PEEK-A-BOOK: Through Endangered Eyes

Rachel Dillon is a gifted artist and author who’s kicking off the inaugural feature PEEK-A-BOOK here at Finders & Keepers! When her picture book, Through Endangered Eyes, came in the mail, I sat down right then and there to read it.


Here’s what I loved (and what you’re going to love, too!), and your PEEK into this wonderful book!

zebra-spread_page_12Rachel uses a unique artistic technique to capture the beauty of the animals.

zebra-spread_page_2Each endangered animal is accompanied by a short, lyrical poem, just the right size for little ones to learn something new!

At the back of the book, Rachel gives even more information. It’s not every book that can save the world, or at least a few animals therein. But Rachel’s Through Endangered Eyes gives little ones a chance to see how every animal, from the smallest to the largest,  impacts our planet and how very important it is for everyone, from the smallest to the largest, to protect our endangered friends!

And since we’re all about finding stuff here at Finders & Keepers, I asked Rachel what feelings she found during the journey of her book. Here, in her own words, is what Rachel had to say about her experience:

Surprised – It was very surprising how easy the book of poetry and paintings came into my head. I really didn’t sit down and say, “I’m going to write a children’s book,” it just simply happened. It is hard to explain, other than saying the book has been inside me for a long time. I am just glad a publisher took a chance and published my book.

Inspired – After my daughter was born, I felt a desperation to do more than my marketing job. I wanted to make a difference in the world, no matter how small. I put together all that I love in my book: writing, painting, teaching kids and helping animals.

Impressed – When my daughter was two she stepped on an ant – on purpose. I scolded her and told her that the ant had a purpose on Earth and she didn’t have a right to end its life. Yes, maybe a bit harsh for a two year old, but the message got across to her. Two years later, my son was two and my daughter was four. My son stepped on an ant – on purpose. My daughter looked at her brother in horror and started to cry, “Don’t step on ants! They have a purpose on our Earth!” My heart was filled with joy at how passionate my daughter had become about animals, and I felt a glimmer of hope for the world!

Touched – When my book was finally delivered, after six years of hard work, my daughter took it to her teacher as a gift. She clutched the book to her chest all the way to her classroom. When she handed the book to her teacher she said, “This is my mom’s book. She wrote it and painted it.” I think what touched me the most was the pride she had in her face and voice. That moment made the emotional journey of getting published, all worthwhile.

Words to keep in any writer’s heart. And now, though I dearly love Rachel’s book, I’m giving you a chance to win Through Endangered Eyes. Because this is a book that should be shared with little ones and my little ones are all grown up (though my all-grown-up son LOVED this book…I guess you never really outgrow wonderful picture books!)

So, leave a comment here anytime before May 1st. Tell me what your favorite animal is, and I’ll randomly draw a winner (okay, I’m just going to say that Sally the crazy dog will probably draw the winner. That’s always an adventure!). I’ll even mail you the book. And who knows? Maybe Rachel will include your favorite in her next picture book. Because this is an artist and author that I think may write more books we’ll want to PEEK into!

9 thoughts on “PEEK-A-BOOK: Through Endangered Eyes

  1. MY favorite animal is the giraffe(could it be because we’re both tall–I’m not GIRAFFE tall but still…)and my son’s favorite animals lately are frogs. Lots of frogs.

  2. What a beautiful book. I may have to purchase to use in my workshops for teachers. The story about the ants truly touched my heart. Thanks so much for sharing. As to my favorite animal? Right now it would be Miss Calliope, my newly adopted Calico kitten that I rescued. (I get her tomorrow!)

  3. I know what you mean about those ants! I kinda had a choked-up moment-about ants, of all things. But it makes me realize how very close to the heart Rachel’s book is.

  4. My favorite animal in the book would be the Polar Bear, mostly because I am so sad about its circumstances.

    Maddie – awwww, enjoy your kitten. If my daughter breaks her finger sucking habit we are adopting a kitten. Let me know if you have any questions about the book, I would be happy to answer any to help you introduce the technique etc.

    Cathy – Thank you for your kind and gentle words!

    🙂 Rachel

  5. Lovely book! My grands would love it.

    My favorite animal at the moment, I suppose it changes with the seasons, is the stately great blue heron that stalks the creek in my backyard.

  6. The thing I love about this book is the poetry and the facts at the back of the book telling about the animals. Rachel, how long did you research before you were ready for publication?

  7. Hi Dorain – that is so funny you should mention the wonderful great blue heron. My dad wrote a book, based of researchers notes for Northland Publishing called, “The Great Blue Heron.” Small world huh?

    Hi Margo – good question about the length of time I spent researching each animal. Some were easier than others to find information about, like the African Elephant. Others, like the Comoro Black Flying Fox, were tricky to find information on. I did most of my research online and in books at home. I averaged about 3 hours of reading on each animal. The writing took another 2-3 hours and the artwork from 6-14 hours:)

  8. Hi Rachel,
    What a lovely book! The cover looks so real; it reminds me of the tigers in Disney’s movie “Earth,” which I saw on Friday with my grandson’s fourth-grade class.
    My favorite animal is the polar bear. Let’s see hibernate during the cold months and lose weight–sounds good to me.
    Good luck with your book, and thanks, Cathy, for letting us chat on your blog.

  9. There you are, Donna! Glad you made it, and thanks for pointing out the polar bear benefits. Any animal that gets to skip winter, gets my vote!

    Good luck to all. You still have a few more days to get your comments in and win Rachel’s gorgeous book, Through Endangered Eyes!

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