It was such a journey to get this book published. From the rocky roads creating the other books in the If Animals Disappeared series, to a global publishing drama… I am just so happy for this book to finally be on bookshelves.
The If Animals Disappeared series was born out of curiosity to understand what happens to our world when keystone species become endangered. With If Sharks Disappeared I began a journey of learning and discovery that has spanned nine years from start to finish!
I loved traveling the world with Simone, the visual narrator of If Animals Disappeared. Each time she immerses herself in new cultures and experiences, I have lived vicariously through her and her adventures. Though I have not been able to go on these amazing trips myself, Iresearch all I can by talking to experts: scientists, people who have spent time in these areas (if not people who live there full time), and animal experts. I hope I can do justice to honor the varied and different experiences of the different geographic locations of each of these books (If Polar Bears Disappeared is set in Nunavut Canada, If Elephants Disappeared is set in The Congo, If Bees Disappeared is set in Kent, UK, and If Tigers Disappeared is set in the BR Hills of India).
I was really excited to work on If Tigers Disappeared with my uncle, Michael Benanav. Michael is a travel writer for The New York Times, as well as, writes adult nonfiction. Himalaya Bound is one of my favorite nonfiction books and is about time he spent with a native nomadic family on their annual migration to the high Himalayan plains. It’s a deeply personal and sensitive look at a family, and their fraught native experiences dealing with displacement, government interference, and land rights. Please check out Michael’s nonprofit, Traditional Cultures Project, online and on social media.
I am grateful to the experts who fact-check and read through If Tigers Disappeared so it could land gracefully on bookshelves this month. A big thank you to Lucrecia Aguilar who fact checked my tiger art and facts. To Naveen Selvanathan, my former co-worker at Sony Pictures Animation, who gave If Tigers Disappeared a thorough sensitivity read. Again, thank you to Michael, for doing the many read throughs. This book exists because of its champions!
A huge thank you to Emily Feinberg at Roaring Brook Press for making this series a THING! Thank you for finding me on the internet and trusting me to write a book at the ripe old age of 20 years old. I hope you enjoy If Tigers Disappeared and add it to your growing collection of If Animals Disappeared books!