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 archives, 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 ruthohi (2)


Found my sister's just-released picture book FOX AND SQUIRREL (Scholastic Canada) in Type Books on Queen Street

To celebrate our wedding anniversary, Jeff and I wandered about Toronto yesterday, visiting bookstores and coffee shops and having picnics in the park. And guess what I found in TYPE Books on Queen Street? My sister's just-released picture book, FOX AND SQUIRREL (Scholastic Canada)!

I bought a copy, of course. :-)

©2013 Ruth Ohi. Spread from FOX AND SQUIRREL (Scholastic Canada). Click image above to see a larger version.


When Fox and Squirrel get together, Squirrel can only see their differences. Squirrel is small and Fox is big; Squirrel lives in a nest and Fox in a burrow; Squirrel likes the day and Fox, the night. But as they carry on, Fox gently points out that their differences are a good thing, and more than that, they have many things in common too. Even Squirrel begins to see that maybe they are not so different after all. This irresistible story about the adventures of two lovable friends is told through spare text and expressive watercolour illustrations full of energy, humour and warmth.

©2013 Ruth Ohi. Spread from FOX AND SQUIRREL (Scholastic Canada). Click image above to see a larger version.

More info about Ruth Ohi's books: http://RuthOhi.com More info about FOX AND SQUIRREL as well as samples: http://www.ruthohi.com/fox-squirrel/

©2013 Ruth Ohi. Illustration from FOX AND SQUIRREL (Scholastic Canada).

TYPE BOOKS: 883 Queen St W Toronto, ON M6J 1G3, Canada, Phone +1 416-366-8973

If you haven't yet seen TYPE's übercool video:


My sister's book: KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE (Annick Press) available on Netgalley for review

Can you see that tiny soccer ball in the middle of the wave?

RuthOhiHeadshotAs some of you already know, my sister Ruth Ohi (photo to the left) is an experienced children's book writer and illustrator who has been encouraging and supporting me over the years.

She has TWO new picture books coming out this year:

KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE, which comes out from Annick Press in a couple of weeks, and FOX AND SQUIRREL, which launches from Scholastic Canada this September. Kenta is now available on NetGalley for reviewers.

I'll be interviewing Ruth later this year but right now I'd like to rave about KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE:


I was fascinated when Ruth told me about a real-life event that (along with other similar reports) helped to inspire the story: Apparently after a soccer ball washed shore in Alaska after the Japan tsunami in 2011, Japanese teen Misaki Murakami came forward as the owner of the ball. More than 3,000 homes were destroyed in Misaki's home city of Rikuzentakata. You can see blog updates by the NOAA technician who found the soccer ball, including info from the teen once they got in touch. 

Click for bigger image

I had the chance to see one of the advance copies of KENTA AND THE BIG WAVE and loved it. Such an uplifting, inspiring story! And the gentle illustration style that Ruth used for this book is perfectly suited to the content.

A quote from a review on Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails:

"I would fully recommend this book for any child (or adult!). It tells the story of the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan, and how a boy lost his ball in it and how a boy in America found it and mailed it back to him. There's very little text, but more isn't needed. Kenta and The Big Wave successfully conveyed that bad things do happen in life, but that people can get over them. The bad things could be small, like losing your ball, or big, like losing your home in a disaster (Kenta lost both), but in the end everything turned out okay. An important message for kids to see."


Here's a brief synopsis, from the Annick Press website:


The tsunami has swept everything away--including Kenta's most prized possession.

When tragedy strikes Kenta's small village in Japan, he does all he can to hang on to the things that matter to him most. But amidst the chaos of an emergency evacuation brought on by the tsunami, Kenta and his family must quickly leave their home.

Climbing to safer ground, Kenta watches as his prized soccer ball gets swept away by the waves, never to be seen again... that is, until it washes up on a beach on the other side of the world, into the hands of a child who takes it upon himself to return the ball to its rightful owner.

Ruth Ohi's art transports the reader to Japan, capturing the tragic aftermath of environmental catastrophe, while offering a reassuring message of hope. With an afterword that defines tsunamis for young readers.


You can find out more info here:

My sister's website: RuthOhi.com