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Cover reveal, inspiration & apologies: I’M SORRY by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi (launching Sept.6, 2021 from Simon & Schuster)

I am *very* excited to reveal the cover of I’M SORRY, which launches from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers on September 6, 2021! This is the newest in the I’M…. picture book series written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by me (Debbie Ridpath Ohi). Don’t you love Laurent Linn’s brilliant cover design?

Synopsis from our new book, which is now available for pre-order:

Flamingo is upset. Very upset. Potato is sorry. Very sorry. In fact, he is the sorriest. But he doesn’t know how to tell Flamingo. He would rather run away to the South Pole and live with penguins. He’d rather wear a disguise for the rest of time. But will that be enough to fix their friendship? Will they ever go back to being a girl, a potato, and a flamingo again?

Thanks to author Michael Ian Black for answering a couple of questions for me about our new book:

Q. What gave you the inspiration to write I’M SORRY?

Michael: “The inspiration for I’m Sorry comes from my daughter who has always found it so difficult to say those two little words. For some reason, it’s very hard for a lot of people (people like my daughter and ME) to take responsibility for mistakes they’ve made and to ask for forgiveness. I wanted to write a story about the importance of admitting when you’re wrong.”

Q. If you could apologize to anyone from your childhood, what would the apology be?

Michael: “I would apologize to my dog, Winston. We had a busy house when I was growing up and poor Winston never got the attention he deserved. He was a sweet brown and white English Springer Spaniel whose walks were never quite long enough and who didn’t get many opportunities to run around without a leash and play with other doggies. Winston, I’m sorry.”

My take as an illustrator on I’M SORRY:

Whenever I receive a new manuscript to illustrate, the first thing I do is read it out loud. So when editor Justin Chanda sent me Michael’s I’m Sorry manuscript, that’s what I did. I loved it SO much that I had to read it out loud again. I ran upstairs to where my husband was working and read it to him. I read it aloud again and again as I was illustrating.

I love all the books in the I’M…. series, but this one might just might be my favourite (maybe because I’m Canadian, heh). Michael’s story makes me laugh throughout and yet hits emotional truths. I CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL OF YOU TO READ IT!