The Free Book Winners Are…

I am happy and excited to announce the winners of several recent book give-a ways her on the blog.

A copy of PIPPIN PALS ARE HERO HELPERS by Donna Marie goes to Robin Newman.

A copy of ELEANOR, ALICE, AND THE ROOSEVELT GHOSTS by Dianne K Salerni goes to Donna Taylor.





A copy of LIBBY LOVES SCIENCE by  Kimberly Derting and Shelli R Johannes goes to Cynthia Ahern




A copy of GURPLE AND PREEN:A BROKEN CRAYON COSMIC ADVENTURE by Linda Sue Park and Debbie Ridpath Ohi goes to Janet Smart.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners and thanks to all who entered the give-aways. Please contact me with your addresses so I can be sure you receive your books!

Two New Picture Books Reviewed + A Give-Away of Each

LIBBY LOVES SCIENCE by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R Johannes, Illustrated by Joelle Murray

Libby Loves Science

A fun introduction to chemistry and some kid-friendly experiments (with adult supervision) are sure to peak the interest of kids who enjoy science. Recipes for making giant bubbles, rainbow slime, and more are shared in a colorful and informative way. Perfect addition to classroom or home-school science curriculum for the youngest kids.

GURPLE AND PREEN: A BROKEN CRAYON COSMIC ADVENTURE by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Gurple and Preen: A Broken Crayon Cosmic Adventure

A whimsical cosmic adventure where an ordinary box of crayons become something extraordinary thanks to this creative author and illustrator team.  Ohi has elevated broken crayons to an art form and continues that here in this fanciful tale of creativity and learning that you can accomplish difficult things by working on them one step at a time.

A good lesson for young and old alike.


I am giving away a copy of each book (Libby Loves Science is signed by the author). Leave a comment about one of the books and your name will be entered. Share this post on social media and I will add you name again and draw two winners, one for each book. The winners will be announced in a later post on this blog.

Getting Squirrely With Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

It’s my delight and honor to have recently gotten a copy of Author/Illustrator DEBBIE RIDPATH OHI’s newest picture book: SAM & EVA (Simon and Schuster 2017).  It’s pitched as HAROLD THE PURPLE CRAYON meets TOM & JERRY.  “A sweet and funny picture book about a boy and girl who must balance their creativity and learn how to cooperate after their drawings come to life.”   

Instead of the usual interview with an author, Debbie has agreed to do something completely unique:  She will teach us how to DRAW A SQUIRREL.  So grab your pencil and paper and LET’S GET SQUIRRELY!

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
I put squirrels in a lot of my picture books, so I thought some young readers might enjoy learning how to draw one. Here’s how to draw the squirrel from WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? and SAM & EVA.      
Please note that these are just rough guidelines! When young readers are drawing for fun, there is no such thing as making a mistake. Feel free to change the shape of the head or the body, use different colors, change the details. 
Another idea: make the squirrel an ALIEN SQUIRREL! Purposely experiment with crazy additions:
You find more free, print-ready activities as well as free posters and classroom activity guides at

Debbie Ridpath Ohi –  Twitter: @inkyelbows –

Launching in 2017: SAM & EVA by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Simon & Schuster,    Oct.17), SEA MONKEY & BOB by Aaron Reynolds & Debbie (Simon & Schuster, Apr.25), MITZI TULANE, PRESCHOOL DETECTIVE in THE SECRET INGREDIENT by Lauren McLaughlin & Debbie (Random House, July 11), RUBY ROSE, BIG BRAVOS by Rob Sanders & Debbie (HarperCollins, Aug.9).   

Darlene here:  This was such fun, I had to try my own squirrel: 

SAM & EVA  is a delight.  Here’s my 5 star review:

“A clever story of creative conflict and co-operation that will be sure to delight budding artists who can watch the drawings take on personalities Sam and Eva never imagined.  Like the creative “muse” in all of us…you never know where your pen  – or brush – will take you.”

Got Stuff? Make Art With Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

I had the absolute joy of meeting author/illustrator DEBBIE RIDPATH OHI at the American Library Association summer conference in San Francisco last June.  Friendly, engaging, and sooo talented.  She also generously took time from her very busy career to be a guest on this blog.  If you’ve never had the joy of seeing Debbie’s work, here is an opportunity. 

Debbie is known for making art from found objects such as candy wrappers, sticks, buttons, strawberries…You name it, and she will make art from it.

For this tutorial, gather the kids around, break out a handful of almonds, clean paper and some pencils.   Here’s Debbie:

Creative Fun With Found Object Art

by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

 A fun art activity for young readers: doodle with found objects!

This may look like a pile of almonds:


But you never know what may happen once you add a few lines.

All you need is a blank piece of paper, an object, and something to draw with. If you’re working with a messy found object, make sure you put plastic underneath to protect the table.








You don’t need fancy drawing tools.    10-WritingInstruments-600




Here are some examples of found object art that I’ve made:

For more tips, see my Look Again resource (

Debbie Ridpath Ohi – Twitter: @inkyelbows –      
Author/illustrator of WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? (Simon & Schuster), My illustrations also appear in books by Michael Ian Black & Judy Blume as well as the upcoming Ruby Rose books by Rob Sanders (HarperCollins), Mitzi Tulane books by Lauren McLaughlin (Random House). I blog about reading, writing and illustrating children’s books at Inkygirl.

(Darlene here:  I got so inspired by Debbie’s enthusiasm and gift of doodling, I tried some “almond doodles” myself.)

Who knew almonds were so much fun!                                                            2014-12-02 01.56.41

With Author Debbie Ridpath Ohi

With Author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi