Awards: what I'm known for ...

Gillie Can Series

Gillie Can Series Awards

The Gille Can Series, created by Happydesigner (Sarah-Leigh Wills) has only been out for sale for a few months, so we weren’t expecting it to start winning awards yet, but that’s only what it’s gone and done!…

Mom’s Choice Awards® 2018

‘Gillie Can Share’ has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom’s Choice Awards®

Gillie Can Share is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

Read all about the award here.

Purple Dragonfly Book Award 2018

children's illustrator“Gillie Can Share” has been awarded a Purple Dragonfly Book Award!

Read all about the award here.

“Gillie Can Share” is the start of a series of books that gently teach children the basics of being nice to others, sharing their things and being considerate of others. Gillie doesn’t think about “can’t”, Gillie does! The books are a lovely way of teaching children to have confidence in what they do. The rest of the series so far includes Gillie learning to count, learning to play, learning to make and learning to help. Join Gillie, and Sarah, as she learns to do all sorts of things!

‘Gillie Can Share’ has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom’s Choice Awards®

Gillie Can Share is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

Read all about the award here.


gillie can seriesGillie Can Share is now a ‘Story Monsters Approved Book’
Kid-tested, Story Monsters Approved!
Picture Books (Ages 3-8)

Read all about the news here.


Book excellence award - gillieA ‘Book Excellence Award Winner’

Gillie Can Share // Picture Book – Pre school.
Picture Books (Ages 3-8)

Read all about the award here

Check out more Gillie reviews…

Readers’ Favourite… ★★★★★

“Gillie Can Share by Sarah-Leigh Wills is a cute and simple story about a young rabbit named Gillie, who is generous and kind and likes sharing things with people. Once upon a time, Gillie is baking cookies with her father. Once they are done, there are a big batch of cookies and she runs along to share two each with her grandma, grandpa, and her mother. After she has shared them with everyone, she finds that there are two left for her. Being the kind soul she is, she shares one with the reader. This is a very simple plot and story that is easy enough for very young children to read and understand or just be read aloud to.

gillie can share

 “Overall, on all levels, I really liked this book” 
I found Gillie Can Share by Sarah-Leigh Wills to be a cute and entertaining book. Since the language used is basic and simple, with minimal use of words, preschool children can definitely enjoy this and it is suitable for all young children of all ages. The story is fun and the illustrations throughout this book are colorful and vivid, and definitely eye-catching for young children. They add to the overall look and feel of the book itself. I also liked the fact that, whether consciously or unconsciously, this book breaks some stereotypes and shows Gillie’s dad baking cookies with her. I felt that this was a great step toward breaking gender stereotypes and it shows fathers doing activities with kids that were traditionally thought to be reserved for females only. So, overall, on all levels, I really liked this book and would certainly recommend it for young kids.” You can click HERE to read the rest of the review.

The Bookbag… ★★★★

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“…there is so much to love about this book. I thought it was wonderful that Gillie was baking cookies with Daddy, rather than the more usual Mummy. There’s no gender stereotyping here. I grinned when the first of the cookes to be delivered went to the grandparents: they’re getting older, but they’re obviously still a valued part of the family. Then there’s the offer of the last cookie to the reader – I thought that was a lovely touch! There’s so much to discuss here about family relationships, the value of having a generous heart and being considerate to others. It’s gently educational about sharing, but it’s done very subtly and there isn’t even the slightest hint of any preaching.

children book gillie can share….Look at the exquisite stitching around the edges! You’d think it would be impossible to get a range of facial expressions, but Wills does it well. I loved Gillie’s face when she was smelling the cookie and longing to eat one. Wills is a master of texture too – I wanted to eat a cookie myself because they looked so real!

Most picture books for the toddler age group rely on simple pictures with as little as possible to distract from the main point but Wills has achieved a delicate balance. You’ll readily grasp the main point of the story from the pictures, but each time that you read through you’ll find something else that you didn’t spot before…” You can click HERE to read the rest of the review.


Aviva Gittle Publishing… ★★★★★

This book is perfect for 2-5 year olds. A simply written story about sharing, it’s also a counting exercise as Gillie the rabbit begins with eight cookies and, through sharing, ends up with one cookie. What she does with that last cookie is an adorable surprise. Highly recommend.


