Anne Sibley O’Brien knew she wanted to be an artist by the time she was seven. Born in Chicago, she moved with her family to New Hampshire on her first birthday. Six years later, her parents were hired as medical missionaries and assigned to serve in South Korea. She was raised bilingual and bicultural, living in the cities of Seoul and Taegu, and on the island of Kojedo. Returning to the US at age 19, Annie attended Mount Holyoke College where she majored in studio art. She spent her junior year back in Korea at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, where she studied Korean arts, including oriental painting. During college, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in children’s book illustration. She has illustrated more than twenty-five picture books, including the Jamaica books by Juanita Havill (Houghton Mifflin) and the Talking Walls books by Margy Burns Knight (Tilsbury). Anne lives on Peaks Island in Maine.
Read Aloud Tips
Introduce the book by having a discussion about immigration. Brainstorm some of the struggles immigrant children may face.
Have students make connections from the book information to their own life. Then, make connections to social justice.
Take time to discuss the ideas of immigration and how this change is for individuals and families.
“Whether readers are new themselves or meeting those who are new, there are lessons to be learned here about perseverance, bravery, and inclusion, and O’Brien’s lessons are heartfelt and poetically rendered.” – Kirkus Reviews