'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Review: Vanishing

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.

The book is set in a possible future where animals and humans no longer exist. The story is a reflection of the past (or our present), exploring the beauty of animals and nature and all that was (or could be) destroyed.

A long time ago there were humans too who lived on this planet. The humans learned about the past. But they didn’t learn enough from it.

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. 

But… 

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.

Small things, one by one, lead to the end of everything. 

Slowly the creatures disappeared, along with the humans, and the land became silent and still.

Vanishing is a prediction of a possible and frightening future, but it isn't a story filled with hopelessness. At the end, the message is one of hope, which forces the reader to think about everything that has come before it and to reflect on… everything — past, present and future.

With beautiful and detailed illustrations and stunning text, Vanishing will spark much thought and discussion about issues that are both topical and important. Schools in particular will like this one. It provides so much content for classrooms and is a gentle way to explore some really tough issues.

And if you like this one, you might also like Olivia's Voice, also by Mike Lucas and Jennifer Harrison.

Title: Vanishing
Author: Mike Lucas
Illustrator: Jennifer Harrison
Publisher: MidnightSun, $29.99
Publication Date: November 2018
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781925227444
For ages: 5 - 9 
Type: Picture Book

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