J E N N I F E R H A R R I S O N I L L U S T R A T ION
Vanishing is a beautiful and haunting picture book about our world, the amazing creatures that inhabit it and the devastating reality of the damage we are doing to both.Vanishing
In March 2016 before the drawings for Olivia’s Voice were completed, I Visited Monarto Zoological Park and had the great privilege to meet a gorgeous Cheetah called Kwatile through Monarto’s Cheetah Experience. The keepers explained the plight of these big cats and their declining numbers. I was deeply saddened that these beautiful majestic animals could one day become extinct.
I was aware that animal and plant extinction was a growing concern worldwide, but while researching cheetahs I discover to my horror that so many other animals and plants were disappearing at an alarming rate. 99 percent of present extinction and threatened species are caused by human activities—habitat loss through land clearing, introduction of exotic species, over hunting, pollution and global warming.
Overwhelmed I wondered what I could do to make a difference. Maybe through education the next generation can be reached. So I came up with the idea of the children’s book Vanishing. My hope is that children will feel a real connection with my animal illustrations.
About the illustrations
This book is a passion for me. I love animals and illustrating them. Whether fur or feather, scales or wings. I most enjoy capturing their incredible facial expressions and the depth in their eyes.
I found the research for this project very disturbing because of the sheer numbers of endangered species.
Not all of the animals illustrated in Vanishing are threatened or endangered. I wanted to convey the message that all animals on earth could one day become extinct including our beloved pet cats and dogs. I have depicted many of the animals in contrast to objects, symbolizing them changing from beautiful alive creature to lifeless things.
Vanishing will be available in December 2018. I hope both the young and the young at heart enjoy this book.
Most of all I hope this book will raise awareness of how precious and beautiful our world is and how important it is to nurture and respect our animals and plants for the future.
Harrison’s extraordinary illustrations seem almost too realistic to be the pencil drawings they are. They have the ability to instill both joy and heartbreak in the reader through the skillful use of detail and depth. The grace and beauty of all the animals, even down to the insects, is captured with exquisite dedication. The images inspire a love and appreciation for the natural world.’
Reviewed by Fiona Miller-Stevens
The Children’s Book Council of Australia
Vanishing is a reflective picture book. The text is evocative and memorable, and the detailed illustrations are paired perfectly with the words, showcasing the true beauty that can be found in this world.
Look a little closer, explore the details, and you will notice that the pictures show not only the wonders of our Earth, but also the ways in which humans have taken from nature. Animal skins are turned into clothing, animals suffer in the poisoned oceans, introduced species destroy natural habitats for native creatures.