Get to Know… Debbie Ridpath Ohi!

My name is… Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

I am a… children’s book author and illustrator. Once upon a time, I was a computer programmer/analyst for a bank.




Reading is… a joy that everyone can embrace, no matter what their age or interest. If you don’t enjoy reading, it’s just because you haven’t found the right book.


Books are… good for the soul.


Did you know… that my obsession with squirrels began back in 1981 when I was taking an Animal Behaviour course at the University of Toronto? I took a bag of peanuts into Queen’s Park for a study and ended up (no exaggeration) running out of the park with one squirrel clinging to my leg and tossing peanuts over my shoulders to distract the others? Since then, I have received many squirrel-themed joke gifts from my friends. And look at my sister’s dedication to me at the front of her book Chicken, Pig, Cow And The Purple Problem:


I have a squirrel blog for grown-ups which I update occasionally:

Not surprisingly, you will find squirrels in many of the books I have written and/or illustrated. Some play major roles (e.g. Where Are My Books?) but some are more hidden or in the background (e.g. Naked!Sam & EvaI’m Worried).

You can find me… on Twitter at @inkyelbows, on Instagram at @inkygirl, on Facebook at and on Youtube at

. . .

Debbie’s most recent book, I’m Worried, released just last week! If you haven’t seen the book trailer, take 25 seconds to check it out below.

Click here if you’d like to see author Michael Ian Black discuss the book on the TODAY Show, and click here for more information about all three books in the I’m series — I’m BoredI’m Sad, and I’m Worried — plus classroom guides, print-ready art and activities, and a wonderful reader gallery which YOU and the readers in your life can be a part of!

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The Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books section of Debbie’s site is an absolute TREASURE TROVE of information, insight, wisdom, and advice, as are her 10 years (!) worth of interviews with a wide variety of kid lit creators! For those of you who are aspiring picture book creators (or those of you curious to learn more about the creation of picture books), I also highly recommend you take a look at Debbie’s series of Creating Picture Books posts.

Basically, you should just head over to Debbie’s site RIGHT NOW. You could spend months exploring it, and still only scratch the surface. And wherever you end up, you will surely be entertained, intrigued, and inspired.

5 thoughts on “Get to Know… Debbie Ridpath Ohi!

  1. “Squirrel magnet” = life goal.
    Ours are too well fed and lazy to approach for peanuts! ❤

  2. Debbie is the best! I didn’t know about the inciting squirrel event, though. Learned something new!

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