Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay archives, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Wednesday
Dec052018

Comic: Writer and Santa

 

Wednesday
Dec052018

MY BEAUTIFUL BIRDS by Suzanne Del Rizzo (Pajama Press)

Yay, my copy of MY BEAUTIFUL BIRDS by Suzanne Del Rizzo (Pajama Press) now has a signed bookplate! Thanks, Suzanne. :-) This book about a young boy's refugee experience in the Syrian Civil War has received many accolades, and deservedly so.

From the New York Times: “If you’ve been wondering how to present the refugee crisis to children without losing faith in humanity, take a look at this graceful, even uplifting book.”

Find out more about Suzanne's book on the Pajama Press website.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on Padlet, Flickr and Pinterest).

Tuesday
Dec042018

Advice For Young Writers, Quotes That Inspire, Why Picture Books Are Important, Advice For Young Writers - Three Questions With Author/Educator Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy is a teacher who writes and a writer who teaches. He spends most days at Holland Elementary School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania teaching 6th graders. I first came across Frank via Twitter, when I was impressed by his positive energy and joyous enthusiasm for teaching and children's books. You can find out more about Frank and his work at FrankMurphyBooks.com, Instagram and Twitter.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec042018

HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG by Jen Betton (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers)

Click the above image for a bigger version of my #BookADay collage for HEDGEHOG NEEDS A HUG by Jen Betton (G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers). Jen's debut solo picture book launched earlier this year, and I adore it.

Also check out my interview with Jen Betton earlier this year to find out her SCBWI success story, get a peek into her creative process (with sketches!) and her advice for young writers and illustrators.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on Padlet, Flickr and Pinterest).

 

Monday
Dec032018

COUNTING BIRDS by Heidi E.Y. Stemple and Clover Robin (Seagrass Press)

Above: My #BookADay post about COUNTING BIRDS: The Idea That Helped Save Our Feathered Friends, written by Heidi E.Y. Stemple and illustrated by Clover Robin (Seagrass Press, 2018). I was inspired to add some fan art!

**BOOK GIVEAWAY!** The publisher is giving away a copy of this book! Just retweet my post; a randomly picked winner will receive the book from the publisher (open worldwide).

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on Padlet, Flickr and Pinterest).

Sunday
Dec022018

ENGINERDS by Jarrett Lerner (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster)

Click on the above image for a bigger version.

If you're looking for a gift for a budding young scientist or engineer, I highly recommend Jarrett Lerner's debut middle grade, ENGINERDS (Aladdine/Simon & Schuster, 2017). The first in a series, ENGINERDS is a such fun read. With short chapters and lots of mystery-solving adventure, this action-packed story is sure to engage young readers. Geared toward 8-12-year-olds.

More about Enginerds on the Simon & Schuster site. Next in the series, REVENGE OF THE ENGINERDS, launches on February 19, 2019!

Also see Jarrett's excellent advice for young writers in a post on Inkygirl.com earlier this year.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on Padlet, Flickr and Pinterest).

Sunday
Dec022018

WEAVE A CIRCLE ROUND by Kari Maaren (Tor, 2017)

Click on the image above to see a bigger version of my#BookADay collage review of Kari Maaren's WEAVE A CIRCLE ROUND. For more info about Kari and her books, visit KariMaaren.com.

Also see Kari's wonderful advice for young writers in an interview on Inkygirl.com earlier this year and listen to some of her music in another Inkygirl post.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on PadletFlickr and Pinterest).

Saturday
Dec012018

HEARTS UNBROKEN by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, 2018)

Catching up with some of my favourite #BookAday reads over the past few months, starting with HEARTS UNBROKEN by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick, Oct. 2018). Side note: if you're not already, you need to follow Cynthia's wonderful blog, Cynsations.

You can find out more about HEARTS UNBROKEN here.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's #BookADay Challenge - My #BookADay Archives (also see my visual #BookADay archive on PadletFlickr and Pinterest).

Thursday
Nov222018

Comic: Keiko gives thanks

Keiko is a young Japanese-Canadian girl who wants to read ALL THE BOOKS. One of my goals for 2019: make more Keiko comics! I had originally only planned to do a few Keiko comics, but she won't get out of my head. As with most insistent characters, I find the best way to make her stop bugging me is to give her space in a story.

Friday
Nov092018

Comic: NaNoWriMo Emergency

Thursday
Nov082018

Gave up on NaNoWriMo? Try a gentler, year-round writing challenge

While NaNoWriMo is a wonderful motivating challenge for writers who are able to devote a big chunk of time during November to writing, some of us find it nearly impossible to keep up throughout the month. In my case, it's usually because I'm away for a week at a board gaming convention (and therefore need to devote more time to book work during the weeks I am at home). I have nevertheless given it a shot in past years, only to have to drop out, discouraged and frustrated, partway through.

