BY Grace Felleisen, 7, and her mom Lorraine Lee
Poppy was a pot-bellied pig who had many dreams. She wanted to be a star. One dream was to be a ballerina. But her talents were not suited to be a ballerina in Swan Lake when she tried out for a part in the famous ballet. She dreamed of being a soulful singer. But her talents were not suited to Singing Stars when she tried out for the chorus competition. Poppy also dreamed of being a supermodel. But her talents were not suited for a supermodel’s glitzy, glittery, splashy world.
Each time Poppy followed her dream, her mother encouraged her, “Follow your dreams!,” her grandparents cheered, “You go, girl!” and her best friend Emma said, “Dream big, pig!”
One day, Poppy spotted an ice rink. As she saw skaters skimming, spinning, swooping and swizzling on the ice, Poppy’s heart danced with joy. Poppy went up to the teacher and said, “I’d like to be a spectacular ice-skating star.” That first day, Poppy learned to ice skate little by little and falling now and then. By the time the ice rink closed for the night, Poppy was skating more than she was falling. It felt like magic to Poppy. She practiced and practiced, and eventually became a star on ice!
The whimsical illustrations depict beautifully the hopes, joys and wonder of being young and fearless. The nurturing messages: follow your dreams, dream big, never give up, are repeated and reinforced as Poppy tried new things but learned her talents laid elsewhere. When the young pig finally discovered her passion for ice skating, it is a magical dream come true.
The book, by former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, is lovely to read with a youngster. It is a charming reminder of the importance of following dreams and to be yourself. When I asked 7-year-old Grace how she liked the book, she said she liked it and would share it with her friends.