Author and artist of “The Nativity” to hold book signing


The author and artist of the book “The Nativity” will hold a book signing in the BYU Bookstore on Dec. 1.

“The Nativity” is a book about the birth of Jesus Christ, which includes paintings and biblical scriptures chosen to help illustrate the story.

J. Kirk Richards, author and artist of “The Nativity,” said he wrote and illustrated the book to portray the meaning of Christmas.

“I wanted to convey the importance of Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus,” Richards said. “Its non-denominational. (The verses) are taken directly from the King James version of the Bible.”

Richards said for years he wanted a book that told the story of Jesus’ birth that his kids could understand.

“It’s basically the scriptural account of the birth of Jesus,” Richards said. “For years I have kept thinking I really want this book to read to my kids, and it’s basically the texts from the gospels put together.”

Richards is a BYU graduate, which he said is one of the reasons he is excited to come back and do a book signing.

Todd Nell, BYU Bookstore art and frame supervisor and friend of Richards, said “The Nativity” is unique because of the artistic style it presents.

“The feel of it is like you’re going to Jerusalem,” Nell said. “He uses earth tones a lot in his painting. From that standpoint I think it stands out as unique.”

Nell said Richards stands out as an artist because of the various styles of art that he focuses on.

“He can do about three or four different styles,” Nell said. “He can do an illustrative style, he can do an abstract style and kind of an in between.”

Maureen Porter, consumer of LDS books and media at the BYU Bookstore, said “The Nativity” is different from other nativity Christmas books.

“It’s not just traditional art,” Porter said. “It’s a little more earthy. It doesn’t have real super clean lines and … the framework around the pictures and the pages (is) also kind of ‘sketchy’ like it’s been kind of roughed in. (Other nativity books) usually are maybe a little more colorful, and this one is just a little more low key. It’s an absolutely beautiful book.”

Porter said having a book signed by the author makes it more personal.

“A signed book is something that makes it feel like it’s more of a personal gift,” Porter said. “It says, ‘I saw this, and I thought of you.’ It says that you put some time and thought into it, that you really cared enough about this work to meet the author because you appreciate what they do and want to have a little bit of interaction with them.”

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