Kristyna Litten whisks us off to Bearona with a brand-new dynamic duo in her gripping new graphic novel series.

This week we are delighted to introduce you to a new detective duo from the pen of Kristyna Litten. We can’t wait to introduce you to Bearona to meet Grandpa and Ivy as they set about solving the mystery of the Flower Thief.

This fabulous new series concept for younger readers cleverly weaves themes of environmentalism and conservation in a seat gripping narrative graphic novel format. With utterly absorbing landscapes, intricate cityscapes and a cast of intriguing characters making it a fully immersive reading experience.

We were lucky enough to spend some time with Kristyna to find out a bit more about this brilliant new project, her inspirations, research process and what might come next.

“I first had the idea for Bearona about 5 years ago, I started working on all the architecture featured in the book, imagining the two main characters travelling through those landscapes. I loved the idea of the characters having to discover something or maybe solve a mystery, I was also really interested in exploring the grandfather and granddaughter relationship.

Creating the city, lead me to design  a map of Bearona, which was based on a trip I had made to Budapest. My family originate from the Czech Republic, so I have always been influenced by the familiar surroundings of Eastern Europe.

I thought about what the town square would look like and the town hall and the museum, then added things like the fairground, then I worked on the outskirts of the city. The castle featured in book one was based on a tiny sketch that I had made in a sketch book on my travels. 

The research was probably 40% my own reference sketches and 60% from my imagination, an amalgamation of things I remember from trips, arches and rooftops etc. and partly fun things I wanted the characters to engage with.

Book one is set in the Bearona Botanic Gardens, which were based on the gardens at Kew, including the iconic glass-house and cast-iron staircases.

Grandpa and Ivy visit the gardens to see an infamous flower which only blossoms very rarely. When they arrive the flower has gone missing and so the story unfolds, as Grandpa and Ivy become aspiring private investigators.  They meet a ring-tailed lemur, Professor Leroy Birch who is the head botanist at the botanic gardens and he tells them why somebody may have taken it.

There is an undercurrent informing children about the importance of bees and looking after nature and the eco system. If you look after plants bees are happier and if bees are happier everything works.

I’m hoping to take readers to Black Bear Rock as the focus for book two, I’m thinking the story may take a closer look at themes around global warming and climate change.

This project was kind of a natural progression for me, because the way that I write is with tiny stories in my sketchbook, so it was just a case of working out how to join them together with a narrative that worked and putting them in a proper sequential order. I’m really happy with the way it’s worked out so far. At the moment we are looking for a publishing home for Grandpa and Ivy and all their future adventures but in the meantime, I’m really enjoying working on this project.”


With HUGE Thanks to Kristyna for spending time with us and sharing the process of creating a new idea.

You can find Kristyna on Instagram, or you can view her online portfolio on our website HERE.

For more information regarding working with Kristyna please email and don’t forget to sign up to our weekly newsletter for hot of the press information on all of the projects our wonderful illustrators are working on.


Kristyna Litten Bearona side aiccbt