Zhiqing Liu

Master of Children's Book Illustration

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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 children’s 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.