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Jarvis Wins UK's Prestigious V&A Award for Alan's Big, Scary Teeth

last updated 17 May 2017

Jarvis Win

We are so proud to share that Jarvis and his eye-catching title, Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, have won this year’s V&A Illustration Award. The award is the UK’s most prestigious annual illustration competition recognizing the very best in book, editorial and student illustration. The competition has been running since 1972 and its previous winners are a veritable Who’s Who? of British illustration including household names like Ralph Steadman, Posy Simmonds, Sara Fanelli, Quentin Blake, Laura Carlin, Matthew Richardson, Helen Musselwhite and Bright’s own Yasmeen Ismail.

About The Book

Watch the book trailer!

Alan is big and scary. Just look at those teeth! Although, things in the jungle aren’t quite what they seem and the plot twist is so joyous, you will be rolling around laughing along with your children. The wonderful thing, and the triumph of this award, is the story behind the book. All was nearly lost with Alan when only days before giving the final artwork to his publisher at Walker Books, Jarvis’ studio was burgled.

Jarvis shares, “My studio was burgled and everything was taken – my computer, back-ups, scanner, lightbox, everything! I didn’t have it backed up online so I had lost the entire book. It all seems like a bad dream now but I had to re-do the entire book from scratch. I can’t say I enjoyed that, but I’m impressed that I was able to just re-do it and in many parts it was better. The irony is that the plot of the book is about stealing!”

Alan’s Big Scary Teeth published here in the US with Candlewick. Thankfully there were no bumps or burglaries along the way to publication!

Scenes from the Celebration

Group shots

From left to right: The winner! Jarvis; Bright Founder and MD Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, Senior Commissioning Editor, Maria Tunney and Picture Book Publisher, Deirdre McDermott from Walker Books, publishers of Alan’s Big Scary Teeth; and Benji Davies, who was also shortlisted for the award.

Group shots 2

Top left: Lara Hancock and Jane Buckley from Simon and Schuster — the incredible team behind the book.

The brilliant Benji Davies, was shortlisted this year in the book illustration category of The V&A Award, for his sequel to The Storm Whale; The Storm Whale in Winter. Benji’s new picture book, The Grotlyn, will be published in September 2017 with HarperCollins.

walker and jarivs Jarvis celebrating alongside the team at Walker

Praise for Jarvis and Alan’s Big Scary Teeth Here in the US

Last year saw Jarvis and Alan’s Big Scary Teeth in the spotlight a number of times, beginning with the front page of The New York Times!

Alan’s Big Scary Teeth also featured in the Best Books for Children, Spring Editor’s Picks on


Why Awards Matter

Awards are an important benchmark in an artists career. In this Bright blog post, authors and illustrators including Benji Davies talk candidly about their feelings on awards and the industry as a whole. It’s an incredible read with heart-felt accounts from some of the top picture book authors and illustrators of today.

We congratulate all of our award-winning illustrators and we are so proud of all of our talent who continually strives to create beautiful, inspiring works for children.

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