How exciting to be welcomed to Barnboksprat as its first English-language blogger! I bring a unique perspective as a writer and mother who is in the process of learning not only the Swedish language but what it means to be Swedish, an experience that now one in five people living in Sweden share.
After only three months of living in Sweden, it is clear to me that Americans, with our high energy and intense emotions, stick out among Swedes like a sore thumb. I can only hope that going forward, my enthusiasm is more charming than annoying and that our readers, whether Swedish-language learners or native speakers, glean something useful from my reviews. Just as in real life, I look forward to creating space where everyone is welcome.
I call myself a serial expat because I moved from the USA to Canada to France and now to Österlen. My days of country hopping may finally be over, but the experience of immigrating will last for years to come. Maintaining personal identity while negotiating a sense of belonging in a new culture is a tricky process for both children and adults. The good news is that books help. Children’s books, especially, provide a window into a country’s widely embraced cultural commonality and heritage. Add to that the simplified language and supporting illustrations, and you have a crash course for new Swedes on the shelves of your local library.
I am a poet, artist, and enthusiastic supporter of expressive arts. I have worked as an elementary art teacher and as a homeschooling mama to my three children (born in 2004, 2007, and 2010). With an academic background in sociology and interest in second language acquisition, I am eager to share how our family is using children’s books to navigate our first steps into this new land of ours.