The Vanishing Lake

Written and illustrated by Paddy Donnelly

Something mysterious is happening at Lake Loughareema. There are days the lake is beautiful, shimmering, and full. And then there are other days . . . where the lake is completely empty.

Meara asks her granddad WHY the water disappears, but every time he blames far-fetched culprits: Narwals! Mermaids! Giants!

Unsatisfied with these wild tales, Meara sets out to look under every pebble and search every hill—exploring the entire island to uncover the truth for herself. Little does she know the answer is much larger than she realizes, and it might just take stepping back and opening her eyes to the impossible to discover the magic of Lake Loughareema.

From debut author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly comes a captivating tale celebrating a young girl’s determination, a granddad’s wisdom, and the fantastical wonders of the natural world.

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Teaching Guide and Lesson Plan

A captivating tale that celebrates a young girl’s determination, a granddad’s wisdom, and the fantastical wonders of the natural world.

What to Expect:

  • Wild and Fun: Readers are caught up in a slew of outlandish situations.
  • Natural Themes: With a sense of wonder throughout, this book encourages young readers to explore the wider world around them and seek their own natural wonders.
  • Gorgeous Art: The illustrations in this book are rich-textured, fun, lively, and entirely engaging.
  • A Clever Combination of Fiction and Non-Fiction: An educational back matter offers opportunities for discussions about geographical phenomena.


Format: Jacketed Hardcover
Pages: 40
Size: 8.1 X 10.1
Price: $15.99
Age Range: 4-8 years
Publication Date: 04/20/2021

ISBN: 978-1-953458-03-2

Author Bio

Paddy Donnelly is an Irish author & illustrator living in Belgium. He grew up on the north coast of Ireland, surrounded by mythical stories of giants, magical creatures and shape-shifting animals – all set in a stunning landscape from another time. All of this prompted his love for nature, animals, the sea and storytelling.

He creates his illustrations digitally, but loves working with a textured, painterly approach. The Vanishing Lake is his debut author illustrated picture book, based on a real lake close to his childhood home in Ireland.

He wishes Pluto was still a planet.


“The Vanishing Lake explores the timeless mysteries and magic of nature. A story that captivates the imagination with lush illustrations and humour. It feels like a modern classic.”
– Fiona Woodcock, Illustrator and Picture Book Author
“Children will adore this funny and surprising mystery about a determined young girl and her inventive grandfather. Donnelly’s beautiful illustrations evoke the spirit of discovery and adventure that children find in all wild places.”
– Jennifer Bell, Bestselling Children’s Author