An invitation to the “World Games” leads to international friendships for the porky little skating star introduced in Dream Big, Little Pig (2011).
Though Paris is far away from New Pork City, little Poppy quickly loses her initial anxiety at being among strangers from many countries. As her BF Emma puts it: “everyone smiles in the same language!” In no time, she’s hooked up with a snowboarder from China (“Ni hao”) and found common ground with an Italian skier in the music of Poochini (“Buona fortuna!”). She discusses costume design with a fellow skater from Japan (“Ganbatte kudasai”), then gives a nervous Aussie speed skater a pep talk (parting with a “hooroo!”). Promoting the proper air of bright bonhomie, Bowers dresses a diverse cast of happy-looking, big-headed animals in sportswear or casual clothing and leaves the airy backgrounds either blank or lightly traced with arabesques and swooping curves. Finally, having “skated from her heart” in the competition, Poppy joins her proud parents for a week of French food (laying off the charcuterie, one hopes), sightseeing and sending postcards.
It's another sweet confection, with nary a mention of winning or losing—for those who like their international encounters on the bland side. (Picture book. 6-8)