Always Dream….What an incredible lesson to teach our children and what a fabulous way to approach life! The concept of always dreaming is at the core of figure-skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s first children’s book, “Dream Big Little Pig!”  When I was approached by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky with the opportunity to review “Dream Big Little Pig,” I was thrilled! Growing up, Kristi Yamaguchi was one of my idols. I fell in love with figure skating and cheered her on in the Olympics and other skating competitions. When I learned that she had authored her first book for children, I was more than thrilled to read and review it. (And as far as I’m concerned, her book  is as impressive as her gold medal.)

Poppy the pig has BIG dreams. She dances her heart out,  stands on the stage and sings with joy, and bravely walks the runway as a model…and each time is told she can’t or won’t succeed. The people in charge of the ballet tell her that she is not a dancer. The judges in the singing competition tell Poppy that singing is not for her. The talent scouts at the modeling agency send Poppy away as well. With the love and support of her friends and family, young Poppy the pig does not give up. She remembers the advice and kind words from those who love her and starts to pursue another dream…figure skating. Through practice, hard work, and determination, Poppy achieves her dream, and serves as an inspiration to others.

Kristi is able to convey a deep and thoughtful message to children in words they can understand, while also managing to write with colorful adjectives and wonderfully descriptive prose. (In the classroom, I would use this book as an introduction to word choice!! (Posh, glitzy, swooping, spectacular, pizzazz…the list goes on and on…fun words for kids to be introduced to!) Illustrator Tim Bowers has drawn such inviting characters. Poppy is enchantingly adorable and his work is commendable.

As a mother, I embraced this story for the message it conveys. I long for my children to chase their dreams, and to never let adversity or the comments of a few people deter them from accomplishing their goals. I loved little Poppy, and her gusto for life…the way she so bravely attempted new things, even after setbacks. Poppy didn’t give up…she didn’t quit…she never stopped believing in herself. As parents, isn’t that what we want for our children? Don’t we want to foster persistence and perseverance? I want my child to know and believe that they can succeed, and that what truly matters is that they keep trying, and always dream! Poppy the pig is the perfect role model for our children. Through her story, children see that success is not always immediate and that people may try to cut us down….BUT…they also see that they CAN keep going…they can pick themselves up and TRY again! I also loved the emphasis Yamaguchi placed on the support system Poppy had in place. Each time she set out to try something new, her friends and family were behind her 100 %, no matter how well she did…They weren’t concerned with the result..they simply wanted her to try…to follow her dreams..Their love and support was not conditional…They were there for her, cheering her on no matter what. Whether Poppy came in first place or last place, she had the love and support of the people that loved her…and that kept her going. I want my children to know they can count on their family…through every attempt. Poppy’s story really is an inspiration…My hope is that you will purchase this book for your child, and teach them to DREAM BIG!!

You can purchase this book HERE! This wonderful story can become a part of your home or classroom library for just $16.95. I hope you will invest in this story of never giving up on your dreams. Keep dreaming and happy reading!