Anu Sehgal answers 7 questions

Anu Sehgal is the Founder of The Culture Tree.

1. Why are you an educator?

I believe that a teacher’s job is one of the noblest jobs. I teach children (ages 2-12 yrs) about South Asian cultures and also Hindi language. I feel by teaching I have the power to foster empathy, respect and understanding towards all different cultures and further inclusivity, while still helping address questions about Identity with heritage cultures. I also LOVE teaching children, their curiosity, innocence and love to learn is extremely rewarding.

2. What are you working on now?

I run my company The Culture Tree, which promotes cultural literacy about South Asia through language and educational & cultural programs. Besides running my organization, I am also working on launching my third book “I am a Lotus” in Spring 2024. I have also created a puppet show The Climate Warriors, which will launch on Earth Day 2024. I am also working on the next children’s book idea.

3. What were your favorite children’s books to read when you were a child?

I grew up in India, where our go books were the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys series.

4. What contemporary children’s books do you recommend? 

I highly recommend the following three:
The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani
Born A Crime (Young Adult), by Trevor Noah
Fauja Singh Keeps Going, by Simranjeet Singh

5. Why is diverse representation in children’s literature important?

Studies have shown that children develop a sense of self as early as 2 years of age. To develop a positive sense of self, children need to see their families, cultures, rituals represented and respected all around them. Books are critical to educating children in general, and specifically to children from the minority groups see characters who look like them, who come from similar backgrounds and share their experiences, it can promote a sense of belonging and validation. They also foster empathy and understanding for children in general.

6. How can educators use children’s literature to teach empathy, kindness, and tolerance?

Select high-quality books that contain rich language and beautiful art. Read these books aloud and invite children to talk about what they see and how they feel about the characters. The ability to have a discussion in a safe environment about a book can do wonders to help children understand their feelings and the feelings of others.

7. Where may we find you online?


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