Picture Book Author & IllustratorPaddy Donnelly

The Golden Hare

The Golden Hare

I’m so delighted to finally announce my fourth author illustrated picture book - ‘The Golden Hare’. It’s a sequel to The Vanishing Lake and was published on 4th March 2024.

This time Meara wants to see dinosaurs, sharks and all sorts of incredible creatures, however she's disappointed as all the 'thrilling' animals are out of reach for her. Grandad tells her of the mythical golden hare which can jump to the moon in two-and-a-half leaps, can shape-shift into other animals and whose ears can hear the tiniest spider scratch an itch. With Grandad's nature journal in hand, they take off in search of the legendary hare, and discover the magic of the natural world along the way. Will they ever find the golden hare? Or has it been hiding with them all along?

Like the first story, this one is also inspired by something real, and quite unbelievable from back home. It's based on the golden hares of Rathlin Island. These striking and almost mythical creatures were the catalyst to take my characters off on another adventure.

Rather than just focusing on the shiny things in the natural world, like thrilling dinosaurs, sharks and tigers, I wanted to inspire children to appreciate the amazing nature we can experience if we take the time to listen to the birds singing, or discover a burrow or peer under a rock in the garden. The golden hare in my story represents the wonder of the natural world, and we don't have to look too far to discover it as it's always around us. As an extra layer to the story, I've hidden the shape of the hare in each spread of the book, so children will love to re-read the story to discover the hare hiding in plain sight all through their journey.

For people in Ballycastle and all along the North Antrim coast, we’re spoiled with awe-inspiring landscapes, which are filled with incredible stories of giants, shape shifting animals and mythical creatures. I've always been fascinated with the natural world, and I love to connect with my childhood and where I grew up. Being able to highlight this wonder of nature from Rathlin Island is such a treat.

If your little ones liked The Vanishing Lake, they’re sure to love The Golden Hare. You can buy the book in your local bookshop, or online at all the usual places.

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