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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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Back to How Sea Monkey & Bob Was Created - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Book Tour


Debbie was SO excited when she first saw Aaron Reynolds's wonderful story for Sea Monkey & Bob.

For one thing, it was hilarious! She fell in love with the characters right away. 

Also, Debbie has been a longtime fan of Sea Monkeys. She was always intrigued by the ads in comic books as a chld:

And she decided to raise some many years ago. With the help of some of her blog readers, she named them Sigmund, Arthur Curry, Lettuce, Abdul the Destoryer, Frank and Emily

Years later, when she was doing illustration research for Sea Monkey & Bob, Debbie decided to try raising them again. She bought a "Sea-Monkeys On Mars" set:

Here is what the Sea-Monkeys looked like when they were grown:

Debbie's Sea-Monkey Project, Day 28 from Debbie Ohi on Vimeo.

She asked some of her Facebook friends for name suggestions:

 Meanwhile, though, Debbie needed to figure out how to draw a Sea Monkey in her illustrations.

A Sea Monkey is actually a brine shrimp in real life. Here's what a brine shrimp looks like up close:

and Debbie discovered that there were many different types of puffer fish - at least 120 species!

You can find out more about Sea Monkeys, pufferfish and other fascinating info in the Fun Science Facts section.

As Debbie started reading Aaron's wonderful Sea Monkey and Bob story over and over again, she also began to do character sketches.

LOTS and LOTS of character sketches. Here are just a few:


Debbie also started scribbling on the story manuscript with ideas:

 She had lots of great advice and feedback from her art director at Simon & Schuster, Laurent Linn:

Laurent used to work at Sesame Street! Look at the small Cookie Monster he has on his office door:

Continued in Part 3