How to Build Your Own Country, 2009
Karen Fredericks is an illustrator and cartoonist. She says, “I knew cartooning and illustration were for me at an early age. My older, and therefore larger sister, won all our fights by simply sitting on me. So, I drew a picture of her … naked … and left it out for all to see on the day of her ninth birthday party. To this day, my heart pounds with pleasure, recalling the uproar, tears and threats that ensued upon the very public discovery of the drawing. It was on that day I learned the pen is indeed mightier than the sword — or was it, A picture is worth a thousand swords? I did of course forfeit my slice of birthday cake that day, but it was definitely worth it.”
Karen illustrates under the name of Fred Rix. Her work appears in major publications from Time Magazine to The New York Times, as well as dozens of smaller publications you've probably never heard of. She also illustrated Pimp Your Cubicle, a humorous book with instructions on “How to Take Your Office from Boring to Bling!”
After graduating from The Cooper Union in N.Y.C., she spent time as an art director & creative director at various agencies before becoming an illustrator. Karen’s award-winning cartoon strip, “Is It Just Me?” appears weekly in the Independent newspaper in East Hampton. After graduating college, she published a book of cartoon stories called Modern Love with Arbor House Publishing. The handbound precursor to that book is in the Artist’s Book Collection at The Museum of Modern Art.
Karen lives in New York City and East Hampton, N.Y., with her husband Rick, their two dogs and four very noisy parakeets.
2012 - Red Cedar Book Award, Winner
2011 - Hackmatack Award, Winner
2011 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Winner
2010 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Winner
2010 - Information Book Award, Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada, Winner Inventions
2006 - Red Cedar Book Award, Short-listed