Shirley Hughes - Author Picture

Shirley Hughes - Author

Winner of the Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award 2015. Shirley Hughes was born and grew up in West Kirby, near Liverpool. She studied at Liverpool Art School and at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, before embarking on a career as a freelance illustrator. At first she worked as an interpretive illustrator, but she began to write and design her own picture books when her children were very young. Her first book, Lucy and Tom's Day, was published in 1960. Now living in London's Notting Hill, Shirley Hughes has illustrated over two hundred children's books and is renowned as a champion of children's literature.

She has been the recipient of the Other Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal and the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award. She was shortlisted for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which rewards the best in contemporary children's and young adult literature from all over the world, in 2010.

Shirley Hughes won the first ever Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to children's literature.

Book Trust CEO, Diana Gerald, says: ‘Book Trust is thrilled that our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award goes to someone whose remarkable, multi-talented contribution to children's fiction spans several generations and continues to this day. Her characters are imprinted on the memories of two or three generations, a recognition of their enduring charm. This evergreen storytelling is something we particularly want to celebrate with this award. ‘Significantly, Shirley continues to innovate and create, providing young children with a love of reading that we know will give them a great start in life. We often hear about ‘national treasures’, but Shirley Hughes is up there with the best.’

Shirley Hughes, says: ’Being chosen for the Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award is a tremendous honour which I appreciate more than I can say. I have derived so much fulfilment from my long career, first as an illustrator of other artists’ stories and then creating my own. Best of all has been perennially encountering very young children who are learning to look with such rapt pleasure and follow a story visually long before they are able to read.’

In her own words: As a child

I grew up in a quiet seaside town near Liverpool, in the days when there was no television, only radio, which we listened to a lot. My older sisters and I messed about in the back garden, pored over comics and surveyed the world from the flat garage roof. There were acres of time to be filled in then. We combatted boredom by dressing up and acting out plays to any audience we could press into service (including the cats), making up fantasy worlds and, of course, drawing pictures. There was a good supply of books. Most inspiring were wonderful illustrated classics, with colour plates by artists like Arthur Rackham and Will Heath Robinson. Later, the cinema was a terrific source of glamour and narrative, as were the Victorian paintings in the Walker Arts Gallery, Liverpool. I am pretty sure that having a lot of time to read, to dream or simply mooch about, played a major part in my becoming an author/illustrator.

As an adult

When our quiet, well-conducted suburban childhood was rudely interrupted by World War II, the grown-ups, as luck would have it, were far too absorbed in the war effort to bother much about our academic, social and cultural achievements. With me, drawing stuck. I just went on doing it. I wrote too, but kept that secret. I had a good high-school education, but I got out as soon as I could and went to Liverpool Art School to study costume design, and later, at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. This theatrical impulse turned into the desire to illustrate stories (another kind of theatre). I got the sketchbook habit, which has stayed with me always. You hang around, observing and drawing real people (especially, in my case, children), then you go back to the drawing board and make it all up. The characters in my stories are not my own children at that age, or anyone else's, but inspired by a combination of both.

As an artist

When I first started doing the rounds with a folio, way back in the1950s, I got plenty of work illustrating other people's books, mostly in black and white line. It was an excellent apprenticeship. I was married with two small children when I tried my first picture book, Lucy and Tom's Day, an unassuming little book about everyday life. I was very tentative about using colour then. It took a long time to acquire the expansive confidence you need to let go and let it flow across the page. Two big breaks for me were Dogger, which was my first book to be widely published abroad, and being asked by Walker Books to do a series for very young children, which ended up, via The Nursery Collection, as Olly and Me. These books gave me an opportunity to use a very simple, first-person text, in a kind of rhythmical verse form. Recently, I have launched into picture books for older children with more sophisticated themes and artwork. I can't bear hearing grown-ups telling children they can't have picture books any more as they can read! Why remove such a great narrative pleasure?

