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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

Bivins ’85 blends environmentalism & fun with children’s illustrations

Christopher Bivens '85
Christopher Bivins ’85 shows off his latest book at his Dream Factory Books studio in Enumclaw.

Christopher Bivins ’85 has worked his way into the hearts of children and environmentalists with two new books featuring his whimsical artwork.

Bivins, who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree, has illustrated two children’s books that combine a fun story with practical tips about protecting the environment. Written by his wife, Joni Sensel, “Bears Barge In” and “The Garbage Monster” were released in April in conjunction with Earth Day.

Bivins has worked as a designer and illustrator for many corporate clients, including Weyerhaeuser, AT&T Wireless, REI and the National Park Service. He handled the design and layout of PLU’s Business Scene for several years before and after graduation and lent his creative mind to other PLU projects. Illustrating children’s books gives him a chance to be as creative as he wants with no restrictions.

“It’s pretty much all mine,” he said. “I get to figure out what it’s going to look like, and I do it. It’s just more fun than corporate work.”

Bivins worked in watercolor and colored pencil for both books. He also illustrated “The Perfect Tree” in 1990.

The latest books aim to teach children and families how people and wildlife can live peacefully together. Both are published by Dream Factory Books in Enumclaw, owned by Sensel and Bivins.

“The plan is to be largely environmental and educational,” Bivins said.

“Bears Barge In” features a boy named Zack who lives in the forest along with bears and other wildlife. Zack’s human neighbors multiply, and he must find a way to make room for both.

“The Garbage Monster” brings recycling to life and explores conservation on a scale young children can relate to. When young Jo is slow to take out the garbage one night, the trash comes to life and takes her out instead. She takes the monster apart, finding uses for all his parts and showing readers resourceful ways to recycle.

Both books are available at dreamfactorybooks.com, or amazon.com, and at area bookstores.

Zack peers out of his house to see his furry neighbors.

From “Bears Barge In,” Zack wakes to
find a possum before his eyes.

Bivins’ books feature a cast of animal characters.

Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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