Willa and Old Miss Annie

Outside in a garden she heard someone else crying. It sounded like a little, lost, ghosty child.

There are three linked animal stories in Willa and Old Miss Annie. They are country tales about three animals who have been rescued from danger or harm, and I actually met all three of them. The first is about a goat called Joshua. I really did see a white goat in a friend’s garden one night, and thought it was a ghost. The friend was called Willa, and she had rescued the goat from starvation, and both her story and her name gave me the idea for the book.

The second is a Shetland pony story about a pony had been very badly treated and later was rescued and adopted by a little friend of mine called Amy. That’s what gave me the idea for that story.

And one day I met an old lady taking a fox for a walk. She had rescued the fox when it was a cub. And that’s what gave me the idea for that story.

As well as being a trio of stories about rescue animals, it tells of the unlikely friendship between a small girl, Willa, and an old lady, Miss Annie. Through their friendship and care of animals Willa, a lonely child, develops the confidence to find a friend of her own age.

This book was runner-up for the Carnegie medal, and is illustrated by Kim Lewis.

If you read the three stories one after the other you see that they link up to form a novel.

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