PenguinArt by Kate Garchinsky

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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: @katesnowbird

It’s bad form to go months without blogging. My only excuse is that I’ve been working hard on something greater. I knew that if I wandered off-course to talk about what I was doing, then I would no longer be doing it. I’d be digressing. As I am now. No time for that. No time!

I’m happy to report that I’ve officially finished my dummy for my picture book about the Passenger Pigeon. It’s in the hands of an editor who asked to see it. A solicited submission. I can’t even describe what a humongous deal this is for me. Up to this point I’ve only ever submitted illustration samples and portfolios—never with my own writing. I have long suffered an impostor complex when it comes to adding “author” to my illustrator name (a #TBT post for another time). Let’s just say that my inner poopynannyhead of a critic has been banished to sulk in the corner.

Such good things come from spending time at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, PA.

This time last year I spent a long weekend in a crash course led by the godfather of aspiring children’s authors, Harold Underdown. It was the first time I brought all my scraps and bits and pieces about Passenger Pigeons together, and laid them on a table for feedback. I came away from the workshop feeling nurtured, like someone important who knew better than most people actually believed in me. It gave me courage to take bigger baby steps in my writing. You might say I hatched from my protective shell that weekend.

Then, I applied for the Highlights Foundation Writing About Nature Retreat, to be held in May 2014. I was accepted, I attended, and gobbled up seeds of truth and wisdom like a hungry little squab. I grew quickly with the support of my own flock.

A few weeks later, I received a call from Kent Brown, inviting me to attend Chautauqua East in June. Well now, I wasn’t prepared for that! That’s like, one of those serious conferences for those really serious writers who have written and published a hundred thousand things, right? So I thought until I was invited. Honored, I packed my bags again and this time spent a glorious week in the barn in the field by the woodland stream. I wish I could impart just how much more knowledge, support, encouragement, confidence, belonging, and nurturing flowed through me during this magical, week-long adventure. In keeping with the bird analogy, here I fledged.

Fledgeling birds step out of the nest partially feathered, then flutter clumsily to a branch or lower elevation, while receiving continued meal deliveries and guidance from their parents. So it has been for me. I have private Facebook groups with my fellow attendees and faculty from each of these retreats where we keep track of each other, deliver morsels of encouragement, and celebrate each other’s baby giant steps. If I hadn’t experienced such love and validation from the people of the Highlights Foundation, I would likely still be sitting on this pigeon book idea, arguing with my inner poopynannyhead about my right to write it. Instead, I’ve taken my first flight into children’s publishing. I can’t wait to share what happens next.

Pigeon Art is Everywhere

Because I’m an author AND illustrator (yeah, that’s right!), I’ve been painting a lot of Passenger Pigeons. Almost every bird of mine has made it into the public eye at this point. In the May/June issue of Birding magazine, my Passenger Pigeon studies accompany an article by Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, co-writer of the new documentary From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, and founder of Project Passenger Pigeon. Joel connected me with the editor of Birding, as well as the curator of collections at the Woodson Art Museum, and the good folks at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. The Woodson took two of my earlier pigeon studies for inclusion in a special exhibit, titled: Legacy Lost and Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America, which opened the same day as their annual “Birds in Art” exhibit. I think the super-coolest part about this exhibit is that my paintings will hang in the same room as Ivory-Billed Woodpecker originals by the late, great Don Richard Eckelberry. I mean, for real. And they’ll hang there through July 2015.

The Plight of the Passenger Pigeon at the John James Audubon Center. Photo ©2014 Stephen Kacir.

My group exhibit at the John James Audubon house, The Plight of the Passenger Pigeon, opened this weekend on the second floor of John James’ childhood home in Audubon, PA. How about that. Five of my Passenger Pigeon-inspired originals share the room with bird art by other local artists and illustrators, including Michael Adams, Ponder Goembel, Mallary Johnson, Brigida Michopulos, and Lisa Lapoint Roese. There’s also a Passenger Pigeon specimen stuffed by J.J. himself. The show hangs through November 15, 2014.

Never before has my art enjoyed such bird spirited company. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it.

I sincerely hope that with all these events, and some yet-to-be-announced events to come, I’ll give Martha and her flock of Passenger Pigeons some of the lost attention and remembrance they deserve.

Now if you’ll please excuse me, there’s a Carolina Parakeet named Incas tapping at my window sill.

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Tag: @katesnowbird

Tag: @katesnowbird

“Stage invasions aren’t supposed to be this cute. As sprightly folk-popsters The Leisure Society launch into their second number, a two-year-old wobbles up to the front of the stage, making it to the edge before he’s whisked off by his mother to a murmur of aahs.”

James Medd of Word interviewed SMTS co-producer and art director Kate Garchinsky and attended the show on May 15 with his two sons. Read his account of the festivities, and learn more about the Kindie movement in children’s music.

PDF: SingMeToSleep_Word0710

Tag: @katesnowbird

You would think from the lack of activity on my own website that I’ve been lying around in my pajamas, daydreaming to sweet tunes, doodling and enjoying tea and crimpets.

