I'm so excited to introduce my debut children's book:
Where Did All The Rhinos Go?
When a young rhino finds himself all alone, he must go on a journey to find the rest of his kind, meeting new friends along the way. In her debut book, conservation biologist Lara Jackson explores the impact that humans have on the world around us.
Heartfelt and beautifully illustrated, Where Did All the Rhinos Go? encourages us to stop and think about how we can help, and how we might make more room for nature in our everyday lives.
Why a children's book?
I strongly believe that the decisions the next generation make will determine the future of our planet and because of this, I think we need to introduce and teach conservation topics at a younger age.
One of the biggest issues is that our society is now so far removed from nature that people don’t feel a connection to it anymore. However, we’re entirely reliant upon nature for our survival. Nature gives us clean air, fresh water, waste disposal and having many different species living in an area (high biodiversity) creates a stable environment.
To get people to care about nature, we need to help people create a connection to wildlife and the planet. We can make a start by talking about animals that are in danger because of us and talking about the impacts that we’re having on the planet.
Rhinos are a species very close to my heart and they’re in trouble. I often think that issues like poaching can be such a scary topic to explain, that people avoid it. I was inspired to write my first children’s book because I wanted children to understand the impact that we humans are having on the planet, even if we live a very long way from Africa. I hope to inspire the next generation to care about rhinos and other wildlife so that they use their voices to speak up and protect those who don’t have a voice themselves.
Endorsed by Ami Vitale
Award-winning National Geographic Photographer, Filmmaker & Writer
"This beautiful book explores and explains some of the negative impacts that we're having on the natural world, from poaching to deforestation, and addresses them in a compassionate way. Through the eyes of an orphaned black rhino, we learn how deeply interconnected our world is. It is a powerful reminder to reimagine our relationship to nature and to each other."
The important messages I hope readers will take away...
I want people to stop and think. When you’re so far away, it can be difficult to understand how your actions are having an impact on an animal who lives thousands of kilometres away. I want to open up new conversations between parents and children. I want the children to read the book and be asking themselves, why are there no rhinos and where did they go? Why are orangutans disappearing? Why are we cutting down their trees?
By posing these questions, it opens up a narrative for nature.
I want to create the opportunity for parents to explain that expanding towns and cities are reducing the number of wild areas for animals to live, that some animals are hurt for no reason other than the horn on their nose, that our actions affect wildlife that lives thousands of kilometres away from us.
Most importantly, I want children to feel a connection to nature and to wildlife. It’s my hope that they’ll fall in love with the baby rhino and want to help him find his family. By getting people to forge a connection with the natural world, they will be more inclined to fight for it and I think we need to plant the seed early. I want this to be a story that stays with children – I know that I want my children to one day travel to Africa and be able to see a rhino in the wild and I hope that the children who read this book will also have dreams to see rhinos in the wild when they’ve grown up.
The ultimate goal is to get people to care. Without people caring, without them feeling upset by what’s happening to our wild spaces and our wildlife, we cannot create change, we cannot change the way the story ends.
The Author & Illustrator
Lara Jackson (me!)
Lara is a conservation biologist and wildlife photographer whose research has taken her around the world! From black rhinos in East Africa to mouse lemurs in Madagascar’s dry forests, Lara is determined to ensure that there is a future for as many species as possible.
Passionate about protecting our planet, she strongly believes that raising awareness and increasing engagement is the key to successful conservation efforts. Lara is determined to use her camera as a voice for the voiceless and continue telling the stories of those who work tirelessly to conserve some of the most endangered species on the planet.
Kelly is a children’s book author and artist from the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She is a lover of nature and paints pictures of the deep, green ocean and misty forests she lives near. When not watching the squirrels, raccoons, one rat, and the hummingbirds from her balcony, she is working on her cartoon series, Dean & Nala + Vinny, on Instagram.
Kelly attended Emily Carr College of Art and Design and worked in the Graphics Department at the B.C. Teachers’ Federation for over 25 years. She has taught art to students of all ages on Vancouver Island and in the Vancouver area. Kelly paints in Acrylic, Watercolor, and Oil.
Some of the lovely things people have said about:
Where Did All The Rhinos Go?
Beautiful & thought-provoking
"I bought this book for my grandson who adores African wildlife and it's a huge hit. The story itself is beautiful and thought-provoking, explaining what poaching is, in a manner suitable for kids, and talking about some of the other impacts we're having on the planet. The story is accompanied by really beautiful illustrations that kept both me and my grandson immersed in the book. Honestly, I couldn't recommend it more. A must buy for your young ones!"
F.J. McLeod, via Amazon
Get in touch with me
School Readings, Conservation Club & Presentations
I'm available to book! If you'd like me to come into your school and do a reading, talk about the state of the planet or discuss careers in conservation, then look no further! Simply click the button below and let's get started!