Growing up, Merrill Rainey spent most of his Saturday afternoons drawing, watching monster movies, and going on imaginary adventures. Today, he is a cowboy-boot-wearing, picture-book-creator, and paper-toy-maker. Merrill’s work focuses on exploring creativity and imaginative play. His most recent titles include Color, Cut, Create • Dinosaur World, and Color, Cut, Create • Horse Ranch (OddDot). Merrill is also the author and Illustrator for a new board book series with HarperCollins. The first book, Roar! I’m a Dinosaur launched June 21, 2022. The second book, Oink! I’m a Pig launched September 6, 2022. Merrill also works for many children’s magazines like Highlights, Cricket, Ranger Rick, and Humpty Dumpty. He has served on faculty at the Highlights Foundation retreat center and is currently the illustrator coordinator for the Northern Ohio chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Merrill lives in the village of Whitehouse, Ohio, with his editor (his wife), subject matter experts (his kids), and very opinionated coworkers (a very hungry toad, and some crabby hermit crabs).

Super Hero Color - Cut - Create! Paper Toy Activity Book • Self Published (2018)

Some of Merrill's clients: Ask Magazine • HarperCollins • Highlights Magazine • Highlights Press • Hippo Park • Holiday House • Humpty Dumpty Magazine • Intergalactic Afikoman Press • Jack and Jill Magazine • Learning A-Z (Raz-Kids) • McGraw Hill Education • Odd Dot  • Scholastic • Spider Magazine • Ranger Rick Magazine
Awards: 2022 Good Housekeeping Kids' Book Award • 2018 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Magazine Merit Award • 2017 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Magazine Merit Award - Letter of Merit • 2016 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Magazine Merit Award - Letter of Merit • 2016 Highlights Magazine Illustrator of the Month - June 2016 (Pewter Plate award) 2015 Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) Magazine Merit Award - Two Letters of Merit 2015 • Highlights Magazine Illustrator of the Month - May 2015 (Pewter Plate award)
Represented by Teresa Kietlinski • Bookmark Literary
For school visits, workshops, & presentations
Sarah DeVore • HowNow Booking
Interviews with Merrill 
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