Illustrator Spotlight: Kate Berube

© Kate Berube

May 25, 2018

Today we're delighted to feature illustrator Kate Berube and her book THE SANDCASTLE THAT LOLA BUILT, written by Megan Maynor (Knopf Books for Young Readers, May 2018).





Be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy!

Tell us about your background and how you came to illustrate for children.

As a child I loved to draw and I loved to read. I studied art in college at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For many years I was a fine artist and painted in oils. I also was a decorative painter for a few years - painting intricate stenciled patterns on walls and ceilings. When I moved to Portland, Oregon I started nannying to make ends meet and I rediscovered my love of children’s books. I had been increasingly unsatisfied with fine art and I was thrilled to discover a more satisfying outlet for my art. 




After that I joined SCBWI and took a number of classes about children’s books. Eventually, all my hard work paid off and here I am with book number four and five coming out this year!

© Kate Berube

Congrats on your new book, THE SANDCASTLE THAT LOLA BUILT. Did you have to build a lot of sandcastles as research for the book?


© Kate Berube

Thank you! I have many, many years of sandcastle building under my belt to draw from. I grew up going to the beaches of New England and I especially love Cape Cod. And since moving to Oregon in 2001 I’ve enjoyed exploring the beaches of the west coast.


© Kate Berube


Has your road to publication been long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between?

Long and windy, certainly! I took my first children’s book illustration class in 2000 and my first book was published in 2016. 
© Kate Berube

What are the 1-2 things you did that most helped you become a published illustrator?

I always tell students that the number one thing that helped me was making friends. All of the people I’ve met along my journey as an artist have taught me so much and supported me through the tough times. And you never know where those connections might lead you. 


© Kate Berube


I found my wonderful agent, Lori Kilkelly of Rodeen Literary Management, because my friend Victoria Jamieson shared my work with Julie Danielson. I feel blessed to have so many wonderful kidlit and artist friends! It’s amazing to see the beautiful work they’ve made and successes they’ve had since I first met many of them years ago.
© Kate Berube

What projects are you working on now?

I’m on maternity leave - so my project currently is keeping my little daughter chubby and happy. I also have another book coming out this year, MAE’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, from Abrams. So, I’m working just a bit to plan some fun promotional things for both books. But my maternity leave ends soon, so if any editors out there have projects for me I’d love to see them!
© Kate Berube

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I had thyroid cancer when I was 23. It was a difficult thing to go through but it made it clear to me at an early age that I should spend my time doing what I enjoy because I realized just how short life could be.

Where can people find you online?

website: kateberube.com
twitter: @kateberubebooks
facebook: facebook.com/kate.berube.books
instagram: @kateberubebooks



Kate Berube (Bear uh bee) grew up wanting to be an artist in a cow-filled Connecticut town. She earned her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like so many artists, Kate’s career trajectory wasn't a straight line – she’s been a nanny, a tax preparer in Massachusetts, a scenic painter in NYC, a decorative painter in Chicago, and a bookseller in Portland. 

Kate’s debut picture book as an author and illustrator is HANNAH AND SUGAR, published by Abrams Books For Young Readers. It won the 2017 Literary Arts Oregon Book Award, the Marion Vannett Ridgway Award and was short listed for the Klaus Flugge Prize. Kate illustrated THE SUMMER NICK TAUGHT HIS CATS TO READ, by Curtis Manley - published by Simon & Schuster’s Paula Wiseman Books and MY LITTLE HALF-MOON, by Douglas Todd Jennerich - published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. Kate now lives in Portland, Oregon.



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11 comments:

  1. Your work is lovely, Kate! Congrats on the new picture books and new baby, too!

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  2. Both of the books shown look really charming!

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  3. Kate's drawings are delightful! They have inspired me to get back to the drawing board. Congratulations on your success Kate!

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  4. I love the setting of your book and the illustrations are so much fun and make me happy. Congrats on your new baby, both human and book!

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  5. Both your books look colorful and enjoyable for children to have read to them. I like your illustrating style.

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  6. Looking forward to reading about Lola's sandcastle...a beach read for summer LOL!

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  7. Love your illustration style. Congrats on your new books and the new little one.

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  8. Perfectly timed for the onset of Summer, Let's see what Lola built. Thanks.

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  9. Really sweet illustrations. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your baby girl--they grow up so fast! ;)

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  10. I love the texture of the sand in LOLA! Can't wait to add it to my Kate Berube book collection.

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  11. As a child I loved to draw and I loved to read

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