I had a memorable experience during my FLTA years at the University of Pennsylvania. It was my first time reading to kids, reading “Can You Carry Me?” which I wrote for the Advanced Writing for Children class. The preschoolers couldn’t stop laughing and I was wondering why because it wasn’t funny to me as an adult. The kids explained they liked it when the main character got rejected; they loved to hear “Maybe not!” “No!” and “No way!” Little humans are amazing.
Now I’m back in Thailand, my co-author John Viano, and our artists LittleBlackOz Studio made this experience reality. We just published “Can you carry me?” and it is sold all over Thailand right now. It’s the first children’s book in Thailand that features an African-American girl as a main character. I feel like I did bridge the gap between Thailand and the US and helped raise awareness on cultural diversity.
Peeriya Pongsarigun – Fulbright to USA 2018-19