Author and illustrator Kristine Rivers developed a love for nature in general, and birds specifically, at a very early age. Her mother encouraged her to learn more about the birds that she enjoyed watching in their yard, and she began sitting outside with a sketchpad, drawing and taking notes about their behavior. At some point her parents gave her binoculars and a field guide, and from that point on, she was hooked!
Kristine attended the University of Oklahoma as a Professional Zoology major before changing her major to Art. Although her career path varied over the years, she never lost her passion for nature. She began teaching birding classes and summer camp classes about birds and other wildlife in 2015, and became a Certified Texas Master Naturalist in 2016. She is a professional birding guide, and enjoys sharing her love of nature with others.
When her mother suggested that she put together a book, it seemed natural to gather some of the information from her summer camp lessons since she had already been creating fun puzzles to support what she taught, and that gave her something upon which to build. She realized that she could actually develop a series of books, and her son pointed out that she needed something to tie them all together – like a mascot.
After a few days of brainstorming, she decided that she wanted to use a turtle as her mascot, because she really wants kids to slow down and look at the things around them in nature. Her son suggested “Treetop Turtle” – a turtle who could see amazing things around him that he had never been able to see before, due to his new perspective from the top of a tree – and the mascot was born.
Kristine says, "I hope that, as parents, you will encourage your child to slow down and really look at all of the amazing things around us in nature, and learn to treasure them, as I did."
Kristine is married, and lives in Texas with her husband, her son, and a menagerie of cats and dogs.
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