218: Mirrors and Windows in Children’s Literature – Interview with Anne Sibley O’Brien
Hey there word nerds!
Today I have the pleasure of hosting Anne Sibley O’Brien on the show!
Anne is a children’s book writer and illustrator who has created thirty-seven books, some of which she has written, some she’s illustrated, and some for which she has done both. Her focus is on diverse children and cultures and this passion comes from being raised in South Korea as the daughter of medical missionaries. The most recent books she has written and illustrated are the companion picture books, I’m New Here and the just-published Someone New. These books look at the story of three just-arrived immigrant children both from the perspective of those children themselves and from the point of view of their new classmates.
As the daughter of immigrants who has spent her life straddling two very different cultures, these books had a powerful impact on me. And I’m not the only one. Both titles have received starred reviews from Kirkus, and I’m New Here has gotten numerous accolades including being named a Kirkus Review’s Best Book of the Year.
In addition to all her amazing work as a writer (as if that weren’t already enough) Anne is also the cofounder of I’m Your Neighbor Books, an online searchable database of children’s literature that shines a spotlight on the contemporary immigrant experience.
Listen in to hear me and Anne chat about these amazing picture books, the modern immigrant experience, and how to open up the world to children (and everyone else) through books.
In this episode Anne and I discuss:
- Showing the experience of immigrant children from both sides.
- Mirror books, window books, and why we need to read both.
- How to represent a culture that is not your own authentically in your writing.
- Developing empathy in children through diverse books.
- An inside look at I’m Your Neighbor Books, what it is and how to take part.
Plus, Anne’s #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: DIYMFA.com/218