Issue date: 10 June 2014
Emma Levey, children's author and UWE Bristol Illustration graduate, is celebrating the success of her first children's book Hattie Peck, published in February by Top That Publishing. The book has been warmly received by readers and critics alike. She has since worked on a further four books and plans to work on a sequel for Hattie Peck towards the end of the year. Emma has also been shortlisted for the AOI Awards 2014 in the Professional Children's BookCategory.
Hattie Peck is inspired by Emma's childhood growing up on a smallholding in Wales and follows the story of Hattie, a chicken who loves eggs but can't hatch an egg of her own. She embarks on a world-wide egg hunt to find all the lost and abandoned eggs in the hope of hatching them on her return.
Emma created Hattie Peck whilst in the final year of her Illustration degree and her talent was recognised in 2008 when she received a highly commended award from the MacMillan Children's book prize.
Emma has fond memories of her time studying at UWE Bristol, she said, “I'm such a huge fan of the illustration course, it gave me the best start I could wish for and the support and guidance from the tutors Chris Hill, Jonathan Ward and Gary Embury will never stop being appreciated. They were awesome!
“I graduated in 2008 and was lucky to have been part of such a talented, inspiring year group on my course, many who have gone on to be successful published illustrators and authors. It was a great environment to work in and I really got to find out a lot about the industry through the guest illustrators and industry contacts our tutors brought in.
“I'm delighted with the success of Hattie Peck, sales are going well and we're now on the third print run. It's been a bit of a whirlwind start to the year but it's great after having worked so hard beforehand to get to this point.”
Emma is very busy in her Cardiff based studio with several projects in the pipeline. Her next book Yuk said the Yak, a collaboration with writer, Alex English is published by Maverick Books this September.
Jonathan Ward, Senior Lecturer in Illustration, said on behalf of the Illustration teaching team, “It's really great to see Emma reaping the rewards of her persistence and hard work. Emma's focus and determination throughout her time at UWE Bristol, and subsequently, is deservedly paying off. Emma is a very thorough visual observer and develops her characters and narratives from direct experience, which helps her to connect with her audience. We look forward to all Emma's future projects and wish her every success with her career.”
Inside the imagination of a children's illustrator – Emma was recently interviewed by BBC news magazine about her inspiration for her books. Watch again at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26465761
Find out more about Emma's latest projects by visiting her website.
Find out more about studying Illustration at UWE Bristol.