Debbie Ridpath Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people. She is represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown Ltd.

Debbie's blog post: Why Picture Books Are Important

Coming Apr.29, 2014: NAKED!

and


Out in bookstores now:

I'M BORED. Written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. A New York Times Notable Children's Book and Junior Library Guild selection. Teacher's Guide (K-5) now available.

 

 

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Creative Commons Licence

Writer comics by Debbie Ridpath Ohi are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

More details: Comic Use Policy

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Sunday
Dec022012

A Thank You To Justin Chanda and Simon & Schuster Children's

NYTimesNotableKids

Today's print issue of The New York Times Sunday Book Review has their list of Notable Children's Books Of 2012. There are six YA books, eleven middle grade books, and eight picture books….and I'M BORED (written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by me) is included!! I'm about to head out this morning to hunt down a copy of The New York Times  in Toronto but first, I wanted to write this post:

It's been a truly extraordinary year for me.

Not only did my very first children's book come out in bookstores, but Simon & Schuster also gave me contracts for two more books - one of which I'm also writing. I am grateful to so many people who have encouraged and supported me in the past as well as during the I'M BORED creation process, but today I'd like to mention one person in particular: Justin Chanda.

JustinChanda bySonyaSones credit

In 2010, Justin saw my portfolio in the SCBWI Summer Conference Showcase and decided that I'd be the perfect illustrator for Michael Ian Black's newest picture book. Later on (after it was too late for him to change his mind), I asked Justin more about why he picked me; you can read some of his answers in the I'M BORED Scrapbook.

S SKids

Justin had never heard of me when he first approached me at the conference. He didn't know anything about my "author platform" or the fact that I had been focusing on writing up to that point ... it was all about my art. From Justin, when I asked him:

There was a sense of whimsy and definite style. I loved the assorted cast of characters, but I loved your point of view just as much. I remember there was an illustration of a robot who had lost his arm and one of a little girl looking at these tiny monsters. In both instances I got a clear sense of character, a sense of humor, and a sense of style.

Over the years, I've had a wide range of rejection letters from a wide range of children's book publishers…from the bare form letter for my early efforts up to much more personalized "we like her writing but the story's not quite there" or "we love her mss but it doesn't quite fit our list right now". I've been appreciative of all feedback and I can tell by the quality of the rejections that I've been getting much closer…. but they're still rejections. :-)

Justin Chanda was the first children's book editor to believe in me enough to offer me a contract, and I will always be grateful to him and Simon & Schuster Children's. I'M BORED has opened up other opportunities at S&S, with two more picture book contracts. Justin says he'd also be happy to take a look at anything else I've done, including my middle grade and young adult writing (YAY), so I've  been working hard on some new projects.

2011 01 31 SS Sign

THANK YOU, JUSTIN AND S&S CHILDREN'S, FOR TAKING A CHANCE ON ME.

I'm going to be writing a series of short gratitude posts over the coming months, thanking some of the people in my life as well as those involved with the creation of I'M BORED, but for now... I'm going out to get a print version of The New York Times Sunday Review so I can get ink on my fingers and spend way too much time marvelling at the extraordinary fact that my name is included.

Photo below was taken by my husband Jeff, when The New York Times reviewed I'M BORED back in September. Below the photo, I've posted the comic I created after reading the review. 

DebbieNYTimes

NYTimesBoredComic 600

Reader Comments (3)

This is beyond wonderful, Debbie! I am so excited for you, and can honestly say that I'M BORED is on of the absolute best picture books I've read in a very long time. I, too, am grateful to Justin for seeing what he saw in your art, and therefore allowing the rest of us to benefit from it. Congratulations, Debbie!

December 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Stilborn

Congratulations! That must be completely thrilling.

December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle

Congratulations! What an amazing year you've had. To many more!

December 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMridu Khullar Relph

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