Ruth Ohi

Contact Ruth Ruth is available for bookings in your area.

Ruth Ohi

Author, Illustrator
Toronto, ON

Saskatchewan Shining Willow Nominee (Short-listed, 2015)

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Finalist (Short-listed, 2014)

Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Nominee (Short-listed, 2014)

Rainforest of Reading Nominee (Short-listed, 2014)

Saskatchewan Shining Willow Nominee (Short-listed, 2014)

Ontario Library Association Top Ten Picture Book List (Commended, 2014)

Toronto Public Library's FIRST & BEST (Commended, 2014)

Toronto Public Library FIRST & BEST SELECTION (Commended, 2010)

Pennsylvannia's Centre for the Book BAKER'S DOZEN SELECTION (Commended, 2009)

Toronto Public Library FIRST & BEST SELECTION (Commended, 2008)

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Finalist (Short-listed, 2008)

Forest of Reading BLUE SPRUCE AWARD Nominee (Short-listed, 2007)


Board Books, Picture books


I am the illustrator of over 60 books (19 of which I am also the author). I have had the great pleasure of illustrating for authors such as Joy Kogawa, Hazel Hutchins and Sharon Jennings.  I live with my family in Toronto, Canada.   I am a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design.

My books have been selected for the Pennsylvania Centre for the Book's “Baker’s Dozen”, the Canadian Toy Testing Council's "Great Books", the Ontario Library Association's "Best Bets", Toronto Public Library's "First & Best" and New York City Reads365.  They  have been shortlisted for awards such as the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book, Amelia Francis Howard-Gibbons , Mr. Christie, Shining Willow, Rainforest of Reading and Blue Spruce. 

"Fox and Squirrel" (Scholastic Canada) and "Chicken, Pig, Cow" (Annick Press) are both  Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award nominees.  "Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend" (Scholastic Canada) is a Toronto Public Library "First & Best" Selection. "Shh! My Brother's Napping" (Scholastic Canada) is an Ontario Library Association "Best Bet".

 "Kenta and the Big Wave" (Annick Press) is a Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books" Selection" and Resource Links "Year's Best" selection.  "Kenta and the Big Wave" is an Ontario Library Association's "Blue Spruce Award" nominee, Saskatchewan's  "Shining Willow Award " nominee as well as the Caribbean's "Rainforest of Reading Award " nominee.

I enjoyed being a 2011-2012 Writer-in-Residence for the Toronto District School Board  and a 2013 and 2015 instructor for Toronto Public Library's "Create the Next Great Picture Book" --a four week workshop for ages 8-12 (part of the "Sophie's Studio" series).  Please click here to see samples of the young author/illustrators' work. 

Many of the books I have illustrated have been translated into different languages. For example, "And You Can Come Too" and "Clara and the Bossy" have been translated into Korean.  "Shh! My Brother's Napping" has been translated into Spanish. The "Shh! My Brother's Napping" French rights for outside of North America have been sold. "Fox and Squirrel" and "Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend" have been translated for Korea and China.

Inquire about this presentation

Readings, Workshops, Keynote, Conference, Family Events & Festivals

I greatly enjoy sharing my work through a wide variety of presentations and workshops for all ages!


A School/Library Session:Using samples from recent releases, I share the steps and stages in making a picture book--where ideas come from, rough sketches,  mistakes and redos(!), original paintings, production proofs from the publisher, Q&A and an interactive drawing demonstration. Kids are then keen for a 10-15 minute hands on workshop, especially tailored for their age group.  Kids discover they can make anything happen with just pencil, paper and a little imagination.  I enjoy speaking one on one with as many as possible during this time.  Other topics may include: Storyboarding, Creating Characters, Composition and Creativity. 

Typically a school or library visit is 40-50 minutes.  I can present one or two presentations per day.  If outside the Greater Toronto Area, a minimum booking of two presentations is appreciated.

My visit can be adapted to suit any age group.  The below age ranges seem to work well:JK/SKGr.1-3Highschool/College/Adult(includes career and business experiencess)


Conference/Festival/Keynote:Over the past several years, I've had the pleasure of presenting across Canada at events such as the Alberta Library Association Conference in Jasper, Edmonton's Early Childhood Education Conference, Saskatchewan's Festival of Words, Calgary's Wordfest, Moncton's Frye Festival and Nanaimo's Children's Book Festival.  I've shared my work at schools and libraries from Newfoundland to Nanaimo to the Northwest Territories.  I look forwards to visiting libraries and schools in Northern Manitoba and Western Canada in 2016 & 2017.  I am excited to be a workshop leader for the 2016 Durham Catholic School Board Full Day Kindergarten Summer Camp. I enjoyed being the 2011-2012 Writer-in-Residence for the Toronto District School Board  and a 2013/2015 instructor for Toronto Public Library's "Create the Next Great Picture Book" --a four week workshop for ages 8-12.  I love connecting with kids!Audience Size:  100-120 students allow those at the back to see my original artwork and drawing demo at the front of the room. Larger audiences mean those in the back (unless stadium seating is involved) will not be able to see what's going on and miss out.  My most successful sessions are when the age range is kept to a  Group One:  JK/SK, Group Two: Grades 1-3 

A common question:  "How do you pronounce your name?"  Click here for 'TeachingBooks Audio Name Pronounciation' where I say my name.


Please contact me if interested in booking a visit!I'd love to hear from you.

Presentation type: Other

Recommended levels: Not applicable, Junior kindergarten, Senior kindergarten, Primary (1-3)