Eugene Yelchin

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Eugene Yelchin
Yelchin in 2018
Yelchin in 2018
Native name
Евгений Аркадьевич Ельчин
BornYevgeny Arkadievich Yelchin
(1956-10-18) October 18, 1956 (age 64)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia)
OccupationIllustrator, writer
designer (Russia)
EducationDesign, Leningrad Institute of Theater Arts, 1979
Film, University of Southern California
GenreBooks For Young Readers (as author/illustrator); Theater and Film (as designer)
RelativesAnton Yelchin (nephew)

Eugene Yelchin (born Yevgeny Arkadievich Yelchin, Russian: Евгений Аркадьевич Ельчин, born October 18, 1956) is a Russian-American artist best known as an illustrator and writer of books for children.

His novel Breaking Stalin's Nose was awarded a Newbery Honor in 2012.[1] The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge he co-authored with M.T. Anderson was named National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature in 2018.

His nephew was actor Anton Yelchin.

Education and early career[edit]

Yelchin was born in Leningrad, Russia, to a Jewish family.[2] In 1979, Yelchin graduated from the St. Petersburg State Theater Academy.

From 1979 to 1983 he designed sets and costumes for leading Russian theater companies including Alexandrinsky (Pushkin's) Theater and Akimov Comedy Theater in St. Petersburg.

In 1979–80, with a group of peers from the Theater Academy he co-founded Tomsk Children's Theater in Siberia.

In 1983 Yelchin emigrated to the United States. In 1988 Yelchin graduated from the Southern California Film School in Los Angeles and began directing TV commercials and illustrating advertising campaigns.

Books for children[edit]

In 2006 at the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators conference Yelchin received Tomie DePaola Illustration Award and began writing and illustrating books for children.

His books have been published by Scholastic Press, Henry Holt, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Roaring Brook Press, Candlewick Press, Clarion Books and Harcourt. They were translated into French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Romanian, Estonian, and Polish.

Selected awards[edit]

In 2018 The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge he co-authored with Matthew Tobin Anderson was named National Book Award Finalist.

In 2012 Breaking Stalin's Nose, a middle grade novel that he wrote and illustrated received the Newbery Honor.

In 2010 his illustrations for The Rooster Prince of Breslov received a National Jewish Book Award.[3]

In 2017 his novel The Haunting of Falcon House received Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators’ Golden Kite Award.

In 2011 Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told In Haiku that he illustrated received Society of Children's Books Writers and the Golden Kite Award.


As Author/Illustrator
  • Spy Runner. 2019. Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978-1-250-12081-6
  • The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge(with M.T. Anderson). 2018. Candlewick Press ISBN 978-0-7636-9822-5
  • Pip & Pup. 2018. HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-1-62779-394-0
  • Spring Hare. 2017. Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978-1-62779-392-6
  • The Haunting of Falcon House. 2016. Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978-0-8050-9845-7
  • Arcady's Goal. 2014. Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978-0-8050-9844-0
  • Breaking Stalin's Nose. 2011. Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978-0-80-509216-5
  • The Next Door Bear. 2011. HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-0-06-125925-8
  • Heart of a Snowman. 2009. HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-0-06-125926-5
  • Ghost Files. 2008. HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 978-0-06-128395-6
As Illustrator


Yelchin's paintings and drawings have been exhibited along with former Soviet non-conformist artists

  • 2002: "Russian Revolutions: Generations of Russian Jewish Avant-Garde Artists” at the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture
  • 2006: “Territories of Terror: Mythologies and Memories of the Gulag in Contemporary Russian-American Art” at Boston University (2006)
  • 2010: "Shattered Utopia: Russian Art of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Periods" at Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art

Yelchin is a member of the Jewish Artists Initiative of Southern California. His paintings and drawings are represented by Sloane Gallery of Contemporary Russian Art.

Other works[edit]

Yelchin created original storyboards for the popular Coca-Cola Polar Bears campaign[4] and designed characters for several animated features including 2012 Oscar winner Rango directed by Gore Verbinski (2012 Oscar for Best Animated Feature).[5]

Awards And honors[edit]


External links[edit]