Sheffield-based illustrator Bethan Woolvin has taken over the DINA Diner with her wonderful wall illustrations and feisty female protagonists, for a joyful, colourful show dealing with important issues.
There are many reasons that I enjoy working with fairytales, but the main reason I’m so drawn to them is because of their dark nature which
is quite uncommon in contemporary picture books. Not only that, but the characters and places within these tales are so visually striking, which makes them so inspiring to transform into illustrations. My journey into creating a collection of feminist fairytales began during my time at university. Prompted by a project set on my course, I began creating my very first children’s book using the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Reading the original tale again, I realised how much the story annoyed me as a child – I’d always found Little Red Riding Hood so naive. So instead of just illustrating the classic text, I began to re-write the entire story until I had created my own world with a female protagonist I could relate to as a child. At this point, I realised just how much I enjoyed adapting stories and fairytales, and this led me to write more including Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel.
My feminist fairytale books have received a lot of attention since their publication for their feisty female protagonists, and for the lack of any princes or heroic woodcutters. It makes me incredibly happy to know that I’m empowering young female readers, but my books are not just being read by girls – boys are reading my fairytales too. People often assume that I write my books for girls, but I don’t write for any gender. I write books for children, and I create stories about head strong women who never need saving.