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Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) 

Written and Illustrated by Cindy Derby

There are 9 steps to becoming an ant walker, and Amariyah, the expert ant-walker, is here to show you how it's done.  This irreverent and quirky picture book follows a young girl as she goes through the process of walking ants, from polite introductions to tragic leash entanglements. In the end, this unique book shows that as long as you're doing what you're best at, you may find a like-minded friend to tag along.

“Derby, making a highly original debut, offers sly comic timing and deadpan prose that feel right at home with her scratchily inked, goth-vibed art style.” —Publishers Weekly

“Budding entomologists (and plenty of regular kids) will delight in the focus on these commonly seen insects…Be prepared for leash requests—so convincing is this guidebook.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Come for the wonderfully offbeat premise. Stay for the oddball humor within. It’s hard to dissect humor, nor would I want to dive too deeply into doing so, but there is something about Cindy Derby’s brain and the way she tells her stories that make me happy she’s making picture books. Rather, it’s many things…Derby is an author who doesn’t get in her own way. She lets character take the wheel here, and it is gratifying every (ant) step of the way.” —Julie Danielson, Kirkus Reviews

“Derby’s watercolors, in a limited palette where black and gray predominate, have the fierce childlike disorder of Neal Layton with a touch of Stephen Gammell in the squirrely lines. Soft gray washes background wild-haired Amariyah, the precisely inked ants, and the trickly, hand-lettered-style text and speech emanata. The result is both edgy and cute, reveling in and amplifying the story’s enjoyable weirdness.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"How to Walk an Ant isn't merely goes much further: It's absurd."  New York Journal of Books 


Release date: March 1st, 2019

Publisher: Groundwood Books

Written by Shannon Bramer

Illustrated by Cindy Derby

“The works carry notes of wistfulness and wonder, astute observations, and poignant reflections on one’s place in the world.” —Publishers Weekly

“A stunning book of poems for children…Perfect pairing of words and art…Bramer’s evocative words are made even more memorable by the watercolours of San Francisco’s Cindy Derby...Feelings abound in these verses, and it becomes clear that even four- and five-year olds live complicated lives.” —Edmonton Journal

Derby’s art sort of looks like the lovechild of Stephen Gammell and Matt James. That spidery, delicate art all awash in evocative watercolors that feel like something out of the world’s nicest fever dream. Only Derby could make the hips of a skeleton look like a particularly lovely variety of Venus flytrap. Only she would cover a grumpy girl in anthropomorphic chocolate chip cookies, all feet and boots and crumbs. But the reason that Derby was the absolute ideal person to pair with these poems is that she can do exactly what Bramer does, note for note. When Bramer goes big and expansive, when her view backs up and backs up and encompasses so much more than one child and one thought, that’s when Derby backs up. That’s when you’ll see her snow splattered pines on steep mountainsides and the moon shine on a woman padding down a steep hill one moment and then the wispiest strand of a spider’s web or the shadow of a flower on snow the next. A person should get vertigo the way she moves about from page to page but instead you just feel so safe and comforted. Derby’s art makes you feel that everything is going to be okay. Even when it’s weird. ESPECIALLY when it’s weird.” —Betsy Bird, School Library Journal



Spring 2020

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Written by Deborah Underwood

Illustrated by Cindy Derby




Fall 2020 

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Written by Jackie Azúa Kramer

Illustrated by Cindy Derby