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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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I'm Bored Bonus Page
NAKED! Picture Book
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Early sketches during NAKED! illustration process plus my main challenge


After I received Michael Ian Black's hilarious manuscript for NAKED!, I immediately started sketching. Above: a few of my first attempts. 

The challenge with early sketches, I find, is not being too "precious" about them, which is why I purposely chose to draw on ordinary typewriter paper with a ballpoint pen. I did a LOT of sketches, very rough and very loose.

Another challenge with this particular book, of course, was that the little boy is sans clothes throughout the book, yet I had to draw him in a way that was appropriate for a young audience. No private boy bits!

I admit to panicking a bit at first but then decided to throw myself into enjoying the challenge. It ended up being way more fun than I had expected, mainly because the boy is soooo active throughout most of the story, running and jumping and doing the Hokey Pokey, etc. The focus isn't so much on his nakedness but on the little boy's innocent delight in his freedom au naturel, how much FUN he's having as he's racing around the house, and the chase-to-cuddle interactions between him and his Mom.

Can't wait to see this on the shelves.


Seven months until it's time to get NAKED! 


Trivia Fact #2: The Hokey Pokey... That's What It's All About

Did you know that the British version of the Hokey Pokey is called the Hokey Cokey?

Thanks to Marilisa Valtazanou for the tip!

Related sources:

The Ambigious Origins Of The Hokey Pokey - MentalFloss


Trivia Fact #1 about NAKED!

I just counted, and the word "naked" appears 31 times, including the book jacket.


Press Release: Michael Ian Black teams up with Debbie Ridpath Ohi on second picture book collaboration with Simon & Schuster

Image credit: Natalie Brasingto

Also see the announcement about NAKED! in Entertainment Weekly.



 Black Teams Up with Debbie Ridpath Ohi on Second Picture Book Collaboration

NEW YORK, January 16, 2013–The multitalented Michael Ian Black has signed for two additional children’s books with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. The first book, entitled Naked!, again pairs Black with artist Debbie Ridpath Ohi, who illustrated his most recent bestselling picture book, I’m Bored, which was a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2012.

 Naked!, which is scheduled for publication in Summer 2014, is the story of a young boy who refuses to put on clothes after his bath and runs around the house causing naked chaos.  Naked! is Black’s fifth picture book with Simon & Schuster, and his second collaboration with Ohi.

 “I'm thrilled to be working again with everybody at S&S Books for Young Readers,” says Michael Ian Black.  “In the spirit of my past books, I will continue striving to ensure that kids learn almost nothing from my works.”

 “For four children’s books now, Michael Ian Black has shown that he instinctively knows what kids find funny,” says Justin Chanda, Vice President & Publisher of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, who will edit the books. “Michael’s humor matched with Debbie’s style and charm has been a dream pairing. I am thrilled to have the team back together with Naked!

 Michael Ian Black’s two-book deal, which is for world rights including audio, was negotiated by Justin Chanda and Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC.  Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s deal as the illustrator for Naked! was negotiated by Chanda and Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown.


Michael Ian Black is a writer, comedian, and actor who has created and starred in many television series, including Michael and Michael Have Issues, Stella, and The State. Michael regularly tours the country as a stand-up comedian and is the bestselling author of the book My Custom Van (and 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face) and the children’s books Chicken Cheeks, The Purple Kangaroo, A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea, and I’m Bored. Michael lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi
is the illustrator of I'm Bored, a picture book by Michael Ian Black. Her other published works include short nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and a nonfiction book for writers. She lives in Toronto, Canada.


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Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, the Dork Diaries series, the Mortal Instruments series, Mike the Knight, and the original Cupcake Diaries and Creepover series. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at


Nicole Russo


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