Meara's Granddad lives by the mysterious lake of Loughareema. Some days it’s full and shimmering, and some days it's completely empty! Grandad has plenty of stories about why it vanishes. Is it mermaids? Narwhals? Giants? Meara doesn't believe any of these stories, but with a little imagination she may eventually discover the ‘real’ reason ...
Meara's Grandad lives by the mysterious lake of Loughareema. Some days it’s full and shimmering, and some days it's completely empty! Grandad has plenty of stories about why it vanishes. Is it mermaids? Narwhals? Giants? Meara doesn't believe any of these stories, but with a little imagination she may eventually discover the ‘real’ reason ...
Dive into author-illustrator Paddy Donnelly’s captivating tale, a celebration of a young girl’s determination, a granddad’s wisdom, and the fantastical wonders of the natural world.
A wonderful read for adults and children alike, as it is a journey of discovery.
We all really enjoyed this story and its surprise ending. We all gave it 10/10 - Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class, Drom NS, Co. Tipperary
A magical melding of myth and science, this adds new layers of imagination to the story of the real Co Antrim lake Loughareema, whose appearance and disappearance may owe much to its chalk bed and unusual drainage pattern, but whose legends are much more intriguing. Ghosts of the drowned and of kelpie spirits have haunted the vanishing lake for centuries but Donnelly, who grew up near the North Antrim coast, creates a whole new web of possible - and impossible - explanations for the erratic behaviour of the lake’s water. When young Meara’s grandad suggests the water has been soaked up by the fleeces of swimming sheep, she sees straight through his story, so he tries a different tack. “The mermaids took the plug out again,” he offers. “Or I suppose it could have been narwhals doing headstands. They poke holes in the lake bed with their horns and all the water drains out.” His theories questioned by his logical granddaughter, Grandad asks: “Do you only believe what you can see?” It’s a question pertinent not just to Donnelly’s story, in which truth may be stranger than fiction, but to most of Ireland’s tourist and heritage sites, where the attractions of the natural landscape are augmented and enriched by the power of the accomplished storyteller
a captivating tale that celebrates a young girl's determination, a granddad's wisdom, and the fantastical wonders of the natural world
incredibly wonderful … a mysterious, charming, beautifully illustrated tale of natural wonder
Based on the author’s own childhood memories of a very real vanishing lake, this charming tale is a lovely nod to the Irish folklore with all its magic and mystery. Donnelly’s illustrations portray the remote landscapes of Ire- with beautiful simplicity and vibrancy on every page. The author’s notes on the final pages give the location and science behind the lake that inspired the book so the reader can have their own adventure. This warm and sweet book is the perfect bed-time story. Recommended for all ages
one of my absolute favourite books
illustrated with rich, warm swathes of green and blues, Donnelly makes the most of the double-page spreads to celebrate this idyllic, Irish locale. As Meara explores the lake floor with a magnifying glass, Donnelly presents lush, green vistas with deep clouds and expansive spaces. Animals, both fantastical and real dot the frame and landscape and children will be drawn in by these visitors to mythical scenes. What is especially lovely though is granddad's fanciful yarns about why the water has vanished and whether the truth of the story lands on the magic of granddad's side or Meara's science. A narrative play that will keep young readers hooked until the end. I particularly liked the information text at the back in which Donnelly shares the story's origin based around a real lake he visited as a child in his home county in Ireland in which the water really did drain away. A fantastical delight and one that will be better shared
Download Activity sheets: A drawing of Meara on the lake bed to colour in
Download Activity sheets: Meara is boating on the lake with grandad. Spot 8 differences between the 2 pictures
Download Activity sheets: Meara is exploring the lake bottom. Spot 8 differences between the 2 pictures
Download Activity sheets: Questions and activities based on The Vanishing Lake
Also by Paddy Donnelly: