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 current titles include Roar! I’m a Dinosaur (winner of the Good Housekeeping Best Kids' Board Book of 2022), Oink! I’m a Pig, and the Color, Cut, Create series. His newest illustrated title Giants Are Very Brave People (2023 Cybils Awards nominee), written by Florence Parry Heide, is a reimagined classic picture book about a little giant that learns to be brave with the help of a new friend. Merrill also works for many children’s magazines like Highlights, Ranger Rick, and Humpty Dumpty. He has served on faculty at the Highlights Foundation retreat center and is the former 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 some very opinionated coworkers (one pup, and a very hungry toad!) 

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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