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Laura Seitz, Deseret News archive
Kristi Yamaguchi speaks to the media at the Gallivan Center on June 22, 2001. She will be back in Utah this weekend to sign her new picture book, "It's a Big World, Little Pig!"

"IT'S A BIG WORLD, LITTLE PIG!” by Kristi Yamaguchi, illustrated by Tim Bowers, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.95 (ages 4-8)

In the follow-up to Olympic gold medal ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s “Dream Big, Little Pig,” Poppy, who always dreams big, is invited to an ice skating World Games competition in France. Planning to travel so far makes Poppy nervous.

But before leaving her home in "New Pork City,” Poppy’s parents and best friend, Emma, give her the encouragement she needs: "Remember, we’ll be with you, every step of the way.”

Carrying the lucky charm from Emma, Poppy finds myriads of contestants toting an array of backpacks and sporting equipment in World Athlete Village. Bears with skateboards, kangaroos in green sneakers and a lion in a blue sweat suit line up for instructions. Poppy bumps into Li, a panda from China, and together they find the check-in booth.

She eats lunch with Gianna, a tiny white poodle from Italy, and shares a lunch of pasta, gelato and pizza. In the ice-skating rink, she admires the costume of Kiyomi, a Japanese crane, and spreads cheer to Zoe, a kangaroo speed-skater from Australia.

With each friend she exchanges stories and words of encouragement in each of their languages about how dreaming big pays off.

Yamaguchi’s linear story and message of "always dream," the name of her foundation, will not be lost on even the smallest listener. Tim Bowers’ flashy, energized illustrations add light humor to the text where children will wonder what Poppy Pig’s next big dream will be.

if you go ...

What: Kristi Yamaguchi book signing

When: Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, University Crossings Plaza, 330 E. 1300 South Orem

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also ...

When: Friday, March 23, 6 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com