"My career creating multicultural children’s books is a direct response to my childhood in Korea, which kindled in me a fascination for the beauty and glory of human differences, and a passion for the truth that, across our differences, we are all one human family. We belong to each other. That’s what I’m trying to get to, through all my work."

Anne Sibley O’Brien is a children’s book creator who has illustrated thirty-six picture books, including Jamaica’s Find and six other Jamaica titles by Juanita Havill and Talking Walls and four other titles by Margy Burns Knight. She is the author of fourteen of those books, including the graphic novel retelling of The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea. The most recent titles she wrote and illustrated are I'm New Here (2015) and Someone New (2018), companion titles about three immigrant children and their new classmates, both of which received starred reviews from Kirkus and were named as NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. She has also written three recent picture books which she did not illustrate, Abracadabra, It's Spring! and Hocus Pocus, It's Fall! (2016), both illustrated by Susan Gal, and Circle Round (2021), illustrated by Hanna Cha.

Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Sun, was published in 2017 by Arthur Levine Books/Scholastic, which was a Junior Library Guild Fall 2017 Selection, and chosen as a NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2018. A political escape thriller set in North Korea, it is the first fictional representation for young readers of the contemporary DPRK.   

In addition to many book awards, she has received, with author Margy Burns Knight, the 1997 National Education Association Author-Illustrator Human & Civil Rights Award for their body of work. 

In 2014, she received the Katahdin Award for lifetime achievement from the Maine Library Association.

In addition to creating books, she has been involved for many years in diversity education and leadership training. She is a cofounder of two projects featuring diverse books: I’m Your Neighbor Books, and the Diverse BookFinder.

O’Brien’s passion for multiracial, multicultural, and global subjects grew out of her experience of being raised bilingual and bicultural in South Korea as the daughter of medical workers. She attended Mount Holyoke College where she majored in Studio Art, and spent her junior year abroad at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea.

For twenty-three years, she wrote the column, "The Illustrator's Perspective," for the Bulletin of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

She is also a performer, and has created a one-woman show entitled “White Lies: one woman’s quest for release from the enchantment of whiteness."

She lives with her husband on an island in Maine, and is the mother of two grown children and a grandmother of two.

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