Book review: It's a Big World, Little Pig

Poppy, the little pig who sprung from the imagination of Kristi Yamaguchi and dreamed big in Yamaguchi's first picture book, Dream Big, Little Pig!, is back. This time, in It's a Big World, Little Pig! (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99), the cheerful pig heads to the World Games ice skating championship in Paris.

Of course, even pigs with big dreams get nervous and uncomfortable in new places and with new faces. The text, along with the delightful illustrations by Tim Bowers, follow Poppy as she meets Li, a panda from China, Gianna, a Maltese from Italy, Kiyomi, an ice-skating crane from Japan, and other athletic animals.

It doesn't take much for Poppy to realize each athlete has his or own nerves and challenges to deal with, making Poppy feel less alone. Most importantly, Poppy learns that despite their differences in language, sporting event and more, the competitors from across the globe all smile in the same language.

What I loved about the book: Bowers' illustrations are the highlight of the book, with all the animal characters possessing distinct personalities. Also, I think it's commendable that one hundred percent of Kristi's profits from It's a Big World, Little Pig! will benefit early childhood literacy programs through her Always Dream Foundation.

What I didn't love so much: The story felt a wee bit slight and predictable, but youngsters for whom the book is intended (ages 4 and up) will undoubtedly appreciate the sentiments.

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