Last week we learned about Jill Tomlinson, author of ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark’.

We did a project about

the author Jill Tomlinson

with Ms. O’C last week.


We thought you might like to read

about what we found out:


The Hen Who Wouldn’t Give Up

The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure

The Gorilla Who Wanted To Grow Up

The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark

The Penguin Who Wanted To Find Out

The Otter Who Wanted To Know

The Cat Who Wanted To Go Home


These books were all written by this author.

The ones we have read, we have highlighted in blue.

little hoot
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: **tWo pInK pOSsuMs** via Compfight
We loved ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark’

but our favourite was ‘The Aardvark Who Wasn’t Sure’.


In all of them the animals are on a journey,

growing up,

learning things

and making discoveries.


However Jill Tomlinson became an author

who could not




Read on and you will find out why.


We learned that Jill Tomlinson was born in 1931.

She could sing and so she trained as an opera singer.
She didn’t  plan to be a writer.

Then she took some time out to have a family.

But then she became ill which made her weak.

She did a course in journalism.

Very quickly found out

what she really wanted to do with her life;

Lucky for us, she found

she wanted to write for children.


The next part of her story is a good example of

if you don’t first succeed try and try again.

She wrote her very first story,

a picture book called

‘The Bus who went to Church’.

The first publisher she sent it to

didn’t want to publish it.

She sent it to fifteen more, before

luckily for children everywhere

it was accepted for publication.


Jill Tomlinson wrote a number of

other simple picture books.

Then she felt ready for

more of  a challenge

so she wrote the book now known as

Happy Easter!
Photo Credit: Caroline via Compfight

‘The Hen Who Wouldn’t Give Up’.

This was followed by’ The Cat Who Wanted to Go Home’.

Cat's Meow (painting) Cat (poem after Carl Sandburg's
Photo Credit: Faith Goble via Compfight 

Her illness made it more and more difficult for her to work.

By now it had been diagnosed as MS.

MS (Multiple Schlerosis can make it hard to walk or talk)

The next book she wrote was

‘ The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’.

This is her most successful and well known book.


As time went on, her illness made working more and more difficult.

Again she persevered.  She didn’t give up.

The details for each of her books was carefully researched .

This was done by her family in response to the questions she asked.


She used say that, as an author she was one of a kind

because she was one who was not able to read or write.

5 thoughts on “Last week we learned about Jill Tomlinson, author of ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of The Dark’.

  1. Thank you for sharing about Jill Tomlinson. I have seen your posts about the book before but wasn’t really aware of the back story of the author. She sounds like an absolutely amazing person and obivously had such a deep love of teaching and children. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Mr Webb and Room Five, Melville Intermediate School, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand.

  2. Hello,
    we have enjoyed reading.
    Micah has already read a quarter of the Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark.
    Thomas thinks he will like it if he reads it.
    Micah and Thomas found Penguin’s Progress very interesting.
    Have you read it?
    We have found out lots of facts like…the lady’s feed the baby Penguins shrimp soup. But you might call baby Penguins, chicks.
    Have you read Penguin’s Progress?
    Please give us a comment.

  3. Hi there, thank you for your comment. It is great to share an interest in reading and in books. We were very interested to hear that you enjoyed Jill Tomlinson too. Some children in the class read Penguin’s Progress and thought it was excellent. We are big fans of another of her books ‘The Aardvark who wasn’t sure’.

    We like all the facts we learn about the animals, like you do. Did you know that Jill Tomlinson wasn’t very well when she wrote her books, so she used have to get her children and her husband to do the research. She was writing these books before the internet age, so she couldn’t Google the answers. I suppose her family used go to the local library to find out.

    We would like to give you a comment on your blog but we tried and are not quite sure where to find it. Which class are you in?
    What number ? We are on a week’s midterm next week but we will try to find you again,
    Thanks again for getting in touch,

  4. Thanks for making a comment on our page. We love all the Jill Tomlinson books. We read one about a hen and an otter also. Her first book was the one about the hen. Our favourites are the one about the owl and the one about the aardvark. We did projects on owls and also on the animals that the aardvark meets in his story.
    Thanks for getting in touch.

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