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

Just launched: 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.

 

 

Before using my comics

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

Admin
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 Writer's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveysWriting & Illustrating a Picture Book For Simon & Schuster BFYR post series and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Will Write For Chocolate).

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
Jun242014

Writers and Libraries: An Ame Dyckman Quote

A while back, I interviewed children's book author Ame Dyckman about her writing process. If you haven't read it yet, you should! I loved her quote about libraries so much that I decided to turn it into an illustration. :-)

Edit: Thanks to Ame for giving me permission to turn this into a print-ready PDF poster!

Monday
Jun232014

#BookADay: THE STAMP COLLECTOR by Jennifer Lanthier and François Thisdale, advice for children's book writers & illustrators

 

Today's #BookADay: THE STAMP COLLECTOR, written by Jennifer Lanthier and illustrated by François Thisdale (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2012). Beautiful story, stunning artwork. A note by Jennifer at the end explains how the story was inspired by two writers. "Jian Weiping is a journalist who spent six years in a Chinese prison for exposing government corruption. Nurmuhemmet Yasin is a writer serving ten years in a Chinese prison for writing a short story called 'The Wild Pigeon.'" A portion of the proceeds from this book supports PEN Canada.

You can read a profile of Jennifer on the SCBWI blog about her 2013 Crystal Kite win, including advice for other children's book writers and illustrators. An excerpt:

"...Creating something is an extraordinary privilege and if exercising that privilege feels too hard sometimes, try to keep going. What did Samuel Beckett say? “No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Sunday
Jun222014

#BookADay: THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner, movie trailer, advice for aspiring writers

Just finished listening to the audiobook version of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner (Delacorte, 2010). The book is first in a series for ages 12 and up and soon to be a movie. Here's the book trailer:

James Dashner offered advice for writers on Writer's Digest website, so be sure to check 7 Things I've Learned So Far, by James Dashner. Two of these tips: 1. Networking is key, and 2. Immerse your reader in the story with depth. On his blog, he offers a great Q&A for aspiring writers

One of piece of useful advice: "Write a novel from beginning to end. I mean it. I don't care if it's the worst book in history, write a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and everything in between. You won't believe the magical power that will come over you once you've accomplished this task." Read the rest on his blog.

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Saturday
Jun212014

#BookADay: WE PLANTED A TREE by Diane Muldrow and Bob Staake, advice for aspiring children's book writers and illustrators

Today's #BookADay: WE PLANTED A TREE, written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake, published by Golden Books/Random House. In addition to being an author, Diane is also editorial director at Golden Books/Random House. 

I bought WE PLANTED A TREE at the 2010 SCBWI conference in Los Angeles, which was also the first conference at which I took a picture book writing workshop (taught by Diane Muldrow). It was an EXCELLENT course, and I learned a great deal. I also bought WE PLANTED A TREE and had it signed by the author:

This was also the conference where I won some awards at the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase and was offered a book illustration project by Simon & Schuster Children's and when I told Diane, she congratulated me. :-) My friend Kimberly Gee interviewed Diane Muldrow for KidLitArtists.com, and she offered useful advice for aspiring children's book writers.

Excerpt:

"I think the most common mistake is that many aspiring writers don’t write material that is very marketable. We editors are looking for manuscripts that have an interesting hook—something that we can show to our sales force and marketing people, and say, “This book is perfect for Father’s Day,” or “This book is a fresh take on the cowboy/first day of school/new friend/bedtime/etc./ theme.”

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

 

Friday
Jun202014

#BookADay: CATS' NIGHT OUT by Caroline Stutson and Jon Klassen

Today's #BookADay: CATS' NIGHT OUT, written by Caroline Stutson and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster). Who can resist dancing cats? Love the musical theme in this beautifully illustrated counting book. I swear I can almost hear the music in the background as I read this book.  Jon Klassen was awarded a Governor General's Award for Children's Literature: Illustration in 2010.

From Alexandra Penfold on Twitter (first tweet was a response to my "who can resist dancing cats?"):

 

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Friday
Jun202014

Comic: At Last

"The difference between a published author and an unpublished one is one day. It only takes one day, one moment, for your whole world to shift. I firmly believe that if you work hard at improving your craft and you simply do not give up, your day will come." - Mandy Hubbard

Thursday
Jun192014

#BookADay: BREATHE by Scott Magoon

I loved BREATHE by Scott Magoon (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster) soooo much. I found the combination of sparse and lyrical text with gorgeous, airy art irresistible and deeply moving. 

