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Eugene Yelchin

Biography

Eugene Yelchin

The first culture shock the Russian-born artist Eugene Yelchin experienced in the United States was a classified page in the Boston Globe. Dozens of ads called for painters. Yelchin was thrilled. What an amazing country, he thought. He was a painter — he’d just had a solo museum show in Russia. Newly arrived to America, Yelchin sadly didn’t understand that house painters were needed, not fine artists.
 
In St. Petersburg Yelchin graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Theater Arts. For the stage, he designed sets and costumes for dramas, comedies and ballets. He co-founded a children’s theatre in Siberia and he was selected as the Russian representative to the Stage Design Biennial in Prague. However his application to immigrate to the United States was not taken kindly by the Soviet cultural authorities. Somebody else was sent to Prague and every theatrical poster bearing his design credit was reprinted without his name on it. Yelchin became a person non-grata.
 
After arriving to Boston (and learning that only a certain kind of painter was in demand) Yelchin took his portfolio to a variety of art directors, including one who worked for the Boston Globe, who mistook Yelchin’s stage designs for editorial illustrations. Yelchin, understanding little, nodded enthusiastically and soon was illustrating for the Boston Globe. When one of his first pictures was reprinted in Graphis Annual of Illustration, Yelchin became a full-time illustrator.
 
Since then Yelchin’s art has appeared in magazines and newspapers and advertising campaigns. He even designed the original polar bears for Coca Cola. When he earned his second master’s degree from the film school of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, he directed TV commercials and designed characters for animated films. As a fine art painter, Yelchin went on to exhibit in museums and galleries in the US and abroad. His paintings are in several important collections of Russian and American contemporary art.
 
In 2006 at the SCBWI conference in New York, Yelchin received the Tomie DePaola illustration award. His whimsical, expressive and realistic art attracted editors and art directors, and he has since illustrated children’s books for HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt, Harcourt, Clarion Books and the Roaring Brook Press.
 
In 2012, BREAKING STALIN'S NOSE, a middle grade novel that he had written and illustrated received a Newbery Honor award. Horn Book magazine called BREAKING STALIN'S NOSE one of the Best Books of 2011. In the same year, WON TON, a picture book he illustrated was named ALA Notable Book. In 2010, the picture book Rooster Prince of Breslov that he illustrated received the National Jewish Book Award. His other books received starred reviews, and were on Children’s Choice and the Independent Booksellers lists.
 
Today, Yelchin speaks pretty perfect English and the only house he ever paints is his own in Topanga, California. He lives there with his wife, Mary Kuryla, an accomplished writer, their two children, Isaac and Ezra.

Eugene Yelchin

Books by Eugene Yelchin

by Eugene Yelchin - Adventure, Children's 8-12, Comic Books, Fiction, Mystery

In SPY RUNNER, a noir mystery middle grade novel from Newbery Honor author Eugene Yelchin, a boy stumbles upon a secret that jeopardizes American national security.

written by M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin with illustrations by Eugene Yelchin - Children's, Children's 10+, Fantasy, Fiction, Prejudice , Racism, Steampunk

Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord and spy on the goblin kingdom --- from which no elf has returned alive. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders and cultural misunderstandings throws these two scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them --- and war for their nations.

by Jon Scieszka, Christopher Healy, Sharon Creech, Cathy Camper, Laurie Halse Anderson, Ingrid Law, Deborah Hopkinson, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Eugene Yelchin, and Jack Gantos - Children's 8-12, Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction, Short Stories

HEROES AND VILLAINS, the seventh volume in Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read Library of Great Reading, is chock-full of adventure featuring an array of characters --- with and without capes. Featuring ten all-new, original stories that run the gamut from fantasy to comics to contemporary adventure to nonfiction, and featuring eleven of the most acclaimed, exciting writers for kids working today, this collection is the perfect book for you, whether you use your powers for good --- or evil.

by Carmen Agra Deedy and Eugene Yelchin - Children's 4-8, Family

La Paz is a happy, but noisy village. A little peace and quiet would make it just right.
So the villagers elect the bossy Don Pepe as their mayor. Before long, singing of any kind is outlawed. Even the teakettle is afraid to whistle! But there is one noisy rooster who doesn't give two mangos about this mayor's silly rules. Instead, he does what roosters were born to do.

by Eugene Yelchin - Animals , Children's 4-8, Graphic Novel

An adorable baby hare springs into an adventure, following his human friend up, up, and away in this flight of fancy. He follows his friend ever higher, flying through fluffy white clouds, chasing a red airplane through a flock of geese, and soaring into space on a rocket ship, before catching a ride on a shooting star back down to earth --- and into his friend’s waiting arms.

by Eugene Yelchin - Children's 9-13, Family Life, Historical Fiction

A long undisturbed bedroom. A startling likeness. A mysterious friend. When 12-year-old Prince Lev Lvov goes to live with his aunt at Falcon House, he takes his rightful place as heir to the Lvov family estate. Prince Lev dreams of becoming a hero of Russia like his great ancestors. But he'll discover that dark secrets haunt this house. Prince Lev is the only one who can set them free-will he be the hero his family needs?

written by Lee Wardlaw with illustrations by Eugene Yelchin - Children's, Picture, Poetry
Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…
 
A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.
 
 
Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry.
by Eugene Yelchin - Historical Fiction

For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a children’s home after his parents are declared enemies of the state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?