Described by our judges as a 'Happy, crystal-clear sharing of the joy of books,' this story by Johanna Hilhorst was selected as the first runner-up in our 2023 'How My Book Changed the World' writing competition.
Jennie closes the book and sighs, wiping away a couple of unsolicited tears. It’s not that the ending is sad, it’s just that a journey is over. The roller coaster adventure, the mystery, the loves, lives and flaws of close companions are no longer in the balance, in question or unresolved. Jennie knows she can always go back to re-live moments or even uncover something missed, but ultimately the story is told, and the anticipation of an outcome can never be the same again.
But oh how Jennie loves to read. Reading can give her information, introduce new ideas or transport her to another place. Sometimes it can be hard to face the day, to calm the nerves, to find the courage. To know that another world is there, even for a short time, helps to quiet the internal voices that want her to fail. Respite gives strength for the days to come.
A younger Jennie almost squeals in delight as she notices a new book on the school library shelf. Jennie love love loves animal stories and always goes straight to that section. She can’t believe her eyes! It’s Tilley looking earnestly out from the cover of a book. Tilley, the smart and brave little dog who Jennie remembers from treasured picture books read out loud by her mum not that long ago. And now Tilley has a new story for a new reader! Tilley has adventures that help you to make sense of the world. More importantly, they show you how much fun it is to read!
An older Jennie closes the book, tweaks the little nose that lies on the pillow, and promises to read another Tilley story tomorrow night. Ava love love loves animal stories, and Tilley is helping Ava to make sense of the world, and showing her how great it is to read.