The Torch

The Torch

By Author / Illustrator

Jon Roberts, Hannah Rounding


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Graffeg Limited




Paperback / softback




Accompanied by Myles, her assistance dog, Lilly sets off from Granny's house to explore. First she walks through the garden, then she visits the seashore. But when she comes to the big cave at the end of the beach, her acute hearing means she is scared of the loud noise when she drops her torch. And what's that creature she can hear coming towards her...?

Jon Robert's new picture book series, Lilly and Myles, follows the adventures of Lilly, a young girl on the autism spectrum, and her assistance dog Myles. The first book, The Torch, sees Lilly and Myles venture out of Granny's seaside home to explore after Lilly finds a handy torch. Together they discover a range of wildlife living in Granny's garden and on the coast, but when Lilly wanders off into a cave on her own, she is overwhelmed by the loud noises and can't find her way out of the cave until Myles returns to save the day. 

The Torch provides an insight into life with autism and enables teachers to discuss some of the characteristics.  Along with being a useful teaching aid, this book is also great at presenting the role of assistance dogs to children and how they can be used to help someone with autism. The story also helps children understand how to treat assistance dogs and the importance of not distracting dogs like Myles.

Jon's gentle adventure story is accompanied by brilliant illustrations from Hannah Rounding, who worked with Jon on his previous four picture books focused on autism, disability and celebrating difference. The book includes a range of charities and organisations who provide advice and support for people with autism, with a portion of the royalties going towards the work of Dogs for Good and Dogs for Autism. 



In this sensitively-written story,  you meet Lilly and her assistance dog Myles. Lilly loves going out into the world, especially at Grandma's by the seaside, but having autism means that she experiences the sights and sounds of new things differently. Luckily, Lilly can always count on Myles to accompany her and keep her calm. When Lilly discovers a handy torch the two can explore further than ever before.

The illustrations are wonderfully colourful with interesting textures and careful details which bring the story alive. The story will help children and adults to gain an understanding of autism, what it might look like when people are overwhelmed, and what it might feel like for the person experiencing it. There is key information at the back of the book to inform, educate and provide teaching resources.

Lilly and Myles - The Torch is a hugely powerful piece of work which has the capacity to do an enormous amount of good for a large number of people. In school, this could be used to start a discussion about neurodiversity and difference. To discuss emotions, reactions and how we all experience things differently. It could be used in ELSA sessions to enable a child to feel seen and heard or to start to understand how a sibling might be feeling, or it could be used as a wonderful story to be enjoyed whilst discussing the joys of nature.

Not only is this an incredible story, it raises awareness and raises money for charity with 10% of the royalties going to Dogs for good and 10% to Dogs for Autism. I hope that this is the first of many such stories.

Suggested Reading Age 3+


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