‘이 시대 최고의 아동청소년문학 작가’로 꼽히는 이금이는 1962년 충북 청원에서 출생해 서울에서 성장했다. 1984년 ‘새벗문학상’에 동화가 당선되어 문단에 데뷔한 이후, 30여 년 동안 진한 휴머니티가 담긴 감동적인 작품을 꾸준히 발표해 왔다. 제39회 ‘소천아동문학상’을 받았으며, 초등학교와 중학교 <국어> 교과서에 「배우가 된 수아」, 「구아의 눈」, 「너도 하늘말나리야」, 「주머니 속의 고래」 등 여러 편의 작품이 실리기도 한 그는 아이로부터 어른에 이르기까지 나이를 초월하여 폭넓은 독자층을 가지고 있는 보기 드문 작가이다. 대표적인 작품으로 동화 『너도 하늘말나리야』, 『밤티 마을 큰돌이네 집』, 『밤티 마을 영미네 집』, 『밤티 마을 봄이네 집』, 『나와 조금 다를 뿐이야』, 『영구랑 흑구랑』, 『땅은 엄마야』, 『금단현상』, 『첫사랑』, 『싫어요 몰라요 그냥요』, 『사료를 드립니다』 등이 있고, 청소년소설 『유진과 유진』, 『주머니 속의 고래』, 『벼랑』, 『우리 반 인터넷 소설가』, 『소희의 방』과 동화창작이론서 『동화창작교실』이 있다.
Lee GeumYi, acclaimed as "the most sincere story teller of our generation", was born in January 4th, 1962, in a small town of Chungbuk, South Korea. Thanks to her grandmother who was illiterate but fond of good stories, Lee grew up listening to orally transmitted stories. The small town was full of woods and wild animals that triggered her imagination.
It was when she read <Heidi>, a Swiss fiction written by Johanna Spyri, she first dreamed of becoming a writer. Then she started to read the books from her father's library. Her father, a literary enthusiast, would buy her some juvenile literature magazines, but not periodically. This eventually helped her to be an even better writer, because it pushed her to make up stories between the serials.
Later she realized what she really wanted to write was a juvenile literature, because whenever she intended to write novels they came out to be about children. She wanted to write books about children and for children. After discovering her true vocation, she studied with much more delight and enthusiasm.
She started her carrier as an author in 1984, when her short story <Youngu and Heukku> received Sabut(New Buddy) Literary Award. From then she has published about 40 books.
<Keundori of Bamtee Town> was listed as one of the “Ten Representative Juvenile Literatures of Korea” in 1994. Publication of <You Too Are a Wheel Lily> in 1999 enlarged the range of her readers; both adults and children were compelled by the book. <Yujin and Yujin> was one of the first Korean teen novels dealing with the contemporary adolescents’ lives in 2004. <Yujin and Yujin> has been translated and published in France and China; <Whales in Your Pocket> is also translated in Chinese. <You Too Are a Wheel Lily>, <A Little Different from Me>, “Gua’s eye”, <Whales in Your Pocket> are published in the primary and secondary school text books, and many are listed on the schools' and libraries' literary recommendations.
Her children have been and still are the greatest inspiration. The themes of her books have been changed over time as her children grew. Before she became a mother, she recalled her childhood as a source of idea, but after having children she could investigate their thoughts and behaviors. Now that her children have grown up, she is learning to draw in order to make picture books for her future-grandchildren.
Her intention in writing is to understand and communicate with the readers. She hopes to remain as a "young" adult--- as she has been so far.