FOR TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS:
[UPDATE: Please note that I will be unable to respond to snailmail from Feb 6-21, 2017. If you send snailmail during that time, please be patient - it will take me longer to reply.]
Classes anywhere in the world are welcome to write a letter about my first solo picture book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Reader), 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, RUBY ROSE books written by Rob Sanders (HarperCollins Children's) or MITZI TULANE books written by Lauren McLaughlin (Random House Children's). Links in this paragraph all go to Bonus Pages with related classroom activity suggestions and free, ready-to-print activity sheets that you are free to download.
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:
For WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?:
(Teachers: See the WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? Bonus page for a classroom guide, free print-ready activity sheets, guide for young readers about how the book was created and more)
If Where Are My Books? was going to be reprinted, do you have ideas about what the new cover should look like?
Where are YOUR favorite places to read books?
What are YOUR favorite books? I would like to know!
What books have you recently read that you've enjoyed?
(Teachers: See the NAKED! Bonus Page for a classroom guide, free print-ready activity sheets, guide for young readers about how the book was created and more)
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:
(Teachers: See the I'M BORED Bonus Page for a classroom guide, free print-ready activity sheets, guide for young readers about how the book was created and more)
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:
(Teachers: See my Judy Blume bonus page for bonus material)
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.
For the RUBY ROSE books:
(Teachers: See the RUBY ROSE Bonus page for a classroom guide, free print-ready activity sheets, guide for young readers about how the book was created and more)
If RUBY ROSE was going to be in another story, do you have a suggestion for a cover? I would love to see it!
Do you have a new RUBY ROSE story you'd like to share?
Which part of RUBY ROSE did you like the best?
For the MITZI TULANE books:
(Teachers: See the MITZI TULANE Bonus page for a classroom guide, free print-ready activity sheets, guide for young readers about how the book was created and more)
Decorate Mitzi's cake, draw an alternate MITZI TULANE cover, draw or write about something you like about the book! You can find free print-ready MITZI activity pages here.