BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Dream Big, Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi, illustrated by Tim Bowers

Dream Big Little PigLucky for the Smithsonian to own a piece of legendary Olympic ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi … or at least a pair of her gold medal-winning skates! If you can’t come see them in livetime, you can view them online by clicking here (while learning more about the Asian Pacific American experience throughout the Smithsonian complex, too!).

Today – the 69th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which led to the imprisonment of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II – is also especially apt for a Yamaguchi post … somber as the reason may be.

Yamaguchi’s maternal grandfather – an American of Japanese descent – was a highly decorated soldier in the 100th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II; such patriotism, however, didn’t keep his wife and family from spending the war years in U.S. prison camps. Yamaguchi’s mother was actually born in a Colorado camp; her father spent part of his childhood in an Arizona relocation center. Surely some sort of phenomenal justice that Yamaguchi grew up to be such an all-American superstar!

So what does a sports legend do when she retires from competition? She writes books, of course! Being a mother herself now, Yamaguchi pens titles for the younger reader … clever, adorable, inspiring, funny ones at that, this one brought to the colorful page with humor and charm by illustrator Tim Bowers.

Little Poppy is a “pot-bellied, toddling, waddling pig … who dreamed big!” Even though becoming a “posh ballerina” or a “soulful singer” or even a “splashy supermodel” isn’t quite in her future, she isn’t afraid to keep trying. Her efforts are applauded by her parents with “‘Follow your dreams,'” her grandparents with their “‘You, go, girl!'” and her best friend’s reminder to “‘Dream big, pig!'”

With that kind of support, Poppy won’t give up. And what do you know: she turns out to be quite the ice skater. Being a persistent pig of New Pork City (surely you’re giggling now), she’s good enough to make the cover of the New Pork Times (snorting yet?). After such success, what’s next for our dreamy pig? Here’s a hint: “When pigs fly!”

Readers: Children

Published: 2011


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