With the Summer Olympics in Rio fresh on their minds, students from Hemlock, Homestead, and Locust recently learned that the special author they were scheduled to hear was none other than Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi, who won the gold in figure skating in 1992 (an amazing feat in and of itself), has been writing children’s books with a character education message for beginning and young readers. Her first two books were part of a series featuring “Poppy” the pig: 2011’s Dream Big, Little Pig and 2012’s It’s a Big World, Little Pig. Launching
her new book, Cara’s Kindness, the California native read her story to the kindergarten and first graders of Hemlock and Locust at Hemlock, and to the kindergarten and first graders at Homestead before appearing at the local Barnes & Noble for a reading and book signing.
Garden City’s youngest students listened attentively to hear about the adventures of the ice-skating, Cara the cat and her kind and sharing way of making (and keeping) friends. After the reading, students had the opportunity to ask questions of the Olympian-turned-author: “How old were you when you started skating? (6 years old); Why do you like skating so much? (The speed, athleticism and feeling of freedom); How old were you when you won the goldmedal? (20 years old); What inspired you to become a writer? (My children—Yamaguchi has two daughters, 10 and 13 years old); Why is Cara a cat? (Children love animals and the illustrations by John Lee are beautiful).
Garden City Public Schools