Three Questions For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

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, 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

Tuesday
Jun072016

Advice For Young Writers, Fortune Cookies and THE FIRST LAST DAY: Three Questions with Dorian Cirrone

Congrats to my friend Dorian Cirrone on the launch of THE FIRST LAST DAY (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster) today! Can't wait to read this.


Dorian Cirrone was a dance teacher, a choreographer, an assistant city editor for a daily newspaper, and a college English instructor before becoming a writer. Her middle-grade novel THE FIRST LAST DAY will be her fifth published book. She has also published short stories and poetry.

I so enjoyed meeting Dorian at a SCBWI Florida Regional Conference (a fantastic event, strongly recommended) and had fun collaborating on a food doodle with her as well as talking kidlit/YA. You can see our collab at the bottom of this pic:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun032016

#BookADay: MY LIFE BEFORE ME by Norah McClintock (Orca)

Just finished MY LIFE BEFORE ME by Norah McClintock (Orca Book Publishers, 2015). Inspired by a talk at CANSCAIP by Norah and some of the other SECRETS authors, I bought the whole set of SECRETS books last year. I was intrigued by the premise and also liked the fact that each of these YA books is standalone. I was also inspired to do a bit of fan art (see attached image).

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun022016

#BookADay: I LOVE CAKE by Tammi Sauer and Angie Rozelaar

‪#‎BookADay‬: I LOVE CAKE: Starring Rabbit, Porcupine and Moose by Tammi Kippes Sauer and Angela Rozelaar (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins). Now that I've had the privilege of meeting Tammi in person, I can see her joyous personality throughout this story, and I love Angela's adorable characters. This is such a fun story, and now I am desperately craving CAKE. :-)

More info about I LOVE CAKE on the HarperCollins website.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

Wednesday
Jun012016

How does Penguin Random House senior art director Guiseppe Castellano find illustrators?

Aspiring children's book illustrators should check out Guiseppe Castellano's blog post, "The Search For Illustrators." Lots of useful and interesting info here about how to connect with people in the industry, whether or not you're an illustrator.

Tuesday
May312016

Comic: Writer's Block....?

Monday
May302016

Advice For Young Illustrators, Office Corners and THE STORY CIRCLE: Three Questions with Wendy Martin

Thanks to Wendy Martin for making Inkygirl.com a stop on THE STORY CIRCLE / EL CIRCULO DE CUENTOS blog tour!

A transplanted New Yorker now living in Missouri, Wendy Martin has worked as an illustrator for more than 25 years. She has written and illustrated several picture books for children, including An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child, which was a finalist for the 2009 COVR Visionary Awards. You can find out more about Wendy and her work at her website, her blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

THE STORY CIRCLE is a new picture book written by Diane Gonzales Bertrand and illustrated by Wendy Martin, coming out from Piñata Books (an imprint of Arte Publico Press) on May 30th, 2016.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May292016

Comic: Punctuation breakup

Friday
May272016

#BookADay: BASEBALLOGY by Kevin Sylvester (Annick Press)

BASEBALLOGY and Kevin are responsible for turning me into a baseball fan (especially a Toronto Blue Jays fan). Even if you're not a fan of baseball, you will find these facts fascinating....and who knows? This book might convert you. And if you ARE a fan, you NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

More about the book on the Annick Press website.

You can find out more about Kevin on his website and Twtter.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

Thursday
May262016

Comic: Sometimes it's good to write without a safety net

Thursday
May262016

#BookADay: OH NO, ASTRO! by Matt Roeser and Brad Woodard

#BookADay: OH NO, ASTRO by Matt Roeser and Bradley Woodard (Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2016). Just read this for the first time, laughed out loud. This would make such a great gift for budding young astronomers and scientists. Not only does it have great info but it is SO FUN to read aloud, packed with action and adventure and clever humor.

One of the best first lines ever: "Everyone knows that asteroids are a rather rambunctious group." :-D

Lovelovelove Brad Woodard's retro-looking art style.

This is Matt's first book, and I can't wait to see what he writes next!

More info about OH NO, ASTRO! on the publisher website.

p.s. A great companion middle grade book (or when your young space fan seeks MG): Kevin Sylvester's excellent MiNRs series. The second MiNRs book comes out this fall.

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More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

Thursday
May262016

Comic for Harry Potter fans

Thursday
May262016

#BookADay: THE WILD ROBOT by Peter Brown

Tuesday
May242016

Yay, it's time for Donalyn Miller's annual summer #BookADay Challenge!

YAYYY! Donalyn Miller just announced the 8th Annual #BookADay Challenge on her blog.

Do read Donalyn's inspiring post above about why she started the Challenge, how to involve young readers, the various ways you can approach it. An excerpt:

"It doesn’t matter if you actually read a book every day or not. Dedicate more time to read. Celebrate your right to read what you want. Make reading plans. Share and collect book recommendations. Connect with other readers.The #bookaday challenge is personal, not a competition. Finish that series. Tackle that epic historical your mother gave you for your birthday (last September). Try audiobooks. How would you like to grow as a reader this summer?"

I will be mainly be posting my #BookADay reads on Twitter at @inkyelbows but will link to posts in my #BookADay archives.

Yes, I do read books the rest of the year! But I love the specific summer reading challenge as extra motivation. I've been working a lot of weekends and evenings in recent months, and I think it would be good to get out of that habit and do more reading instead.

Friday
May202016

Comic For Bibliophiles: Coffee Stain Breakup

Friday
May202016

Writers & illus: Resist comparing yourself to others. Instead, appreciate & enjoy your OWN journey.

Wednesday
May182016

Comic: Writer Health Tip (a.k.a. "Why writers should take regular breaks from the keyboard")

Wednesday
May182016

Here's my superpower. What's YOURS? #DTLMySuperpower

So what's YOUR superpower? 

We want to know.

Some dream of invisibility or being able to fly, but each of us already has a real-life superpower that can change the world.

In Laurent Linn’s powerful debut novel, Draw the Line, Adrian Piper Adrian Piper creates a superhero version of himself named Graphite. As Adrian tries to do in his own life with his creations, he gives Graphite the superpower of art to fight brutality. He also draws superhero versions of his best friends, bestowing upon them powers unique to who they really are.

So we’d like you to create a drawing of you as a superhero.

Everyone can make a difference in the world, no matter who we are or what we do. What would your superhero look like, and what would be your unique superpower? It should be what you love to do: for example, it could be art, writing, math, cooking, making people laugh . . . anything! How could you change the world?

Enter the Riveted "Draw The Line: What is YOUR Superpower" Sweepstakes and you may win a copy of the book and an original illustration of Graphite based on the art from the book! 

See DETAILS AND HOW TO ENTER on the Riveted website.

You can see me as The Food Doodler above. :-) My friend Laurent also happens to be my awesome art director at Simon & Schuster, and I'm soooooo excited about his debut novel!

Tuesday
May172016

Comic: Bad Dog

Sunday
May152016

Writers: You only fail if you quit. Don’t think about the odds and don’t give up. - Matt Myklusch

Writers: You only fail if you quit. Don’t think about the odds and don’t give up. - Matt Myklusch.

Saturday
May142016

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. - Ray Bradbury