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

Entries in elizawheeler (3)

Monday
Mar072016

TELL ME A TATTOO STORY by Alison McGhee and Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle Books)

I was excited to receive a copy of TELL ME A TATTOO STORY, a new picture book written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by my friend Eliza Wheeler (Chronicle Books, April/2016). What a deeply moving, tender story, and soooo much for young and not-so-young picture book readers to appreciate.  I teared up over many of the (beautifully illustrated) spreads as the father told his young son the story behind each of his tattoos. *snif*

Do check out Julie Danielson's Seven Impossible Things post where she shares some of the wonderful art from the book as well as sketches from Eliza. Also see Julie's post about the book on Kirkus Reviews.

You can find out more info about Eliza Wheeler at Wheelerstudio.com and more about Alison McGhee at AlisonMcGhee.com.

Synopsis of the book from the Chronicle Books website:

"A bestselling author-illustrator duo join forces to create a modern father-son love story. The father tells his little son the story behind each of his tattoos, and together they go on a beautiful journey through family history. There's a tattoo from a favorite book his mother used to read him, one from something his father used to tell him, and one from the longest trip he ever took. And there is a little heart with numbers inside—which might be the best tattoo of them all. Tender pictures by New York Times bestselling illustrator Eliza Wheeler complement this lovely ode to all that's indelible—ink and love."

Tuesday
Jul012014

#BookADay: MISS MAPLE'S SEEDS by Eliza Wheeler @wheelerstudio, advice for picture book writers/illustrators

I've fallen a bit behind in my #BookADay posts because of my work schedule, but plan to catch up soon. Perfect for a relaxing Canada Day #BookADay: MISS MAPLE'S SEEDS by my friend Eliza Wheeler (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013). Eliza and I met when we were both picked for the 2010 SCBWI Illustration Mentorship Program, and we've been friends ever since. I'm looking forward to rooming with Eliza next month at the SCBWI-LA convention!

Miss Maple's Seeds has absolutely gorgeous artwork, and such a comforting and inspiring story. My favourite quote: "...Even the grandest of trees once had to grow up from the smallest of seeds."

Synopsis:

"Fans of Miss Rumphius will adore this gorgeous picture book which introduces the kind, nature-loving Miss Maple, who celebrates the miracle in each seed. Miss Maple gathers lost seeds that haven’t yet found a place to sprout. She takes them on field trips to explore places to grow. In her cozy maple tree house, she nurtures them; keeping them safe and warm until it’s time for them to find roots of their own, and grow into the magnificent plants they’re destined to become. Eliza Wheeler’s luminous paintings feature gorgeous landscapes, lush foliage and charming details. Her tender story celebrates the potential found in each seed—since even the grandest tree and most brilliant flower had to grow from the smallest of seeds. Celebrate every season with Miss Maple, from Earth Day to graduations to harvest festivals. "

I interviewed Eliza last year on Inkygirl.com about MISS MAPLE'S SEEDS and her illustrations for Holly Black's DOLL BONES; do check it out for the story of how Eliza and I met, her work process, and advice for aspiring picture book writers and illustrators.

Some of Eliza's excellent advice:

1) Be patient while you build up your body of work. Just focus on your craft, and leave the business side of storytelling for later; for when your work is REALLY good.

2) Create the kind of work that your kid self would have loved. Be your own audience, and always ask yourself "If someone else made this, would I read it? Would I put it up on my wall?". It seems obvious, but more often than not when I ask myself this question, I'm surprised to think "no".

3) Read, read, read. Whenever I'm stuck with my storytelling I read. I get new ideas or answers to existing stories when I read. And don't just read in your genre. A friend lent me Aimee Bender's adult novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, and I was distracted through the entire thing because every single time I sat down to read that book, a particular story I was working on would come to me in waves. I don't know why that was, but certain books will do that, and I've learned that it's a really great thing.

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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.

Wednesday
May152013

The Joy and Angst of Reading A Good Book

I'm in the middle of reading DOLL BONES by Holly Black, illustrated by my friend Eliza Wheeler, and enjoying it so much that I find that I'm starting to purposely slow down my reading pace so the book will last longer.

Comic originally posted on Writer Unboxed a few years ago.