Red City Review… ★★★★★

“In Gillie Can Share by Sarah-Leigh Wills, an adorable gray rabbit sets out to deliver fresh-baked cookies to family members around the neighborhood. Grandpa gets two cookies, Grandma gets two cookies, and Mummy gets two cookies. But as the cookie stash begins to dwindle, curious readers will wonder: Does Gillie get any cookies? Luckily, this charming story ends with Gillie devouring just one cookie—and offering the last one to you, the reader!

Gillie Can Share is the first installment in the Gillie Can Series, which aims to showcase one important aspect of child development in each book. The next title to be released, Gillie Can Count, finds Gillie meeting up with Wise Old Owl Willie for a friendly math lesson. The design details in this book are absolutely eye-catching, with each of the animal characters sporting stitch-like threads around their exteriors. The images have a visually appealing depth to them as well, appearing almost like a scrapbook collage that a loved one has put together for their child. The text in Gillie Can Share is bold and easy-to-follow for young eyes, but we especially appreciate how the story focuses on Gillie positively demonstrating generosity, whereas so many other sharing stories for children choose to illustrate the concept by spending precious time talking about its counterpart: selfishness. Children have a great role model in Gillie, who, without admonishment from a single parental figure, decides to offer the very last cookie on the plate to a complete stranger. This is one series to watch!” You can click HERE to read the rest of the review.


Another Series I have worked on…

Clickety Books Awards 2009-2015

I have been working with Clickety Books for many years now and we have been very lucky in winning some fab awards over the years we have worked together

Early Soundplay Series (Author: Sally Bates)

Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2014

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Sound Steps Series (Author: Craig Green & Dominic Vince)

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‘S’ Set of Books – Primary Teacher Gold Award 2013

‘T’ Set of Books – Practical Pre-School Silver Award 2013

‘T’ Set of Books – Primary Teacher Silver Award 2012

‘c/k’ Set of Books – Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2012


appleDAF Award 2007

Happydesigner:Illustrator and Graphic Designer based in Cornwall UK. I have been featured in a new publication “For a good cause” by Cactus Desserny. Published by Index Books!

The Design Against Fur competition, which has expanded every year since its launchin 2001,is open to design students from the fields offashion, design, fine arts, advertising, marketing, graphic design and multi-media. Hundreds of students from across the UK and Ireland submitted designs, interpreting the theme that animals used in the fur industry are ‘fashion victims’. The brief was to convey a compassionate campaign message, in support of millions of animals killed every year for their pelts, in an innovative, contemporary way. For the first time this year, the competition encouraged students to submit designs across a range of media: for either poster, animation or t-shirt.

The winning entries were unveiled by Dr Nick Palmer MP and Judy Mallaber MP at a reception attended by Members of Parliament, design industry representatives, students and tutors. Amongst the judges were journalist, Liz Jones; Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fashion Director, Shelly Vella; advisor to the Mayor of London and head of Harry Barlow Limited, a company that specialises in issues-based campaign communications, Harry Barlow,; Graduating Creatives Manager of Design & Art Direction (D&AD), Rhiannon James,; and graphic design specialist, Lee Ellis.

“The Design Against Fur competition is an ideal opportunity for students to use their design and communication skills to interpret an issues-based brief and their work shows a very good understanding of the use of fur in the fashion industry,” commented Director of Respect for Animals, Nicki Brooks. “Our thanks go out to the students for submitting their highly effective designs and, of course, to their tutors for their enthusiastic support of this competition.”

Winning designer, Sarah-Leigh Wills, explained: “I decided to enter the competition just to build experience as a designer. I never thought that I would stand a chance of coming first. When I received the email confirming that I was the winner, it was life changing. I have learnt so much in doing this and am extremely thankful for the experience.”

Design Against Fur provided a challenging and provocative brief for our students this year,” added Sarah-Leigh’s tutor, Bryan Clark, who is Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Graphic Design at University College Falmouth. “We were delighted that Sarah-Leigh went on to win, encapsulating the issue with such an iconic and powerful message. Uncovering such a simple and unique vision was great for us to see given the nature of a subject so strewn with clichés. We can only emphasize the importance of this poignant brief to our students and the issues that it raises and promotes.”

The winning piece:

Book Entry:

The book can be purchased on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Cause-Index-Book/dp/8492643269/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279709947&sr=8-2

The Piece has also been featured at the London Design Festival:

A few of my previous clients

Design against furSt Ives Memory BayEden ProjectSkyRespect for animalsPets at HomeSt Moritz Hotel

  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love