Malaysian illustrator Wen Dee Tan was awarded the first prize at the recently-held Sharjah Exhibition For Children’s Books Illustrations 2015, for her work in the picture book Lili.

The award was given as part of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, with the second and third prizes going to Junko Nagano and Beatriz Martin Terceno respectively.

Lili tells the story of a little girl who finds it difficult to fit in because of her hair, and features whimsical, eye-catching illustrations. The book, published in Britain by Fat Fox Books, also won third place in the Macmillan Prize in 2013.

Having worked for 10 years in the IT industry, Tan pursued her love of drawing only recently, completing an MA in children’s book illustration at the Cambridge School of Arts last year. Lili is her debut picture book, which she both wrote and illustrated.

Tan’s work will be seen in the upcoming The Great Dragon Warrior, written by Ng Swee San and published by Epigram Books in Singapore.