Every week or so, Debbie Ridpath Ohi shares new art, writing and resources for those who read, write and illustrate books for young people; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Now available: free, print-ready "Be A Reading Ninja!" poster

A while ago I posted a cherry stain doodle which I turned into a Reading Ninja. Many of you have asked if I could make this available as a poster, so here's a free print-ready "Be A Reading Ninja!" poster. You can find other free literacy-themed posters, bookmarks, activity sheets and more at my For Love Of Reading page.


This Starbucks napkin demanded to be turned into a dress


Sketching during rush hour on the TTC, trying to capture gestures and moods


Doodled with my breakfast on Periscope this morning

I'm starting to do live drawing demos on Periscope. I found out about Periscope via Felicia Day's Twitter feed (I'm a FD fangirl) and was curious enough to try it out as another way of connecting with readers. I also enjoy dropping in on scopes around the world! I've checked out bits of concerts, comedian acts, watched other artists at work, listened in as a mom read picture books to her kids at bedtime (and chatted with them as well), wished someone's girlfriend a Happy Birthday as they celebrated with a fancy dinner in Japan, and much more.

You can check out what Periscope videos are being live-broadcast right now through OnPeriscope.com (a 3rd-party tool; I'm sure there are others) but you won't be able to comment or send hearts unless you have the app.

Other things I like about Periscope so far:

- I can interact with users in realtime, answering questions, taking doodle suggestions, etc.

- When I'm checking out someone else's Periscope feed, I can see them but they can't see me (so I don't need to change out of my pajamas, brush my hair etc :-)). If I want to post a comment, I can just type into chat. I also give hearts if I like what they're saying or if I like what I'm seeing. Or I can just opt to stay in the background and just watch.

- I don't have to keep my broadcast video online afterward if I don't want to. If you DO want it archived, users can replay the video for up to 24 hours.

What I don't like about it so far:

- The user interface is in vertical/portrait mode, which drives me nuts. I could always turn the camera/iPhone sideways, but that means I can't easily read user comments.

- I don't have many followers yet so don't have to worry, but I'd like an easier way to moderate chat. e.g. If there's a user who posts inappropriate comments, I'd like to be able to easily block them (by triple-tapping on their username, for instance) instead of having to click on their name, click on Block User and then have to go back to the main broadcast screen. I can always turn chat off or only allow my Periscope followers to post comments, to ensure that chat is family-friendly. For now, though, I'm leaving it public...I usually try to put the phrase "Children's book illustrator" in the description of the video for now, in hopes of setting the tone.

Is it useful for children's book authors and illustrators?

Depending on how comfortable you are with live video broadcasts, I'd say at this point that there is a lot of potential in connecting with readers. I'm having a lot of fun with it so far, and will post an overview and tutorial when I've experimented some more.

For those curious, I've posted a photo of this morning's setup below. I'm using my new Afunta flexible mobile phone holder for the first time, though I didn't use the clampy thing the way the manufacturer intended:


How I feel when I come across a dog-eared page in a book I'm reading

How I feel whenever I come across a dog-eared page in a book I'm reading.

A photo posted by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkygirl) on Aug 22, 2015 at 3:35pm PDT