FOR TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS AND BOOKSTORE OWNERS:
*** UPDATE June 5, 2015: Debbie's Classroom Snailmail Outreach has finished for the 2014-2015 school year. She will start answering snailmail again beginning September 2015. ***
Classes, book clubs and reading groups anywhere in the world are welcome to write a letter about my first solo picture book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? (comes out from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers in May/2015), my illustrations in Michael Ian Black's I'M BORED and/or NAKED! as well as my illustrations in Judy Blume chapter book reissues from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster Children's: FRECKLE JUICE, THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE and THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE IS THE GREEN KANGAROO. Links in this paragraph all go to Bonus Pages with related classroom activity suggestions.
I also give free Skypevisits and Google Hangout visits for schools and libraries; see details here.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
P.O. Box 116
119-660 Eglinton Ave.E.
Toronto ON M4G 2K2
I will write back to the entire class/group. Teachers are asked to please write CLEARLY the name of each student on his or her letter beneath the signature, so I can mention them in my response -- I'd also very much appreciate a list of all the student names on a separate sheet of paper, to make it easier for me to doublecheck that I haven't left anyone out. Please include an e-mail address, just in case I have questions.
Please allow 3-4 weeks for a response. I usually get back much sooner, but it depends on my work schedule and how many letters I receive. If I'm going to be away or extra busy for an extended period of time, I will post a warning at the top of this page. No need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope if your return address is at a school, bookstore or library. Schools/bookstores/libraries from any country may participate.
For more general questions about how to become a children's book illustrator, advice about getting into the business, etc., please refer to my answers to Frequently Asked Questions. I am unable to provide individual critiques or career advice. For inquiries not related to class letters, please use my regular contact form, thanks.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CLASS LETTERS:
(To teachers: you can find other suggestions, print-ready activity sheets and more in the I'M BORED Bonus page and NAKED! Bonus page. You may also want to show students How I'M BORED Was Created and How NAKED! Was Created)
In the story, the little boy is wearing crazy fun pajamas when he finally falls asleep at the end. I would love to see drawings of what YOU think would be "crazy fun" pajamas.
What is your bedtime routine? Do you like to read a book? Is there a special stuffed animal you like to have with you when you fall asleep? What else do you do before you go to bed? I would love to see your drawings and letters.
Do you have your own story about the characters in NAKED!? I'd love to read them.
Write a fictional story about the best bedtime routine ever.
What did you like most about the story?
For I'M BORED:
How do you keep from being bored? I would love to see your drawings and letters.
What are some other ways that the Little Girl or Potato in I'M BORED can keep from being bored?
If I'M BORED was going to be printed again, do YOU have a suggestion for a cover? I would love to see it!
The Potato has no clothes in I'M BORED. I'd love to see your drawings of clothes you think the Potato could wear to keep from being bored.
Do you have your own story about the characters in I'M BORED? I'd love to read them. Or maybe a story about YOU and the Potato?
Which part of I'M BORED did you like the best?
For my illustrations in the Judy Blume chapter books:
Feel free to ask me anything about the illustrations, and I would also love to see your drawings and letters related to the books. However, please note that I am the illustrator, NOT Ms. Blume. I will not be forwarding mail, nor will I be able to respond on behalf of the author. For more info about Judy Blume, please do visit her website, thanks.