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DREAM BIG LITTLE PIG! by Kristi Yamaguchi


by Kristi Yamaguchi & illustrated by Tim Bowers

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4022-5275-4
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

For the youngest of listeners, the themes found in The Little Engine that Could continue to inspire. Former U.S. Olympic figure-skater Yamaguchi has penned a new version, complete with American Idol flash and glamour. Poppy the little pig, fully done up in all tutus, bare shoulders and high heels, reaches for stardom in talent-search competitions for ballet, singing and even modeling. The illustrations capture the disdain of the judges and competitors, especially the tall and slinky feline model’s. The “people in charge” (all depicted as animals in Bowers’ humorous, workmanlike illustrations) keep telling Poppy, “This is not for you.” With each stumble, her glittering smile turns south. But every star needs adoring fans, who turn out in spades for this fame-driven pig. The encouragement of mother, grandparents and friend is not forgotten as Poppy ends up on an ice-skating rink in (groan-inducing) New Pork City. The white space on many of the pages may foretell the ice rink to come, with thought bubbles transforming into successful swirls on ice. Wearing sensible clothing and with the support of a friend, Poppy’s determination takes hold, and that makes all the difference. A sincere thank you from Yamaguchi to her family and fans, it’s lacking in both captivating plotting and illustration. As celebrity books go, though, it's a cut above many, and the prose styling is refreshingly restrained. (Picture book. 4-8)