Little Red is proving to be a big hit for Bethan

Published: 14 November 2016 at 15:57

The front cover of Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

Two talented Anglia Ruskin University graduates make The New York Times top 10

Bethan Woollvin has enjoyed a fairy tale start to her career after her debut book was named by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2016.

The 22-year-old, who grew up in South Woodham Ferrers in Essex, graduated from Anglia Ruskin University last year with a First Class BA (Hons) Illustration degree.

Bethan, the eldest of 10 children, began working on Little Red, which is a modern update on the Little Red Riding Hood story, during the second year of her degree in Cambridge.  

In 2014 her initial illustrations for Little Red helped her win the national Macmillan Prize for Illustration, and the rights for the book were subsequently snapped up by publishing giants Pan Macmillan.

And making it a double celebration for Anglia Ruskin, Bethan was joined in The New York Times top 10 list by another Cambridge School of Art graduate, Jenni Desmond.

Jenni, who graduated from the MA in Children’s Book Illustration in 2011, impressed the judges with her book The Polar Bear.

Bethan said: 

“I feel absolutely over the moon for my book Little Red to have been chosen as one of The New York Times’ best illustrated children’s books.  It’s such wonderful news and it means so much for my career in illustration.   

Little Red has come so far since it started as just a small idea while I was studying at the Cambridge School of Art, and I really owe that all to my fabulous lecturers!”

Chris Owen, Head of Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge School of Art, said: 

“It’s always a delight to see our students strike out in the professional world and produce high-quality work.  However, being featured in The New York Times book of the year list so soon after graduating is an absolutely exceptional achievement by Bethan.  

“We wish both Bethan and Jenni all the very best for the future and we will be watching their careers with enormous interest.”