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Who is Kate Dopirak?

Growing up just outside of Pittsburgh, PA Kate spent her early years in her attic playing Library with her siblings. In school she preferred English and Reading courses over Gym class. Babysitting filled her time throughout her teens, a devoted elementary school teacher after college followed by her most important and cherished roll yet - being a mom to her “two sassafras boys”!


Like the perfect banana bread recipe, Kate was able to mix all her LOVES - reading, writing, teaching, living, family, parenting and especially, paying attention - together. It is no surprise that she became a beloved Children’s author too. This chapter, however, did not come together easily or quickly. Kate demonstrated her drive, commitment and good old-fashioned “stick-to-it-ivenenss,” pushing past rejections and disappointments with positivity and grace. Eventually, she broke through to bloom as a maven of crafting rhythm and rhyme! No matter what role Kate took on - childhood librarian, sitter, teacher, mom, writer, or friend - she had a natural way of connecting with people through her smile, joy, wit, and energy. Similar to the little boy in her newest book Hurry Up!, Kate knew just how to slow down and become truly present with kids and adults too. “My sons inspire most of what I write. My nieces, nephews, and neighbors get in on the action sometimes, too. I watch them do something or hear them say something and - BOOM! - a story idea starts!”


Kate passed away in 2018 from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (sCJD), a rare neurological condition. She left this world too soon and with so much more to accomplish. But Kate’s life was one of amazing accomplishment, as her story is full of qualities that should be celebrated and to which we all should aspire. Her experiences show that life often takes unexpected and unfair turns, but still offers a mysterious mix of laughter and love that can shine through even the darkest times. Together we continue her mission to twinkle, sparkle and create meaningful, memorable connections through the power of books. 


Obituary: Kate Dopirak (Publisher’s Weekly)

Obituary: Kate Dopirak / Children’s author who believed the best is still ahead (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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