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The East Bay Express, January 24, 2007

I Smell Bacon

Author Oliver Chin explains the Year of the Pig.

By Anneli Rufus

A hot-pink porker named Patricia roams pastures and a big red barn with her curly-tailed parents and Farmer Wu in The Year of the Pig, written by Harvard grad Oliver Chin and illustrated by award-winning animator Jeremiah Alcorn. Its timely release marks the start of what Chinese astrology calls ... well, a Year of the Pig.

Twelve animals comprise the Chinese zodiac, each year in turn allegedly embodying qualities traditionally associated with its creature, and with humans born in that year embodying those qualities too. Plans are afoot at the publishing house that Chin founded, San Francisco-based Immedium, to produce picture books based on each of the beasts. After The Year of the Dog debuted last year, "I met many proud pooch owners: who happily vouched for the loyalty and honesty of their canine pals, reflects Chin, who is hosting a Lunar New Year celebration at the San Pablo Library at 7 p.m. Monday. "Though less numerous, pig lovers are as devoted, and admire their petsí gregarious and sensitive natures."

The Chinese zodiac holds that humans born in pig years are, like their porcine counterparts, serene and sociable. Even so, some forecasters scrying the elements configuring this new year are making dire predictions about international tension and conflagrations. Chin refuses to prognosticate.

About Immedium

Immedium, Inc. inspires a world of imagination, and creates entertaining books that have multi-dimensional appeal. Based in San Francisco, CA, Immedium sits on the Pacific Rim, a vibrant intersection for crossover cultural trends from Asia and America. Embracing an increasingly diverse and "multimedia" world, Immedium publishes titles ranging from eye-catching children's books and contemporary non-fiction to commentaries on art and popular culture. Visit us at www.immedium.com.