“One thing I wish people understood about me is that I have a story to tell”
— Elaf Abduljawad, age 11
The Jillion is a collection of incredible work from Toitoi Issues 1-12. Written and illustrated by New Zealand’s young writers and artists ages 5-13, the Jillion is a celebration of their curiosity, courage and creativity.
With over 300 pages of original poetry, stories and art, this beautifully designed book will inspire readers of all ages!
Jillion is a collection of short stories, essays, poetry, and artworks selected from the first twelve issues of the journal Toitoi. All are by young New Zealanders aged 5-13 and they are really rather mind-blowing. Flicking through, you'll come across a painting or a poem and think, I could do that (when really maybe you couldn't!)...but then you check the age of the writer or artist and they're six or seven years old! The gorgeous cover illustration is by Manea Heeney who is only nine years old.
There's something in here for everyone: an essay on voting, the experience of a Syrian family arriving in New Zealand, stories about robots and dragons, poems about rats and pirates and growing up and sports. Coming from our own kids, they're immediately relatable, reflecting our own cultures and experiences. And it's just so inspiring.
Toitoi are currently taking submissions for issue 16 - if you're an illustrator, you need to send examples of your work and, just like any professional illustrator, if they think your style will suit a piece of writing, they'll ask you to illustrate it. There are also teacher support materials available for every issue of the journal with ideas for classroom use.
Toitoi is a quarterly journal of writing and art by young New Zealanders, ages 5-13. Toitoi celebrates the ideas, imaginations and creative spirit of New Zealand's young writers and artists. We believe that their work has purpose and deserves a wide audience. We publish material with an original and authentic voice that other young people can connect to and be inspired by and that reflects the cultures and experiences of life in New Zealand. Our philosophy is to treat young writers and artists with respect, handle their work with care and produce a beautifully designed journal of high quality that reflects how much we value and admire them.