

Kim Kane

What happened to Olive wasn’t because she’d only ever felt half. It didn’t even happen because her house was full of crap-knacks and clutter, because she called her mother Mog, or because she knew of a man named WilliamPetersMustardSeed. It wasn’t because she had a peculiar relationship with the number two, or because her skin was the exact colour of chicken loaf. Although there was never any doubt that it was a shake-it-all-about hokey-pokey of all these things, what happened to Olive couldn’t have happened without Mathilda Graham.

Olive Garnaut likes things in pairs. But even with her own perfectly symmetrical family, birthday and bedroom, Olive has only ever felt half. How extraordinary, then, that one day Pip should appear.

Kim Kane absolutely nails the treacherous world of junior high school.‘ Alison Lester

A gem of a novel! Poignant, funny and blissfully unsentimental.Kane understands what it’s like to be standing on the outside looking in.’ Clare Renner, Professional Writing and Editing, RMIT


With a voice fresh as a sea breeze and warm as a summer’s day, Pip is delightfully funny, yet poignant. Olive spends many hours wandering alone through her ramshackle and chaotic home by the sea. She’s secretly longing for some order, a ‘family full of children and noise’ while daydreaming about meeting her father, WilliamPetersMustardSeed. It’s not that Olive is unhappy with her lot; it’s just that she feels there’s something missing – a gap to be filled. She has Mog (who is unlike other mums) and her best and only school friend, Mathilda. But when Olive is dumped by Matilda for the popular Amelia, life becomes hard. Just when it all seems hopeless, hope comes in the guise of the remarkable Pip – Olive’s identical twin and saviour when it comes to successfully sailing the treacherous high seas of friendship and Year 7. Egged on by the incorrigible Pip, they embark on an adventure of discovery. I loved this wonderfully warm, touching story and was completely captivated by Olive (and Pip).

Highly recommended for girls 11+.

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