Tilly and Tank
by Jay Fleck
Tundra Books, 2018
I was apprehensive of a book featuring a tank, but delightfully surprised at the originality of the friendship story inside.
The story opens with Tilly noticing “a different kind of elephant” in the distance. Then, from Tank’s perspective, we see how he sees the “barrel and turret” of the strange tank. Tilly is the one who approaches, while Tank sounds off warnings. Tank’s response to Tilly’s “Hello” was a loud Boom! Tilly runs. After several attempts Tilly leaves behind a gift. When Tank checks out the “weapon”, he realizes the strange tank was a “friend”.
Tilly’s innocence contrasting with Tank’s appearance of violence keep the pages turning. While Tank appears violent, his voice has a genuine softness, reframing the tank’s image. A brilliantly told and illustrated story.