I found out that others were in similar situations, which is why I started the Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge, which can be for writing or editing. Feedback has prompted me to add more types of goal badges for flexibility, from 100-1000 words a day to 15-60 minutes a day.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov072018

My favourite sharpeners for pencils and crayons (also a plus for CW Pencil Enterprise)

 

If you're an office supplies fan and find yourself in Manhattan, you need to go visit CW Pencils at 15 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002. Note that the shop has a new location!

Here are links to some of the sharpeners I've been using.

Mobius & Ruppert Brass Round Double-Hole Sharpener - US $8.00 at CW Pencil Enterprise.

KUM Wood Cutter Pencil Sharpener - US $3.00 at CW Pencil Enterprise. This is the one I take with me on the road since it's super-portable and (in case I lose it) inexpensive compared to my other sharpeners. Shavings need to be collected, though.

KUM Automatic Long Point - US $7.75 at CW Pencil Enterprise. This is my current favourite sharpener for pencils when I'm looking for a long, super-sharp tip.

4-in-1 KUM Metallic Sharpener - US $5.00 at CW Pencil Enterprise.

Sargent Art 36-1022 - CDN $2.29 on Amazon.ca. This is my favourite for sharpening crayons because so far, it's the only crayon sharpener I've found that contains crayon shavings. A bit big for travel but is inexpensive enough that I could possibly order it ahead of time, to be delivered to a school etc. if I was going to do a craft activity with students.

Thursday
Nov012018

To those starting NaNoWriMo today: Good luck! I hope you find ALL THE WORDS

Also see my friend Errol Elumir's daily Nanotoons!

National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) begins today! To educators: there's also a Nanowrimo Young Writers' Program.

If you love the spirit behind NaNoWriMo but want a gentler year-round writing (and editing) challenge with flexibility, feel free to try the Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge. There's also an Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge Facebook Page where I'll be posting motivational comics and tips.

Thursday
Nov012018

Comic: Life With A Scrabble Addict

Monday
Oct222018

How Mira Campbell and Shelly Narayan Created a Book Tasting Café at F.H. Miller Jr

Image courtesy Mira Campbell.

Earlier this year, I was so impressed to see Mira Campbell's posts about a Book Tasting Café that she and fellow educator Shelly Narayan created for students at F.H. Miller Jr. PS in Toronto.

I asked Mira if she would share some info about what went into this project -- thanks to Mira for answering some questions for me!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct102018

Just write. Many writers have a vague hope that elves will come in the night and finish any stories for you. They won’t. - Neil Gaiman

Just write. Many writers have a vague hope that elves will come in the night and finish any stories for you. They won’t. - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday
Oct032018

Interview with book creator couple Sarah McGuire (THE FLIGHT OF SWANS, Oct.1st) and Fred Koehler (GARBAGE ISLAND, Oct.9th)

Sarah McGuire and Fred Koehler were once both awkward teenagers who mostly grew out of it. Each draws on their unfortunate adolescence to write stories for young readers. They met at a writers conference and decided to get married. In common they share: love of travel and adventure, dogs over cats, and sci-fi movies. They most often disagree about Oxford commas, whether or not Florida has hills, and who gets the fuzzy blanket. You can find out more about Sarah at her website and Twitter, and more about Fred at his website and Twitter.

Sarah and Fred are not only both children's book creators with middle grade books coming out this month, but they're a married couple (they got married last year on St. Patrick's Day)! Here's some info about their new books, and the pros and cons of being book creator couple.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep292018

Free, print-ready Masquerade Mask template for Oct.29 Canadian Kidlit Masquerade (or classroom activity)

I was thrilled and deeply honoured that SAM & EVA has been nominated for a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award this year in the CCBC Book Awards. After the invite-only event for winners and nominees, some of the Toronto area kidlit/YA authors are throwing an public Unofficial After-Party Canadian Kidlit Masquerade Ball on Oct.29th, 2018 from 7 pm - 2 am at the Lula Lounge not only to celebrate writers, illustrators, editors and publishers who create awesome stories for kids and teens, but also to raise funds for Books With No Bounds. Children's/teen writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, booksellers, teachers and librarians are all welcome!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep092018

Advice For Young Writers: Three Questions for Nancy Tupper Ling and Andrea Offermann (THE YIN-YANG SISTERS & THE DRAGON FRIGHTFUL)

Thanks to Nancy Tupper Ling and Andrea Offermann for answering Three Questions for me today! Their picture book, The Yin-Yang Sisters And The Dragon Frightful, comes out on Sept. 18th from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. Synopsis: "When a fearsome dragon takes over their village bridge, twin sisters Mei and Wei have opposing views of how to fix the problem. Wei wants nothing more than to confront that stinky old dragon head on, but Mei favors a more thoughtful approach... an empowering sibling story about celebrating differences."

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep092018

A canned ampersand in the sand (in honour of Ampersand Day)

Sept. 8th was Ampersand Day, so I celebrated with a canned ampersand in the sand.