PenguinArt by Kate Garchinsky

Tag: illustration

My first copy!

Please share! My The Secret Life of the Red Fox is being released tomorrow, and we’ve started celebrating. Join the virtual party! I’m putting together a few storytime/nature walk combo events in the coming weeks, with details coming soon.

If you’d like to host a brick-and-mortar book signing/nature/art event, or can recommend a bookstore or nature center for such a shindig, please email me: KateGarchinsky @

And please, pass it on!


Sharing my nature journal at the bird banding station at Rushton Woods, PA

Tag: illustration

RED FOX COVER A rich reading experience awaits those who pick up this title.”— School Library Journal, starred review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 2017 Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights, is pleased to announce the March publication of THE SECRET LIFE OF THE RED FOX, written by renowned science author Laurence Pringle and illustrated by Kate Garchinsky. This non-fiction picture book, perfectly suited to young animal lovers, invites readers on a yearlong journey with a red fox named Vixen.

Delightful descriptions draw the reader into Vixen’s daily routine, as she finds food, hunts, escapes threats, finds a mate, and raises her kits—until the day that she and her mate watch the kits head off to lead their own secret lives. Stunning, realistic artwork by debut illustrator Kate Garchinsky celebrate the beauty of these mysterious creatures, while readers learn important facts about the animal through an engaging and fascinating story.

Children will be captivated by the intimate scenes and entertaining text as they explore this visually enchanting introduction to the red fox’s secret life.  The story is further enhanced with specialized vocabulary, identified by italics in the narrative and defined in a glossary in the back.

School Library Journal says in a starred review, “This intimate and personal view…is chronicled through a beautifully cohesive relationship between text and illustration. Facts and definitions are seamlessly woven into the narrative. …The art…convey(s) intensity and precision… (and) fuels the foxlike moments with emotion.”


Boyds Mills Press, an imprint of Highlights
Written by Laurence Pringle • Illustrated by Kate Garchinsky
March 2017 • 978-1-62979-260-6 • $16.95 U.S. • $21.99 CAN • Ages 6-9 • Grades 1-4


Tag: illustration

A new year. A blank slate. A chance to renew ourselves. To revisit our goals. 

This time last year I revisited my goal to be a working nature writer and illustrator. I had had enough of just-scraping-by doing work that taxed me, rather than rewarding me—mentally, physically, monetarily, and emotionally. I admit, turning 40 had something to do with it. A birthday of introspection. “What have I done with my life thusfar? How much time might I have left? What will I do with it?” I realized that I spent the past two decades doing work that satisfied others’ needs, but not my own. I skipped over the path that I felt drawn to, and settled for the “easier” one. The one that would pay the bills. Well, it used to.

Staying on this lackluster path had taken a toll on my body. Structural issues in my cervical spine flared up beyond tolerance. It was becoming impossible to draw and paint just for fun when I wasn’t doing graphic design work, because the computer work forced my body into positions that pinched nerves and caused muscles to continuously spasm. It was too much. I reached my limit.

The path grew darker as I imagined myself unable to draw or paint for the next 40 years of my life. Art is not just a hobby for me—it is an essential aspect of my identity. Who I am. From the time I could hold a crayon, I have been an artist. Without art, I am… nothing. That’s how it felt. If I could not create art, life would have no meaning. I would be forced to give up my dream of illustrating books and articles for children. I would lose my connection to my child self.

No! I could not allow this to happen.

With the support of my partner, Brian, and a heart full of hope, I made the decision NOT to take on work that forced me to lose my Artist identity, no matter what the purse. You would think that giving myself freedom to realize my dreams head-on would be liberating, right? Wrong. It was terrifying.

“What if I finally put 100% of my self into being an Artist… and then fail?” asked my nervous mind.

Not trying is giving up before you even start, answered my heart.

I realized that I had dillydallied on the easy path for so long for fear of failure. That is forgivable enough.

