Introduced in last year’s bestselling, award-winning Dream Big, Little Pig!, tenacious little Poppy did just that and proved that pigs can indeed fly … especially on the ice! Her creator, of course, is the legendary skater Kristi Yamaguchi (whose skates and skating dress have found a home in the Smithsonian – click here to check out those Olympian boots, click here to see her dress). Once again, illustrator Tim Bowers imbues Poppy with charming energy to spare – and might that sparkly teal and purple “Dream Big” backpack with the little yellow flower closure be hitting stores sooner than later?
After such an auspicious skating start in Dream, Poppy’s now on her way to Paris to compete in the World Games: “‘Reach for the stars, little pig!’” encourages the official invitation. As talented as Poppy is, she’s a bit nervous about traveling so far from her home in New Pork City (snort, snort), but with the encouragement of her family and friends, Poppy finds herself meeting the world’s best athletes.
“Would they speak the same language? Would she make any new friends?” she wonders. Soon enough, adorable Poppy is exchanging “ni hao” (hello) with Li from China, sharing pasta and gelato with Gianna from Italy, promising “ganbatte kudasai” (good luck) with Kiyomi from Japan, and waving “hooroo!” (goodbye) to Zoe from Australia. By the time Poppy glides onto the ice, she’s filled with “the joy of new friendships and discoveries.”
Not to be too terribly nit-picky, but I confess I did wonder how Poppy managed to have such detailed conversations with her international buddies without a common language – about check-in booths, maps, lucky charms, music, even fashion design. That requires vocabulary far beyond the simple greetings they teach each other … but perhaps I’m overthinking and just need to enjoy the porcine fun. After all, as Poppy learns, in spite of any differences, “‘everyone smiles in the same language!’”
Tidbit: DC area folks – you can go meet Kristi herself in person this afternoon, Saturday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m., at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library! Click here for details.