Clayton children’s author proves you can’t keep a good cat down

Clayton children’s author proves you can’t keep a good cat down

CLAYTON, CA (Feb. 27, 2024) — In just three years, Doré Ripley has published more than 20 books for children under the name Yellow Duck Press, illustrating them as well using a program called Canva Pro.

Her experience with comics and a past job with a newspaper doing graphic design helped inform her illustration technique.

The Clayton resident turned to writing books for children after retiring from her profession as a college professor. She is passionate about reading and children’s literature and writes picture books, early reading books for grades PreK-3 and activity books.

She recently shared her love of books and reading with the community at Barnes & Noble in Concord. Children enjoyed a fun afternoon of storytelling, imagination and inspiration at the Veranda shopping center.

Ripley read and discussed several of her picture books, including “Ellie the Cat in The Princess Ballerina and the Lost Tiara,” part of a series called Kitty Cat Cousins. She also read “Pearl the Cat Needs a Friend,” “Kelvin the Cat and Artie the Alien in the Intercosmic Vacation” and “Motorcycle Mack Slows Down.”


Many of her stories are inspired by her four grandchildren, as Ripley weaves in themes of their favorite interests like ballerinas, mermaids and astronauts. She bases other stories on her life experiences living off the beaten path in Clayton.

Early in her career, Ripley worked in corporate America. She retired from that job and moved to Clayton 25 years ago with her husband and children. She went back to school to earn a master’s degree in English and taught at Diablo Valley College and Cal State East Bay.

While a professor, she published two nonfiction books for adults, many essays and articles for academic journals, as well as “The Playhouse Mysteries: A Historical Novel of the Elizabethan Stage.”

“My true love is Shakespeare,” said Ripley, who also taught courses in modern English literature, children’s literature, graphic novels and comics as American literature.

“I like comics as a visual way to teach reading,” she noted.

Ripley is available for school visits, where she inspires kids to write and teaches the art of comic books.

For more information, visit her Yellow Duck Press page on Facebook or

Kara Navolio
Kara Navolio
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Kara Navolio is a freelance writer, telling stories of real life heroes and interesting people for several local newspapers since 2015, including The Pioneer and Lamorinda Weekly.  She is also the editor of a local magazine, Northgate Living, and her debut children’s picture book Everybody Can Dance! was  released by Brandylane Publishers, Inc. in May 2019.  She has lived in Walnut Creek with her husband for 30 years and is the mom of two now grown children.