Forgiveness—another difficult challenge. I blame myself for everything, all the time. I’m always seeking forgiveness from people outside myself for things I didn’t actually do. Who do I really need forgiveness from? Me.

Sometimes the best way to do something seemingly unattainable is to pretend. Pretend you are what you want to be. Act like someone who has mastered what you want to master. Get a little theatrical if you have to. Eventually, you won’t be acting anymore. You’ll be doing it.

So I did a little bit of acting like someone who forgives herself and stopped apologizing to everyone but me. I tried on some boundaries. I said “no” to some design projects. I took some risks. I signed up for another workshop at the Highlights Foundation, because that’s what someone who was taking their career as a writer/illustrator for children very seriously would do. I crawled off the easy path, put on my bushwhacking gear, and started forging a new path. My own.

The result? I AM a working writer and illustrator. Birding magazine paid to publish my illustrations of Passenger Pigeons. I received an unsolicited scholarship to another workshop. Mentors appeared. So did followers. An ornithologist approached me about illustrating a children’s book. I received an award in a juried art show with the Valley Forge Audubon Society, who then invited me to exhibit with a select few established artists at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. I was invited to show my original Passenger Pigeon art at the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, where it will hang through July 2015—alongside works by the great Don Eckelberry. I applied for the Eckelberry Fellowship. I submitted a book that I wrote and illustrated to publishers. I have more stories in progress. I’ve got a Philly Nerd Nite presentation to prepare for February 4th.

The more risks I take, the greater the rewards. More than I could imagine (and I can be pretty imaginative)!

Turning 40 was really hard, but yesterday, I turned 41. I am one year closer to achieving my goals, rather than avoiding them. I’ve got mentors at my back, and the life I intended before me. It’s going to be a big year.

End note: the pain in my neck and arm is still an issue I deal with every day. I’m working on resolving the pain, every way I can. It may require taking risks. But so does doing nothing.

Tag: illustration

Use this image to #RememberMartha in your social media streams on 9/1/14. Full post to come on the subject.


Tag: illustration

Kate Garchinsky - Nutcracker

Illustration by Kate Garchinsky,

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Monday, December 2, 2013–San Francisco Ballet, the country’s oldest professional company and the first to perform the full-length Nutcracker in America, today announced the launch of a Nutcracker interactive storybook application. Designed for children ages 6-10 and their families, the animated iPad app allows users to not only experience SF Ballet’s production of Nutcracker through original illustrations and storytelling, but to explore and engage with the world of classical dance and music through groundbreaking new interactive technology.

Key features of the app, now available on the App Store for $4.99, include original artwork by Kate Garchinsky; audio clips of Tchaikovsky’s renowned Nutcracker score that accompany each scene; as well as playful animations, and pop-up information pages featuring fun facts about ballet,Nutcracker, and SF Ballet’s production. In addition, the app offers videos and photos that take young readers behind the scenes. Users have the option of reading the story themselves or listening to a narration while they tilt and tap their iPad to uncover surprises along the way.

In addition, the app includes an in-depth, informative microsite, “Discover SF Ballet,” which can be accessed through the “Discover” button on the app homepage, as well as throughout the storybook and online by clicking here. The microsite features a host of photos and videos, interactive movement tutorials, background information on SF Ballet and its School, a history of ballet and dance, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the Company, including its production of Nutcracker. Throughout this playful and educational app, children can hone their reading skills, while learning about ballet, dance, music, and more.

“As the company who started this beloved holiday tradition in America in 1944, we are thrilled to share our appreciation of Nutcracker, dance, and music with the widest possible audience through this unique app,” said SF Ballet Education Director Charles Chip McNeal. “Through the app’s fun and interactive content, our goal is to offer a rich educational experience for children and their families alike.”

