When Anne Sibley O’Brien’s book I’m New Here was released, the New York Times noted that “Readers are placed squarely into the characters’ point of view,” giving insight into the immigrant child’s experience. In this companion book, readers’ points of view are flipped, and we see the new children from the perspective of the American kids in the classroom. There is sympathy, but also confusion. There is curiosity, but also trepidation. What each child learns, however, is that friendship and understanding close the gaps in language and culture.
While this books offers a window into an important conversation to have with kids, it does not flow well is not very re-readable.
When I was seven years old, my parents moved our family to South Korea where they worked as medical missionaries, and which was our home base for the next twenty-one years. This experience of being raised bicultural and bilingual inspired and formed my world view — of global connections among diverse people — and my life’s work as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. People’s differences are glorious and fascinating, and our commonalities bind us together as one family.
For the last 38 years, I’ve lived and worked on an island in Maine, where my husband and I raised our two children, and which we now love to explore with our 4-year-old grandson. I’ve published 37 books — some I illustrated, some I wrote, and some I wrote and illustrated.