Opposites can attract in the animal world too

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 July, 2008, 12:00am

The latest book from aspiring illustrator Shana Cheung Wan-shan tells the heartwarming story of an unusual friendship - between a sheep and a wolf.

Under the pen name A.Mieh (think of the sound a sheep makes), the colourful Sheep in Love & the Wolf Also is Cheung's fourth book.

'The wolf is regarded as a sly, cruel and evil animal in many fairy tales. Sheep, on the other hand, are always portrayed as innocent and honest. So in this book I wanted to explore the good side of the wolf, and the cunning side of sheep.

'It's also a metaphor for personal relationships. The wolf and the sheep are like two people with very different personalities. But they get along with each other,' she said.

At 6pm tomorrow, on the first day of the annual Hong Kong Book Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cheung will introduce the book and explain her creative process.

The 26 year-old illustrator has developed her own unconventional method, using acrylic paints on wood plates. Each plate is then scanned for printing. 'The wood texture smacks of lush greenery. This blends perfectly with the story, which is set in a forest.'

Cheung has used simple pictures to represent the lives of people suffering from a variety of illnesses.

'Successful illustrations can be about life, death and sickness, not simply colourful pictures appealing to children,' she said.

For her first book, Unseen Angel, the illustrator went to special schools to observe blind children. Her next publication, Run with Me - Henry Wanyoike, featured the struggle of the famous blind African marathon runner and has been translated into several languages.

Little Giant - Dreams of Braving MPS, published in 2006, told the story of patients suffering from mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), an extremely rare metabolic disease which causes enlargement of the head and other bodily malfunctions.

'It takes time for local readers to take to illustration. For example, Alice Mak ka-pik and Siu Hak had been working for years before their works were known and accepted. I'm just taking the first step to becoming an illustrator. It's a long and bumpy road ahead.'

Sheep in Love & the Wolf Also is available at booth GHA15 of publisher Bbluesky at the Book Fair.



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