In addition to writing children’s books, Cat Urbain writes grants and articles for nonprofit organizations including Ethiopia’s Daughters and the Yale School of Medicine. She has also worked for the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps (now SeriousFun Children’s Network) and volunteered at their camps for children with serious illnesses, where after much encouragement she finally scaled a 40 foot climbing wall, caught 14 fish and danced the Bushy Tail dance 39 times.
She has a Master’s degree in art education from Wesleyan University and conducts workshops for students, teachers and librarians. Her presentations include the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Connecticut Library Consortium, the Shoreline Arts Alliance, Mystic Seaport, the Tassy Walden Book Awards and Barnes & Noble. Along with Louie, her lobster puppet, she has also participated in fundraisers for organizations such as the Block Island Historical Society, the Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center and Schooner Inc.
Cat was first inspired to write children’s books while working at Weston Woods Studios where her job was to direct and edit children’s films as well as watch movies such as Doctor De Soto and Where the Wild Things Are over and over. She won a blue ribbon for directing a film about a guy named Jonah and a really big fish and she produced a documentary film about children in Nicaragua during the contra war. She was inspired to write Manuel and the Lobsterman when she was taking a class in children’s book writing and had a homework assignment to write about two characters who were completely different. While visiting Rockport she met a really cool lobsterman and thought what could be completely different from an old lobsterman who lived in Maine? A young Latino kid who lived in New Haven.
Cat once lived in New York City where she worked for a television station, helping make programs about telescopes and ballet dancers. Many, many years ago she lived on a goat farm in the south of France with twenty-six goats, one very sweet pig and three dogs. She now lives in a bright yellow house on a beach full of sea glass with her daughter Carina and their dog Tucker. Although very smart and very sweet, Tucker has absolutely no interest in listening to children’s stories and never offers any advice or suggestions. To help get feedback on her stories, Cat joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is an active member of the Shoreline chapter critique group and is part of a spinoff marketing group, Write Up Our Alley. (www.writeupouralley.com )
Cat’s favorite place to visit is Block Island. She loves the island so much she decided to write a story about a boy named Diego, his friend Whynd and their adventures trying to find a ghost and stay out of trouble. She would love to hear from anyone who has ever seen or heard a ghost on the island.