PenguinArt by Kate Garchinsky

About Kate


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 (aka For project inquiries, email kategarchinsky@ gmail.

Artist’s Statement


Volunteering at a bird rescue is a great way to see birds up close!

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.


Passenger Pigeon sketch by Kate Garchinsky

Passenger Pigeon adult male, Kate Garchinsky

American Birding Association/Birding magazine

Boyds Mills Press



John James Audubon Center

Night Kitchen Interactive

San Francisco Ballet

Professional Activities & Awards

2017 Starred review, School Library Journal, The Secret Life of the Red Fox

2015 Eckelberry Fellowship, Don & Virginia Eckelberry Endowment at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia

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

SCBWI Eastern PA logo by Kate Garchinsky2014 Logo Contest Winner, SCBWI Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter

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

2011 “Water” Juried Show, Newark Arts Alliance, Newark, Delaware

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 LullabiesIndependent 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


Kate Garchinsky, Age 8

University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
–BFA in Illustration, 1997
–Thornton Oakley Medal for Excellence in Illustration, 1997

Rosemont College
–Barbara Merton Morrison Scholarship for Fine Art, 1992

Moore College of Art
–Young Artist Workshops

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  • "Kate Garchinsky is a bright light in the emerging field of children's media. She's an outstanding illustrator, a charming story teller, and a wise marketer." –Gail McMeekin, author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women