The Vanishing Lake


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

★ Gold Medal Winner in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2021.
★ Selected for the annual Best Children’s Books In China list 2020.

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Age Range: 4-8 years

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Based on a real lake close to the author’s hometown in Ireland, this book beautifully blends imagination with the magic of the natural world.
Something mysterious is happening at Lake Loughareema. There are days the lake is beautiful, shimmering, and full. And then there are other days when it’s . . . empty!
Meara asks her granddad WHY the water disappears, but every time he blames far-fetched culprits: Narwals! Mermaids! Giants! Unsatisfied, Meara sets out to uncover the truth for herself. Little does she know the answer is much larger than she realizes, and it’ll take stepping back and opening her eyes to the impossible to discover the lake’s magic.

About the Author

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.

Additional information

  • Publisher: ‎ Yeehoo Press (April 20, 2021)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Hardcover: ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN: 9781953458032
  • Item Weight: ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions: ‎ 8.1 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches

10 reviews for The Vanishing Lake

  1. FJ

    The ending did not flow out from the rest of the story very well. Kind of just cut off and did not make much of an impression.

  2. Bobbi H.

    She just turned 1 and she chews on everything and tears paper. Except books. She knows how to turn pages carefully as daddy reads to her. They do go on hikes frequently so I knew this would be a hit with my daughter and son-in-law.

  3. Mal

    This is a great book! Loving the illustrations and the story! It inspires a little imagination and mystery, and I love that the author chose the grandad/grandchild relationship! It could be a little longer, it felt like it ended a little fast. Other than that, so great.

  4. Dee

    I absolutely love this book. The illustration is beautiful, like paintings. The conversations between the little girl Meara and her grandfather discussing the periodically vanished lake are exciting and inspiring for young readers. Apart from being full of imagination, this book is also educational, generating children’s interest in exploring natural phenomena.

  5. Dillon Kline

    Love this book. Full of imagination and addressing then issue of drought and in some ways indirectly with global warming. My kids love it.

  6. Charlotte H. Offsay

    A sweet story about a young girl who goes to stay with her Grandpa who lives beside a lake that periodically disappears. Granddad’s explanations for why the water vanishes squeezed at my heart thinking of my own fun-loving and always hilarious grandpa. This beautiful book celebrates family, imagination, and mystery.⁠⁠

  7. Rinda Beach

    I loved everything about this book – the words, the illustrations, the back matter! Meara doesn’t understand why her lake is vanishing. Me neither! Her grandpa has some really creative ideas. The real explanation is nearly as creative. The back matter includes the authors note about where this story came from – his childhood in Ireland where his lake really did vanish! It ends with the scientific reason for this natural phenomenon. I was fascinated from the beginning to the end . . . LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

  8. Gerard Mcfetridge

    I grew up around this lake so when I saw it for sale I had to buy it to read it to my little boy. I love the book just as much as he does. I’ll be able to take him here when he goes to visit his granny’s and cousins and maybe tell him the stories my dad used to tell us about why it would disappear. It wasn’t narwhals back then 😂

  9. alex

    The gorgeous textured illustrations are what first caught my eye and made me want to read this book. The story is just as lovely. It explores the imagination of a young girl and her relationship her playful (but wise) grandfather. I really liked how the back matter gives us the scientific facts behind the vanishing lake the author based the book in.

  10. Amazon Customer

    I skipped through the pages to see WHY the lake kept vanishing. The answer to the question was not what I expected. It’s cute lol, but I just wasn’t expecting that. But its a beautiful story though, with beautiful vibrant art.

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