Award-winning artist and illustrator Tom Antonishak joins forces with popular children’s book author Dale Wildman to create the fact-based Life Begins series, featuring compelling stories of animal life. A powerful graphic novella, Life of an Eagle is the first in the series, and is a true-to-life story of eagle life appealingly told through the eyes (and beak!) of a baby eagle. The book portrays the dangers of living in an often-hostile environment and the hazards created by man’s impact on the surrounding habitat.
Known for creating incredibly-detailed animal paintings and sculptures based on extensive, hands-on research, Antonishak brings that same dedication and detail to Life of an Eagle. Every nook, cranny, tree and location in the story actually exists, and has been visited and explored by Antonishak in the creation of the Life Begins tales.
Long recognized and respected as a children’s book author, Wildman helps Antonishak’s story take shape, and bring every creature to vivid life. “Tom’s story is incredible,” says Wildman. “He’s a real expert in flora and fauna of all kinds, and knowing he has actually visited these places made it a real pleasure to help craft the story.”
Wildman also points out that Antonishak’s story takes pains to reveals how the spread of civilization as well as the lumber industry can have harmful effects on wildlife surroundings, yet Life of an Eagle is “one of the few animal stories to give a nuanced depiction of the lumber industry. Tom doesn’t demonize the forest harvesting or offer some one-dimensional stereotype of the people involved in it, as so many books seem to do. Animals and people have to learn to respect each other’s boundaries to get along together in this world, and Tom’s wonderfully entertaining and compassionate story works to show just how this is possible.”