That, my friends, is precisely what I’ve been doing.

(Ok well, sort of.)

My big fat project of 2009-2010 has been a CD of lullabies for children and music-appreciating not-so-grown-ups. Once a figment of an idea itching my brain, now full-blown reality, for the past 16 months “indie lullabies” have been my life. On May 15 The Line of Best Fit, Arctic Circle and American Laundromat Records celebrated the album’s release in London at a hugely successful Daylight Pyjama Party at Union Chapel with The Leisure Society and The Real Tuesday Weld performing. The event was covered in Word mag, and scores of blogs have made favorable mention of the album over the past 3 months.

Video Footage:

The Leisure Society: Inchworm at Union Chapel

Nine songs from the CD are now being played on rotation on Starbucks radio in locations spanning the globe. Kind of mind-boggling—when in London one cannot turn a corner without spotting a Starbucks. Scary, really. But anyway… I’m pretty proud of it. Can you tell?

The fantastic part about all this is that the CD is a charity album, and all sales go to a great cause. The Valerie Fund has been supporting the comprehensive treatment of children with cancer and blood disorders for over 30 years. But as a small, independent non-profit, the fund operates on a skeleton staff with fully tapped, limited resources. Non-profits such as these struggle in the same way small businesses do during times of recession, and their work is insurmountably important. The last charity compilation American Laundromat Records produced has raised over $30,000 for Casting for Recovery, and I hope that we will, at the very least, quadruple that success with “Sing Me to Sleep” and help The Valerie Fund thrive rather than survive. Each year thousands of children and their families rely on their support and care in specialty centers in hospitals across densely populated New York and New Jersey.

There’s tons more info I would love to share with you now, but I have to go return some shoes, deposit a check, and pack my bags for the weekend because Sunday is the BIG DAY, Release Party the Second, at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Come, bring your kids. Yes, even the screaming runny little ones. The event is designed specifically to delight and engage ornery minds with beauty, art and music. Plus the face-painter is one of the best in the city, and you know I am all over that.

Once this event is through, it’s back to the creative board—I have plenty of new ideas itching my brains. More on that later.

Happy weekend.

Tag: @katesnowbird

Sing Me to Sleep - Indie Lullabies

Long time no update—so it goes when you’re this busy. If you’re a friend on Facebook or Twitter you already know what I’m talking about. Sing Me to Sleep – Indie Lullabies is at last a reality. A real, tangible, physical piece of art and music that was once just a figment of my imagination. The album officially releases worldwide on May 18, but pre-orders began shipping 2 weeks ago.

Let the parties begin.

Release Party the First. London.

Next week we will celebrate the CD’s official release with a Daylight Pyjama Party, presented by Arctic Circle, American Laundromat Records and Union Chapel in London. That’s right, far across the sea in a quaint little church. Not only that, but England’s darlings The Leisure Society, and antique beat setters The Real Tuesday Weld will perform their lullabies from the album, alongside original material. AND it’s free. FREE! And you can bring your kids. In fact, please do. And dress them in their jammies, because it is, after all, a lullaby CD and a pyjama party (that’s how they spell it over there in the old world. Or so they tell me).

Very heartfelt thanks to my very good friends at The Line of Best Fit whose enthusiasm for this project has made the entire event possible. Great music blog. Go read it for days.

Sing Me to Sleep - Daylight Pyjama Party

Release Party the Second. New York.

So as if that’s not enough. On Sunday, June 13, the legendary Tanya Donelly, the lovely Jenny Owen Youngs and the fearless Julie Peel will perform another all-ages matinée at Joe’s Pub in New York City. You may remember Tanya from 90’s chart-toppers, Belly. Or from the earlier days of the Breeders. Or Throwing Muses. Tanya has enjoyed a solo career since all these, and her cover of “Moon River” is a delightfully soft representation of her singer/songwriter work.

Again, kids are welcome to attend in their pajamas, and if they do, they leave with a little prize.

Sing Me to Sleep - New York Release Party

Representatives and friends of our charity, The Valerie Fund, will be in attendance at both events.

And so will I. With bells on.

But do I dare show up in my pjs?

Tag: @katesnowbird

Freshly inspired and injected with creative energy from the SCBWI Mid-Winter Conference in NYC, I return to the most urgent task at hand—artwork for the cover of the nifty 7″ vinyl record that will accompany the special limited edition pre-order package of Sing Me to Sleep – Indie Lullabies. The project has officially been leaked to the indie music media, and we have received some early blurbs from Pitchfork, CHARTattack, TwentyFourBit,, Avopolis Music Network and We leaked a free download of Dean & Britta’s track, “Making Me Smile” to Muruch and there is already a fan video on YouTube.

That made me smile. :’)

When the 7″ art is complete I’ll move on to the CD cover art, continue planning release parties in May, and recruit some of my favorite fellow illustrators to create poster art for individual songs from the album. My plan is to have the posters available for sale at the release parties and online, and then, gathered printed in an anthology of lullabies in picture book format. Sound cool or what?