By Rachel Jones STAFF WRITER A tiny penguin and Orca whale play together in Antarctica in a new children’s book by Dusty Cupp, who will be signing copies at Williams Bookstore during next week’s First Thursday festival. Cupp hopes that the book, her first, will teach young readers valuable lessons about friendship. “It’s an exhilarating little story for kids,” Cupp said. Zo and Orca tells the story of Zo , a tiny emperor penguin who ventures too far from home and is rescued by a friendly Orca whale. The two become fast friends. Cupp says the book teaches that “there are friendships all over the world, all different sizes, all different colors,” and helps children learn that “you should never travel alone anywhere.” A para-educator with the Torrance Unified School District, Cupp chose to have her signing in San Pedro because of the book’s aquatic theme and because she and her husband used to work in town. Cupp worked at Bank of San Pedro and her husband, Norb, owned Southwest Instrument Co. on Seventh Street. Cupp began writing Zo and Orca over a year ago. “I went back to school and my English professor encouraged me because he loved my writing,” she explained. “At that time it was just a couple pages, but I got into it and it just developed.” She found her friend Jos Quinones from Torrance to do the colorful illustrations, which she said are an important part of the story. The new author will be signing books and giving away juice and bookmarks at Thursday’s event. “It’s my first book, so I’m hoping it goes over big,” she said. She has already started the second book in what she hopes will be a series of Zo and Orca adventures. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!