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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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NAKED! Picture Book
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Happy Mother's Day!

For all you mothers out there, especially those with little ones who have raced around naked after their bath. :-)


Writing and writing process: Michael Ian Black, author of NAKED! and I'M BORED

Michael Ian Black may be a comedian, but he is also an excellent writer....not just of children's books but also books for adults (I loved his YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT). Here are a few great articles about his writing posted recently:

Children's Humor Stripped Down With NAKED! - Marcie Colleen on why Michael's understanding of kid humor sets him apart from many celebrity books. Via Children's Book Academy website.

Author Spotlight: Michael Ian Black - Kidlit 411 asked Michael for the difference between writing stand up material and children's books, why he doesn't use many illustrator notes in his manuscripts, writing rituals, advice for aspiring authors and pizza.


School Library Journal's review of NAKED!

Thanks to School Library Journal for the nice review of NAKED!:

"Black and Ridpath Ohi follow up on their I’m Bored (S & S, 2012) with another humorous picture book that taps into children’s emotions..." "Black’s peppy writing style sets a fast pace for the story, and the child’s behavior is believable. There’s also a lesson here about one practical reason for wearing clothing. The whimsical digital artwork adds energy and color to the story. Characters’ moods are nicely shown through their changing facial expressions, while the illustrator’s choices of poses for the child leave anatomical details to the reader’s imagination. Images of the boy are replicated on the brightly colored endpapers. Parents sharing this story one-on-one with a child will find the picture book humorous on both a child and adult level."

For other reviews, see the NAKED! Press Page.


Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY

Also see: NAKED! Book Tour - NAKED! Teacher's Guide - How NAKED! Was Made & Other Bonus Goodies

I'm looking forward to visiting Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY on Friday May 2nd at 10:30 am. The 9,000-square-foot indie bookstore opened last summer.

While researching the store, I came across a great article about Northshire in in which co-owner Chris Morrow said that brick-and-mortar bookstores and e-books are compatible. Northshire, for example, sells e-readers and e-books, plus they compete with major e-tailers like Amazon by offering a compelling experience for visitors as well (ambiance, good selection, hiring and training good booksellers) as reaching out to the local community.

Northshire Bookstore's Rachel Person is the events and community outreach coordinator for the store, "which means that I'm lucky enough to handle author events for the store and to find ways to work with other local organizations throughout our area. I'm also something of a magpie reader, which means I'm always drawn to the next bright shiny object, and will read in pretty much any genre."

Q. What do you like most about working for Northshire Bookstore?

Rachel's answer:

"Coming to work in a bookstore every day is so energizing - it's really a great place to be. And, as the events coordinator for a brand new indie (our store opened less than a year ago), I feel like I'm helping to bring something to my town that hasn't been here before - a year-round lineup of strong, exciting literary programming."


Q. Why are picture books important?

Rachel's answer:

"As a reader, I feel that picture books can really bring out the best in writers and artists - creating books for such a young audience requires such care and precision. Every detail has to be just right. As a mom, I've loved watching my children discover the world through picture books. They pave the way to absolutely everything."

Model train in Northshire's children's department

I'll be doing a 30-45 minute reading, presentation and illustration workshop for young readers. Northshire Bookstore will provide paper and drawing materials. Can't wait! For more details, please see Northshire Bookstore's page about my visit.

Where to find out more about Northshire Books:

Northshire Bookstore website: you can also find out more about their Vermont location, plus info about their upcoming events, staff picks, store blog, new releases, e-newsletter and more.

On Facebook: Northshire Books Saratoga and Northshire Books (Vermont location)

On Twitter at @TogaNorthshire (or @NorthshireBooks for their Vermont location).

All Over Albany article about the opening of Northshire's Sarataga Springs location

Second floor is dedicated to children's books. Photo from


Trip pic: NAKED! by the Cam, at the University of Cambridge

Yes, I got some odd looks from passers-by....

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