One of my recent picture books, What Will You Be, Sara Mee? by Kate Aver Avraham, is a CCBC Choices 2011 (download here) title, one of "the best children's and young adult books published in 2010" in the opinion of the Cooperative Children's Books Center.
Here's the first character sketch I did of Sara Mee,
This blog looks at issues of race and culture in relation to creating and using children's literature, as seen by a white author-illustrator of multiracial, multicultural books. The illustrations are from my books and sketches. More at my website: AnneSibleyOBrien.com
Scroll down for links to posts grouped by interests: "Changing White Mind: A Travel Guide" "For Educators" "For Children's Book Creators" "On Transracial Adoption"
Anne Sibley O’Brien is a children’s book writer and illustrator who was raised bilingual and bicultural in South Korea.
She has received the National Education Association’s Author-Illustrator Human & Civil Rights Award for the body of her work with Margy Burns Knight (TALKING WALLS and other books); the Africana Award for AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY by Knight and Mark Melnicove; and the Aesop Award and the Asian-Pacific American Award for Literature for THE LEGEND OF HONG KIL DONG: THE ROBIN HOOD OF KOREA, a graphic novel which she wrote and illustrated. She has illustrated WHAT WILL YOU BE, SARA MEE? (Charlesbridge 2010) by Kate Aver Avraham and MOON WATCHERS: SHIRIN'S RAMADAN MIRACLE (Tilbury 2010) by Reza Jalali. Her latest book is A PATH OF STARS (Charlesbridge 2012), a picture book about a Cambodian-American family which she wrote and illustrated under commission from the Maine Humanities Council.
By Kate Aver Avraham, Illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Moon Watchers: Shirin's Ramadan Miracle
By Reza Jalali, illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Goodnight, Kuu-Kuu: My Cozy All-Day Village Safari
By Wamoro Njenga, illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Changing White Mind: A Travel Guide
A central theme of this blog is the exploration of the experience of being white and my attempts to get conscious about the patterns of socialization I've absorbed as a white American, what I call White Mind.
My goal here is not to assign blame; guilt usually provokes defensiveness and denial, not change. On the contrary, I believe that the journey to awareness is a liberating one through which I can reclaim my self and my humanity.
I also don't attempt to address institutional racism here; it's a far broader challenge than personal bias, and many others are mapping out that territory on other blogs and websites. And I believe that the capacity to transform institutions is built of individuals who free themselves to see, and to act to create, new ways of being.
We are all one human family. I want to free myself to connect - deeply, warmly, authentically - with other members of my family. In the words of William Chase, "We are meant to be here together."
These posts are simply notes on my own journey toward that vision. I welcome comments from fellow travelers.