Animal Attraction

My name is Zhiqing Liu. I come from China, and doing children’s book illustration in Uclan.

My work aims to teach children to be kind to others, through knowledge and love of animals in picture books. Cruelty to animals is a widespread phenomenon with serious implications for animal welfare, individual and societal well-being. Most reports of cruelty to animals were in younger children. Children need to be told that animals have feelings and are not to be treated as toys. Picture books give children a chance to know about animals and to love them. Children can learn new biological facts from a picture book then apply them to depictions of new animals and even to live animals.

I aim to create a children’s book (or series of books) to help children learn about animals. Through stories of what can really happen to animals, I intend to show that animals on the one hand have such different behaviors from humans, but on the other hand, they have many similarities.

I am trying to find a balance between being able to better express animal emotions through anthropomorphism and maintaining animal identity. I am looking for a childrens story that focused on the introduction of the characteristics of animals themselves, rather than use animals faces characters to tell a story about humans. 

This project has resulted in the creation of a 12 spread children’s book.  The story originates in a fairy tale from a Chinese elementary school textbook. This is the story of a little gecko looking for its tail. The story takes the tail as a clue and introduces the use of the tail of several different animals and their impact on their survival.


The first spread

In this spread, the audience can see the little gecko appear for the first time. I want to show how small is the little gecko. The picture is a little “flat” since it is on a wall.  I need to make the picture has some depth, so I  used the liana to cover a part of the gecko, and I make the liana has different layers.

The first spread Image

The second spread

In this spread, I choose the moment before the gecko caught the mosquito, to make it looks less cruel and more exciting. I show a little blake tail on the right. It is a clue about what is going to happen.

The second spread Image

The third spread

The gecko lost his tail. The snake is trying to chase him.But since the tail of the previous page is a clue, this one doesn’t seem too sudden

The third spread Image

The forth

The little gecko lost his tail. Because he thinks that he looks ugly, he feels pain and heartbroken. In the children’s book, I need to avoid to show blood, So I used prickly plants to indicate at the pain in his heart.

The forth Image

The fifth spread

In this spread, I want to show how the gecko meet the fish in a lake. I hope that through the beautiful scenery, the reader will be relieved from the pain of losing the tail on the previous page

The fifth spread Image

The sixth

The story of this spread is focus on the tail.  A fish’s tail is distinguished by its graceful handling of the spray. I choose golden fish to be the main character of this spread.

The sixth Image

The seventh spread

The little gecko met an ox. As we know, a gecko is much smaller than an ox. So, only show the horn is enough to show how big is the ox. The gecko felt he’s ugly, so he didn’t want to show his body to the ox, and hiden himself behind a piece of leaf. However, We can still see he didn’t  have tail through the transperant leaf.

The seventh spread Image

The eighth spread

The ox use his tails to repel flies.I tried to show the power of the cow’s tail by the swing of the grass and the spin of the fly.

The eighth spread Image

The nine spread

In this spread, the gecko met the swallow. To make the audiances focus on the swallow, I make it flying in front of the sun and surround  by branches.
When people face to sun shine, it is hard to see something clear, and this can help to keep the secret, I want to make audiance see the tail of the swallow in next spread.

The nine spread Image

The tenth spread

I tried to create a sense of wind flow in the picture, to show that the swallow rides the wind through its tail. The direction in which the swallow flies and the direction of the wind guide the reader  If readers are careful, they may notice that the little gecko’s tail has grown back by this time. I was already laying the groundwork for the end of the story so that it didn’t seem too sudden

The tenth spread Image

The eleventh spread

I set the background as a dark night with the moon obscured by clouds.Through the dark environment to show the little gecko heart of disappointment, but because of the mother’s kind face, the picture is still make audiance feel warm peace.

The eleventh spread Image

The twelveth spread

In the last spread, the little gecko suddenly noticed that his tail was growing back. Although it seems sudden, it is not abrupt due to the foreshadowing aboveI wanted to show his surprise.As the mood changes, the background brightens and the clouds that block the moon lift.I brighten the picture with multiple dots of fluorescence

The twelveth spread Image

Portfolio Details

Portfolio Categories

  • Degree show 2020
    • Master of Children's Book Illustration