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

Friday
Jul082016

Free creative brainstorming templates for picture book writers and illustrators

Reminder: For those of you who are writing and/or illustrating children's picture books: Feel free to download and use my picture book thumbnail templates during your early brainstorming.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul072016

Be aware when research & prep becomes a crutch. At some point, you need to jump in & WRITE.

Tuesday
Jul052016

Poetry for kids, poetry resources for teachers

Last year, I discovered that I've been pronouncing the "poem" incorrectly all my life (!!!). I was pronouncing it as ONE syllable, which made me use it incorrectly in a haiku. I've fixed it now as well as my pronunciation.

I've updated the poem on my Poetry For Kids page, which includes poetry teaching resources.

Monday
Jul042016

#BookADay: HOW TO OUTFOX YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE by Jess Keating (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)

‪#‎BookADay‬: HOW TO OUTFOX YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE by Jess Keating ( Sourcebooks Jabberwocky). I'm a fan of Jess's "My Life Is A Zoo" series for middle grade, and this third book in series totally lived up to the first two - I *lovelovelove* the main character's fresh, funny voice: clever without being mean-sarcastic, smart and quirky and original. There were SO many moments throughout this book where I thought, "dear lord, I so remember feeling EXACTLY LIKE THAT when I was that age."

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Monday
Jul042016

#BookADay: RED, WHITE, AND BOOM! by Lee Wardlaw and Huy Voun Lee (Henry Holt)

‪#‎BookADay‬: RED, WHITE AND BOOM written by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated with amazing cut paper collage by Huy Voun Lee (Henry Holt).

From a starred review in School Library Journal: “Independence Day is brought to jubilant life in this striking picture book…simple, rhyming language rich in sensory imagery…rich in texture and beautiful patterns, the intricate collages depict a multicultural, multigenerational mosaic of people who gather in various ways to commemorate our nation’s founding freedoms…this title is made to order for the summer story hour crowd as well as quiet lapsits under a shady tree.”

More info about the book on the author's website.

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

Thursday
Jun302016

Comparing yourself to others can suck joy out of creating. Find your own pace, savor the journey.

Tuesday
Jun282016

Comic: Serial Comma Killer

Tuesday
Jun282016

#BookADay: SOME BUGS by Angela DiTerlizzi and Brendan Wenzel

Monday
Jun272016

#BookADay: BEWARE THAT GIRL by Teresa Toten (Doubleday Canada)

If you are looking for a great summer read (and esp if you enjoyed GONE GIRL or WE WERE LIARS), I *strongly* encourage you to get a copy of psychological thriller BEWARE THAT GIRL by Teresa Toten (Doubleday Canada). Don't start reading it at night, because you will be up waaaaayy too late. Love the dark edge and unpredictability (you THINK you know the implication of the title...), the mystery within mystery, the satisfying conclusion. For teen and above.

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Monday
Jun272016

Comic: Grammar Breakup

Monday
Jun272016

It's never too late to start: William Steig didn't start writing until he was 61

William Steig didn't start writing kids' books 'til age 61, went on to write 30+. More proof that it’s never too late to start.

Sources:

William Steig biography, via Norman Rockwell Museum Illustration History

William Steig biography, via Macmillan website

Wikipedia entry on William Steig

Tuesday
Jun212016

RUBY ROSE book launches today! Plus some giveaways, free bookplates and dancing in the street

Woohoo, RUBY ROSE, OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES! dances into the world today!!!

Ruby Rose loves to dance while she's brushing her teeth, eating breakfast, and even on her way to class. But there's NO DANCING at school! Or...is there? With a little luck and a lot of rhythm, Ruby Rose finds a way to get everyone up on their dancing feet. A perfect back-to-school book for budding dancers!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun202016

#BookADay: THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough

Holy cow, did I love THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough (Arthur Levin Books, 2015). I found myself slowing down my reading about 3/4 way through because I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END. And I was inspired to do some fan art (see image). The romance was so original and genuinely moving. Love the premise and also the twist on the usual character portrayal of Love and Death. This is definitely going on my "books I look forward to rereading many times" shelf.

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

Monday
Jun202016

How I'm Finding Ways To Read More Books This Summer

One of the reasons I love Donalyn Miller's Annual Summer #BookADay Challenge is because it always forces me to reevaluate my reading habits. I love to read but sometimes I find that reading gets put on the back burner more often while other activities take priority. Sometimes these activities, especially family-related and work-related, NEED to take priority, but I find there are still ways to find more time to read. I'm sharing these here in case one or more might help others.

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Saturday
Jun182016

Comic: Savvy Princess Writer

Friday
Jun172016

Comic: Writers On Vacation

This comic wasn't, um, inspired by my own experience. Nope, not one bit.

Friday
Jun172016

#BookADay: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor

Monday
Jun132016

#BookADay and *Giveaway*: DRAW THE LINE by Laurent Linn (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

#BookADayDRAW THE LINE by Laurent Linn (Simon & Schuster, 2016). An amazing debut YA novel that handles difficult issues (including hate crimes, bullying) with sensitivity and authenticity. Loved the geeky humor throughout! Loved the main character's superhero comics, and that the superhero refuses to fight hatred with hatred. Loved how the friendships progress throughout the book, and how the main character develops. Just LOVED.

I have an extra copy of the book, so am having a GIVEAWAY. To enter, just post a comment at the end of this blog post or on Facebook in response to my giveaway post. I'll choose a random commenter next week. Open to anyone in Canada or the U.S.

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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).

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