Picture Book Author & IllustratorPaddy Donnelly

The Vanishing Lake

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My debut author/illustrated picture book, The Vanishing Lake, was published in April 2021! It was first published by Yeehoo Press. It has also been published in Chinese, Greek, French and Dutch. Exciting times!

The Vanishing Lake is about a little girl called Meara who goes to visit her Grandad who lives by a lake which disappears and reappears for no apparent reason. She constantly asks her Grandad why it happens and each time he has a more extravagant and unbelievable reason for her. Meara won’t believe any of his stories, but with a little imagination she may discover the ‘real’ reason.

The story is actually based on a real place, close to where I grew up in Ballycastle in Ireland. It’s a lake called Loughareema which actually does disappear and reappear every few days, depending on the weather.


The book won the Gold Medal in the Picture Books category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2021! I was absolutely blown away to hear that it was included in the shortlist, never mind win the category! Not only that, the Chinese edition of The Vanishing Lake was also selected in the annual list of ‘Best Children’s Books in China 2020’! In apparently a very competitive list, including picture books, chapter books and YA, only 24 children's books are selected out of 1000 entries from over 100 publishers to make this list, so I'm honoured to have my book in there. It was also shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2022.


After being a long-time listener of the Picturebooking Podcast, I was honoured to be interviewed on the show about The Vanishing Lake. You can listen here. You can also read an interview I did here for the publisher's blog, which includes info about the process and a few sneak peeks from the book. I also recorded a little video for them announcing the book. I was also interviewed by Books Ireland about the book.

In May 2022, a new paperback edition of The Vanishing Lake was published by O'Brien Press in Ireland and the UK.

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