Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May.
Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018).
Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at http://KateGarchinsky.com (aka PenguinArt.com). For project inquiries, email kategarchinsky@ gmail.
My first word was “bird.” Born and raised just upstream of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, it seems I was destined to be a bird nerd. I used to try to talk to the birds, but they always flew away. Now I know better. For one, I was trying to talk to them in english! Not a good idea. You gotta speak the language. I’m pretty good at Crow (fish and American), Blue Jay, Barred Owl, Screech Owl, Mourning Dove, and Laughing Gull. Ask me and I’ll prove it to you—but be forewarned, you might want to cover your ears. I can be LOUD.
Speaking “Birdian” is fun and all, but what I really want to do most is inspire young people to fall in love with nature, just as I did when I was smaller. As a kid I took refuge in any little pocket of green I could find in my crowded suburban neighborhood. I loved to hop across the stones and search for minnows in Darby Creek. When I wanted to be alone, I climbed as high as I could and rested in the branches of our Japanese maple tree. Oh, how I wished a bird would land on my head! In summertime, I looked forward to hunting for quartz “diamonds” with my sisters and brothers at Cape May Point, New Jersey. I still love doing all these things. When I am with nature, I lose my all worries and find the real me.
Professional Activities & Awards
2017 Starred review, School Library Journal, The Secret Life of the Red Fox
2014-2015 Legacy Lost & Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America exhibit, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
2014 The Plight of the Passenger Pigeon exhibit at the John James Audubon Center, Audubon, Pennsylvania
2013 Author and illustrator, San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker Interactive Storybook App
2013-2016 Scholarship recipient, The Highlights Foundation
2012 Scholarship recipient, Pocono Mountain Retreat, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Eastern Pennsylvania
2012 Art On the Town, Wilmington, Delaware
2011 September & December First Friday, The Great Frame Up, Wayne, Pennsylvania
2011 (no name) Art Group “The Art of Giving II” exhibit and fundraiser for Philabundance, B Square Gallery, Philadelphia
2010 Gold Medal for Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies, National Parenting Publication Awards
2010 Nominee, Best Children’s Music Compilation, Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies, Independent Music Awards
2010 Seal of Excellence for Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies, Creative Child Magazine
2010 (no name) Art Group “The Art of Giving I” exhibit and fundraiser for Philabundance, B Square Gallery, Philadelphia
2009 (no name) Art Group, “Memory Portraits III” for underserved Boston school children
2009 Honorable Mention, Barbara Karlin Grant Competition, Time To Fly manuscript
2008 (no name) Art Group “Memory Portraits II” for disabled women via The Life Start Foundation, Vietnam
2007 (no name) Art Group, “Memory Portraits I” for the orphans of El Shadai, Kenya
2003 (no name) Art Group, “Bookmarks” Fundraiser for First Book Philadelphia
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
–BFA in Illustration, 1997
–Thornton Oakley Medal for Excellence in Illustration, 1997
–Barbara Merton Morrison Scholarship for Fine Art, 1992
Moore College of Art
–Young Artist Workshops