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Leslie V. Ryan was born in Japan, and raised in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies and Japanese Language. Her love for books began when she first started reading at the age of four, and that passion for reading books has now turned into a newfound love of writing them. With her first published work of “I am Flippish!”, Leslie taps into her personal life to help children explore diversity, family and where we really came from – celebrating just how wonderful it is to be different!
Story Behind "I am Flippish!"
Leslie Ryan is Filipino-American and her husband is Irish-American. They have 2 children, Sean (10) and Linley (7). Ever since their children were born, people said they looked more Asian than Irish. They thought it was pretty funny at first. But in 2007, when Sean was in Kindergarten, a mom in his class told her son that he didn’t look Irish and he couldn’t be Irish. Even though it was meant as a joke, it was a little hurtful and no longer funny. Leslie’s son then asked her if he really is Irish. She said yes, half Filipino and half Irish, or Flippish for short. After this incident, Leslie started looking for children’s picture books about multi-cultural families. To her disappointment and frustration that there were no books explaining to kids about where their ancestors came from, she decided to write a story herself.