I confess it also made me weepy. Have no idea if it'll affect others the same way, but so much of this book can be appreciated on a grown-up level as well as by young readers: a reminder to take time to breathe and enjoy the moment, to be brave and explore, to listen and observe the beauty in the world around you, to not be afraid of obstacles but find other ways up, to dream big, to love and be loved.

And of course BREATHE can absolutely be appreciated simply as a wonderful bedtime readaloud, without any of the above interpretations. I so love books like this.

Seven Impossible Things has a great post about Scott's process for creating Breathe, and you should also visit Scott Magoon's page about Breathe.

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

 

Thursday
Jun192014

Video: Tarik and the Roots performs a Harry Potter Rap on the Jimmy Fallon Show

Tarik and The Roots performed a Harry Potter-themed rap on the Jimmy Fallon show. Love. :-)

(Thanks to Mediabistro)

Wednesday
Jun182014

Comic: A Caution For Writers

Wednesday
Jun182014

#BookADay: GIFT DAYS, written by Kari-Lynn Winters & illustrated by Stephen Taylor

Today's #BookADay: GIFT DAYS by Kari-Lynn Winters (author) and Stephen Taylor (illustrator), published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. The launch of this book raised money for the charity Because I Am A Girl and has already raised enough money to send ten girls to school in Uganda for a full year.

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Tuesday
Jun172014

#BookADay: CHICKEN, PIG, COW by Ruth Ohi (my awesome sister)

I love my sister Ruth Ohi's CHICKEN, PIG, COW series from Annick Press!

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Monday
Jun162014

Finding Time To Write Tip #176: Teaching Others To Respect Your Time

 

Sunday
Jun152014

#BookADay: NEVER LET YOU GO by Patricia Storms (and advice for aspiring children's book writers & illustrators)

Today's #BookADay: NEVER LET YOU GO by Patricia Storms (Scholastic Canada).

You can read my interview with Patricia Storms about her process and personal growth during the creation of her book. Her advice to aspiring children's book writers/illustrators: "Try not to be too obsessed with what is selling in 'the market.'" and "It's really about discovering who you are, and what stories you want to tell."

Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Saturday
Jun142014

#BookADay: BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld, audiobook narrated by Alan Cumming

 

Today's #BookADay: Just finished listening to the audiobook version of BEHEMOTH (2nd in his Leviathan series) by Scott Westerfeld, wonderfully read by Alan Cumming. I've discovered that I can listen to audiobooks when I'm at certain stages of book illustrations, and Behemoth is my most recent audio listen. Here's a fun video interview of Alan Cumming by Scott:

Because I don't own a copy of the print version, I missed out on Keith Thompson's wonderful illustrations, but I found many examples online. You can find out more about the illustrations at the bottom of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan page.

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Find out more about Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge on the Nerdy Book Club site, and you can read archives of my #BookADay posts.

Friday
Jun132014

Comic: The Scream

Friday
Jun132014

Tip For Aspiring Picture Book Writers: Read picture book stories out loud

I've been reading each of my #BookADay picture books out loud in my office. I've read some before, and some I haven't. Reading them out loud emphasizes even more how IMPORTANT it is for aspiring picture writers to read their stories out loud. 

If you find yourself stumbling over awkward phrasing or dull prose, then you know it's time to revise. Yes, the illustrations are going to add a lot to your story but if it's not an enjoyable readaloud, then it's going to be tougher to find a publisher.

I also encourage you to read other people's picture books out loud. If you're in a public place like a library or bookstore and don't want to disturb other people, then read silently. But HEAR the words in your head.

Also advised: be aware of pacing and page turns. More on this in a future post.

Friday
Jun132014

#BookADay - I MUST HAVE BOBO, by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal

Thursday
Jun122014

#BookADay - WON TON: A Cat Tale Told In Haiku, by Lee Wardlaw and Eugene Yelchin

Wednesday
Jun112014

Comic: Starving Writer, Sort Of

Wednesday
Jun112014

#BookADay: A Good Trade, by Alma Fullerton and Karen Patkau

 

Today's #BookADay: A Good Trade, written by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Karen Patkau, published by Pajama Press in 2012.

You can read more about Donalyn Miller's Book-A-Day challenge and guidelines on the Nerdy Book Club blog

See my #BookADay archives for other books I've read or reread during the Challenge.

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