Q. What was it like for you as a young child to begin a new life in a new country? A.My family and I fled to America at the fall of the Republic of Vietnam, in 1975. When we arrived, it was a big relief. A church sponsored my family and helped us start a new life. We didn’t have much, but were very grateful and happy. School was difficult, trying to adjust and learn a new language. My parents were busy working several jobs; so school, house chores, and caring for my siblings were partly my responsibility. Overall, I remember my childhood being a lot of fun. I loved the school festivities of Halloween, Valentines, spring and winter holidays, and playing with snow for the first time.
Q.Do you think your long journey from Vietnam to America when you were five had anything to do with your creative abilities? A. Actually, it was how I played and used my time as a child that nourished my creativity. I didn’t grow up with many toys or books, so I created my own. I made dolls, their clothing and playthings by cutting out my drawings from paper. I drew board games and pieces, and made little book dummies. I assembled bracelets and hats from paper, and drew posters for my wall. I loved working with paper, and continue to do so. My children and I are always drawing, and crafting with paper. It’s a lot of fun.
Q.I loved "Raindrops: A Shower of Colors" and can't wait to share it with my 2 year old niece. Where did the idea come from? A. Thank you. It warms my heart to be able to share my book with children everywhere. When my girls were in preschool, I decided to design a hands-on book to teach them about colors. I didn’t want a book that simply tells how primary colors (red, blue and yellow) blend to make secondary ones (purple, orange and green); I wanted to demonstrate this visually, as a novelty book. Animals, insects and sea creatures are very colorful and make fun characters for a story about colors.
Q.I think the concept of blending colors with the plastic raindrops is very creative. How did you come up with the concept? A. I love art, and acquired a BFA in Communications Art and Design. I enjoy working and experimenting with different media, and acetate is one of my favorites. There is so much you can do with acetate, and I knew that layering them would be a great way to show how colors blend.
Q.Do you have any new books coming out soon or other projects you are working on? A. There are several novelty, concept projects that I am working on, and am very excited about. I like creating books that are fun and educational. I truly enjoy developing innovative ideas for children that visually demonstrate how concepts work. Hands-on discovery is very exciting for the growing minds.