Using picture books to talk about race 



Anne Sibley O’Brien
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE SIBLEY O’BRIEN

SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Island Readers & Writers (IRW) will host a virtual discussion on using picture books to talk about race with children in majority-white communities from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25.  

Author-illustrator Anne Sibley O’Brien and researcher Dr. Andrea Breau will share information on when and how children begin to notice and make sense of social difference (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, class) and when and how to have productive conversations with children about race. They will share recommended books and examples of scripts to use with children at different ages, as well as resources for continued exploration, and respond to questions from participants about particular challenges. 

O’Brien has published 38 children’s books, which she wrote and/or illustrated, and has been involved in antiracism and diversity education for more than 40 years. She is the co-founder of two Maine-based projects featuring diverse children’s literature: I’m Your Neighbor Books and the Diverse BookFinder. 

Breau received her bachelor’s degree from Colby College and her doctorate in women’s, gender and sexuality studies from Ohio State University. Born and raised in Lewiston, Breau’s deep Maine roots and academic interests eventually led her back to her hometownHer research focuses on the racial and place-based identities of teenagers in Lewiston. She has worked for Lewiston public schools and the Lewiston Public Library, and most recently for the Diverse BookFinder at Bates College. 

Dr. Andrea Breau
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREA BREAU

For more information and to preregister for this event, visit www.islandreadersandwriters.org. 

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