Olympic ice skating champion and mom to two, Kristi Yamaguchi is inspiring children to conquer their fears and reach for the stars with her second children’s book It’s A Big World Little Pig. Kristi draws on her own experiences throughout the book from when she was competing in figure skating competitions and has authored a book that provides an easy to read format with fun and colorful illustrations.
The book follows Poppy as she travels to Paris for an international skating competition. Although nervous, Poppy meets her fellow competitors and learns that although each one of them is different on the surface , they are all the same inside.
My girls were enthralled with the story and I was happy to read a book that taught them a valuable message!
We had a chance to chat with Kristi this week about her new book in the following interview.
CM: My daughters really enjoyed our new book It’s A Big World, Little Pig and to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at the sweet message. Were your kids the inspiration for this book? How did you come up with the story?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “My kids were the inspiration to write children’s books, but the story was inspired from some of my own experiences as a young skater. Particularly my first international competition when I was 14 as well as my Olympic experience.”
CM: Are your children avid readers?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “They are avid readers. They both love books and even though they are 6 and 8, they still like to be read to
as well as read themselves.”
CM: What do you do to encourage literacy in your daughters?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “We have always read to them, since they were infants. I think that helped them develop the love of books and reading early on. We still have our ritual of reading before bed every night.
CM: I remember watching you during the Olympic Games, you were such an inspiration! Do you have any plans to attend the games in London?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “No plans to be in London. Maybe in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”
CM: Are your children showing an interest in sports? Do you think they may follow in your footsteps?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “Our older daughter is playing softball and dances, our younger one likes soccer and is starting to figure skate. I’m not sure how serious she will be with the skating, I just hope she enjoys it and learns some of the important life lessons that I learned
as a skater growing up.
CM: Do you have any new projects on the go?
Kristi Yamaguchi: “My foundation, Always Dream Foundation is launching 2 early childhood literacy programs in schools this year. One is a parent engagement program to encourage reading at home as well as in school. The other program will supplement reading curriculum that is used in the classroom integrating technology.
I’m also launching an exclusive line of women’s active wear in the Fall of 2012.
Be sure to follow Kristi on Twitter @KristiYamaguchi.
Photo courtesy of Kristi Yamaguchi for use on Child Mode.