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I am Flippish!

39 pages5 minutes


A multicultural children’s book sure to touch the heart of every reader, I am Flippish! openly addresses confusion children of diverse families might have about their ancestry and why they look the way they do.

When one of Sean’s classmates insists that his dad is not, in fact, his dad because their skin is a different color, Sean is sad and confused. His wise teacher, Mr. Hartman, gives the students a homework assignment, instructing the children to go home and ask their parents about their ancestry. As a result, Sean discovers that he is Flippish—Filipino and Irish. Together, the family celebrates their heritage and Sean is able to return to school with confidence about who he is, where he comes from, and why he looks the way he does—which children of all ages can learn from and pride themselves on, too.

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, especially when Sean's name is very Irish. 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. Initially the story was written just for her children, but she felt that she had to share her story to families who have gone through similar situations and also to families who just want to celebrate their heritage and ancestry.

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