By Michelle Chan
Artist BIEN Wing Yip (also known as b. wing) is glad that she can do something to help protect the Chinese white dolphin - one of the world's most endangered species.
Following the recent release of her second picture book, We All Need Someone to Kiss Us Goodbye, b. wing is working together with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department on a booklet to be published next month.
Little Dolphin Missing Home revolves around a primary schoolgirl, Bo Bo, and a baby dolphin. It features the artist's distinctive illustrations.
Unlike Japanese animations, the characters in the book are not clearly outlined - they are thick and blurry watercolour drawings. The artist takes us back to our kindergarten days with her simple yet colourful approach which is sure to strike a chord with children.
In Little Dolphin, the author-illustrator is purely an artist - she only does the illustrations.
The book, targeted at primary students, recalls what a baby dolphin said to Bo Bo in one of her dreams.
After visiting a marine theme park, Bo Bo asks her mother if she can keep a pet dolphin at home.
She becomes upset when her mother says 'no'.
That night, Bo Bo dreams about a baby dolphin which is stranded on the beach. The animal pleads that she be returned to the sea so that she can be with her family again.
When she wakes up the next morning, Bo Bo realises that she must protect the dolphins as well as the environment.
'Personally, I think this [drawing illustrations for the booklet] is a worthy cause. I would like to help in whatever way I can,' said b. wing.
Little Dolphin comprises 16 pages.
Readers may be disappointed to learn that the book is not for sale. It will only be distributed to primary school libraries for education purposes.
'I totally agree with the story. Every creature has a right to live on this planet. It's not fair that humans kill them,' b. wing said.
'I have friends who hate geckos. They kill them as soon as they see them. But I leave them alone, because I think they have the right to be in a certain place at a certain time.'
The artist is also not a fan of zoos. She feels sorry for the wild animals being kept in cages.
'I saw mould growing on the bellies of some penguins at a zoo in the United Kingdom,' she said.
'The weather in the UK is not cold enough for these animals. I feel sorry for them.'
The gifted illustrator has some interesting views on conservation.
'I think the best way is to leave them [wild animals] alone. Nature has its own ways. It goes beyond the rules when we feed them,' b. wing said.
'If we can't feed all hungry animals, we should do something more comprehensive, like protecting or improving the environment.'
Instead of helping certain species, we should consider protecting the environment as a whole, she said.
'Our planet would be a better place to live in if humans consume less bleach. Rather than just helping a few animals, we should do our best to save all of them.'
Win Win Win!
We have 10 copies of Little Dolphin Missing Home to give away. Send your name, address and telephone number to email@example.com