(Photos: Kristen Riggle | Courtesy of Kristen Riggle)
Local Bend Author Creates Bend-inspired Baby Primer Board Book
It’s never too early to discover the beauty of Bend. The Busy Birds Adventures: Hello, Bend! is a board book full of rhyming words and colorful illustrations. It is designed for babies to be able to hold and enjoy whether they’re in bed or on a hike. It’s a bright and engaging book to help families introduce 0-3 year-olds to the adventures to come in Central Oregon.
Kristen Riggle is an artist, author, and lifestyle blogger. Imagination and creativity are two pieces of her childhood that she never wanted to let go of as she grew up. Kristen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University and a masters degree in Sculpture at California State University, Northridge. Her work ranges widely in all sorts of mediums, yet the core concepts commonly encourage creativity, exploration, and most importantly doing what you love.
She created her first picture book in 2018 called The Busy Birds Adventures: Little Bird Explores Bend! to help encourage appreciation for the outdoors from an early age and exploring the beauty around us. This year, she finished her second book, this time a board book called The Busy Birds Adventures: Hello, Bend! and is designed for babies to be able to hold and enjoy whether they are snuggled up in bed or out exploring the outdoors!
The characters she uses in her illustrations are inspired by her collection of quirky bird paintings that she calls The Busy Birds. Each one highlights an individual’s happy place whether it’s an activity, place, profession, or passion. If she’s not in her home studio writing, painting, or imagining, she’s probably off with her husband exploring the deserts and mountains that surround their happy home in Bend, Oregon
Author Q&A with Kristen Riggle
Tell us about your newest board book?
The Busy Birds Adventures: Hello, Bend! is a bright, cheerful, and engaging board book to help introduce the beauty of the nature that surrounds us in Central Oregon. It’s full of rhyming words, colorful pages, and is designed for babies to be able to hold and enjoy whether they are snuggled up in bed or out exploring the outdoors!
How did this book come about?
The journey all started when I combined my love of writing fun little poems with my quirky bird illustrations called The Busy Birds. Then, a series of Bend-inspired Busy Bird paintings turned into my first picture book called Little Bird Explores Bend! for kids ages 3-8. After talking to many parents in town who had kids too young for a standard picture book, I thought “How fun would it be to give Little Bird Explores Bend a baby sister?!” Then The Busy Birds Adventures: Hello, Bend! was born. I made it specifically for families who love the outdoors and believe it’s never too early to teach their 0-3 year olds about all the adventures that are yet to come.
What’s your favorite thing about Bend?
I love so much about this town! I love that there are endless places to hike and explore, I love the seasons and the many days of sunshine, I love the community and the supportive environment for local businesses, I love the beer culture and the many different IPA’s to taste, I love the rockhounding options in the area (I’m dying to look for sunstones still!) and last but not least, I love the morels we can hunt for in the spring.
Who inspires you?
People who follow their instincts and create things that have never been created before. Charles and Ray Eames, Julia Child, Jess Lively, J.R.R. Tolkein, J.K. Rowling, Oliver Jeffers, Dr. Suess, Jeffrey Vallance, Felix Gonzalez Torres, Allan Kaprow, Pat Flynn and all my amazing creative and inspiring friends.
What were some of your favorite kid’s books growing up?
My absolute favorites were The Berenstain Bears. I had every single one and read them over and over again! Later, Harry Potter became my number one.
How long did it take to write your book?
It took me about six months from start to finish. I started with the text and finished the title/poem at the beginning of August 2018 and finished the last painting of the book in the beginning of January 2019
Are you planning to make more books? If so, what about?
I definitely see myself making more books in the future. At the moment though, I’m really itching to start painting something completely different. I may try and start a new series of paintings and see where that might lead!
Are you on social media? Where can people follow you?
You can follow my book and Busy Bird illustrations journey @thebusybirds on instagram and facebook. Also, my husband and I have a blog called Room To Ramble and our instagram handle for that is @roomtoramble.
Kristen is launching The Busy Birds Adventures: Hello, Bend! through a Kickstarter platform and is accepting preorders through March 15.