To see the Nutcracker Interactive Storybook app trailer visit:

To Download
SF Ballet’s Nutcracker Interactive Storybook app is available for download on the App Store for $4.99. To access the app, click here.  This app is optimized for iOS6 or later and is optimized for iPad. A version for Android tablets will be released at a later date.

For reviewing media members only: contact Kyra Jablonsky or Lauren White for to access a free download of the app.

Nutcracker Interactive Storybook:
Illustrations and story by Kate Garchinsky
Narration by Eileen Brady
Design and development by Night Kitchen Interactive in collaboration with the artists, musicians, students, and staff of San Francisco Ballet.

The Nutcracker Interactive Storybook was made possible by a grant from the James F. Irvine Foundation’s Arts Innovation Fund.

San Francisco Ballet
United States, San Francisco Ballet, under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. For more information, visit For more information about SF Ballet’s Nutcracker, visit

Kate Garchinsky
Philadelphia, Award-winning illustrator and author, Kate Garchinsky,  is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. For more information about her and to view her work, visit

– See more at:

Tag: illustration

exhaustion [ɪgˈzɔːstʃən] n

1. extreme tiredness; fatigue
2. the condition of being used up; consumption exhaustion of the earth’s resources
3. the act of exhausting or the state of being exhausted

I love this spot. Taken by Scott McBride.

Exhaustion isn’t always necessarily bad. There’s post-exercise exhaustion. Post {bleep} exhaustion. Post-party exhaustion. Today it’s post-SCBWI-NYC-Mid-Winter Conference exhaustion. Who else is with me?

For the past three days I sat in a crowded room and absorbed a highly charged current of creativity in the electro-magnetic New York City.

I <3 NY.

Snow dustedness outside the Grand Hyatt

The mere scale of this weekend’s conference could easily terrify and exhaust any introvert. There had to be at least 1,000 people in the main ballroom. At least. All exchanging creative energy, enthusiasm, frustrations and exhaustions through conversation, presentation, body language, laughter and sighs.

*cue long sip of Rioja*

Door prize time!

I cannot possibly share it all right now. I’m not even sure it’s possible to share it all. The mere thought exhausts me. So… how about a few highlights? After that, I’m going to search for last night’s episode of SNL because Scott and I could not hear the TV audio from our two corner stools at Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern last night. El DeBarge had stolen all the rowdy room’s ears via jukebox.


Weekend highlights (kind of in order of occurence):

Making it to NYC just in time to drop off my art. Catching up with John. John Carlin and Rubin Pfeffer’s eBook session. Conversing briefly with a Mentee without realizing who he was. Fantastic Italian dinner in NoHo. Picking up my Showcase art and seeing all 20 large postcards had been snatched. Good dark ale at McSorely’s with Scott and a table full of strangers-turned-pals from NYU law school.

Whew. Hilarious and humble luncheon keynote by the gazillion-copy-selling author of Goosebumps, R.L. Stine. Meeting an eBook entrepreneur. Book signing party minglings. Chatting with Marilyn. Snowflakes that stayed on my nose and my lashes. Perfect vegetable dumplings at Samurai Mama. Watching Eye of the Tiger through the glass wall at the bar at the Knitting Factory. Making super secret plans with Scott at Rosemary’s.

R.L. Stine receives thanks post-keynote

Sara Zarr’s keynote. Sitting next to Olivia and Nadine Bouler, sharing a bird joke before I realized who Olivia was. *Birdartiststarstruckness* Following the owls and the penguins. The humor panel including Mo Willems. Making last-minute connections with people in line at the autograph party. Talking to Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple about birding, owling. Birding and writing. More wandering around Brooklyn. Experiencing the moment. Feeling right.

The owls are everywhere, and they are very wise.

Ok. That’s all I’ve got. When I get home I’ll scan some of my notes. They’re littered with character sketches. Girls in animal masks. Penguins doing yoga. Well, trying their best. It’s not easy with those stumpy little legs.


Penguins are also wise. They love beagles, just like me.