Things you didn't know about Shirley Hughes

1. At school, I was always the last to be picked for the hockey team.

2. I'm told I was an easy-going baby, but it didn't last.

3. I like birds, but would hate one to come near me.

4. I like ironing.

5. I never travel by underground.

6. I like travelling by bus, especially London buses.

7. Once on Australian TV, I had to hide in a Wendy house then leap out and hug a huge bear.

8. I save elastic bands, paper clips and pieces of string that I find lying about.

9. I jazz about a lot when washing up.

10. I fantasize about having a house by the sea.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Shirley Hughes

Alfie and His Very Best Friend
Shirley Hughes
This is a book about being friends, told in the inimitable combination of words and pictures that have made Shirley Hughes's stories so important a part of childhood for so many. Alfie's best friend is boisterous, rowdy Bernard. In the...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2016
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My First ABC
Shirley Hughes
Learning your ABC is fun and easy in with Katie and her baby brother, Olly. Join them as they explore their friendly and familiar world and all it contains in this charming first look at letters. At home, at the...
Lovereading Price: £9.59 - Saving £2.40 (20%) Featured in: Baby and Toddler
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2016
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Alfie's Christmas
Shirley Hughes
Shirley Hughes and Alfie are back with this beautiful festive story with Alfie and his family celebrating Christmas. From the opening of the advent calendar, writing Christmas cards, choosing a Christmas tree to all the joyful things they share on...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2016
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Whistling in the Dark
Shirley Hughes
Best-selling Shirley Hughes brings alive how it felt to be growing up in Liverpool during the Second World War. In a gripping and touching story which draws on her own memories of growing up at that time, Shirley Hughes sets...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/06/2016
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Alfie Outdoors
Shirley Hughes
Standing in his pyjamas in the garden in the morning sunshine, Alfie is an unmistakeable little figure. Shirley Hughes has an extraordinary understanding of children, their world and what matters to them and captures it beautifully in the turn of...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/04/2016
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Alfie and Mum
Shirley Hughes
This lovely book brings together two stories featuring Alfie and his mum, and both describe a special experience they share. Alfie Upstream is the story of a hot summer's day they spend walking through the country and paddling in a...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/02/2016
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Let's Join in A First Book of Bedtime Stories
Shirley Hughes
Four classic stories perfect for sharing at bedtime, by Kate Greenaway winning author, Shirley Hughes.
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/11/2015
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Daisy Saves the Day
Shirley Hughes
This charming picture book is an enchanting evocation of life in London at the time of the coronation of George V, by the much-loved and award-winning illustrators for children, Shirley Hughes. Perfect to share with younger children but also a...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/09/2015
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Hero on a Bicycle
Shirley Hughes
Best-selling illustrator Shirley Hughes writes beautifully in this gripping story set during World War Two. Living in Italy during the occupation by the Germans, Paolo and his sister Constanza long to do something for the fight to keep Italy free....
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/09/2015
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Whistling in the Dark
Shirley Hughes
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, June 2015 Best-selling Shirley Hughes brings alive how it felt to be growing up in Liverpool during the Second World War. In a gripping and touching story which draws on her own memories...
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/06/2015
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Out and About A First Book of Poems
Shirley Hughes
From the joys of the seaside to the miseries of the sickbed, this exuberant volume captures to perfection the world of childhood. It is a beautiful gift edition of the classic picture book, with a new introduction by Shirley Hughes.
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/10/2014
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Daisy Saves the Day
Shirley Hughes
This charming picture book is an enchanting evocation of life in London at the time of the coronation of George V, by the much-loved and award-winning illustrators for children, Shirley Hughes. Perfect to share with younger children but also a...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2014
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Dixie O'Day: In the Fast Lane
Shirley Hughes
Dixie and Percy run into all sorts of peril, as does their arch enemy, Lou Ella. But who will win, and will Lou Ella get her comeuppance?
Lovereading Price: £7.19 - Saving £1.80 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 08/08/2013
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Hero on a Bicycle
Shirley Hughes
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2013 - Best Story Best-selling illustrator Shirley Hughes writes beautifully in this gripping story set during World War Two. Living in Italy during the occupation by the Germans, Paolo and his sister Constanza...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/11/2012
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The Christmas Eve Ghost
Shirley Hughes
When Bronwen and Dylan are frightened by ghostly noises from the chimney on Christmas Eve, they run straight into the arms of their neighbour Mrs O'Riley. As they step next door for the first time, it's not just Bronwen and...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 06/09/2012
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Hero on a Bicycle
Shirley Hughes
May 2012 Book of the Month. Best-selling illustrator Shirley Hughes writes beautifully in this gripping story set during World War Two. Living in Italy during the occupation by the Germans, Paolo and his sister Constanza long to do something for the...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/05/2012
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The Christmas Eve Ghost
Shirley Hughes
When Bronwen and Dylan are frightened by ghostly noises from the chimney on Christmas Eve, they run straight into the arms of their neighbour Mrs O'Riley. As they step next door for the first time, it's not just Bronwen and...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 13/10/2011
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All About Alfie
Shirley Hughes
Celebrating thirty years of Alfie, one of the most popular characters in children's books, this is a glorious collection of stories which capture the joy of young children. Shirley Hughes has perfect understanding of the intense relationships with parents and...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2011
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My Alfie Collection
Shirley Hughes
Pre-school life is perfectly conveyed in award winning Shirley Hughes's stories about the loveable Alfie. This beautiful, small sized boxed set of four titles includes Alfie Gets in First, a classic story which shows just how resourceful a little boy...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Multiple copy pack | Released 01/09/2011
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Don't Want to Go!
Shirley Hughes
In her warm and readily recognisable illustrations, award winning illustrator Shirley Hughes always captures the small but important details of how young children feel. When Mum is ill one day, Dad says Lily has to go to Melanie's house, but...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/04/2011
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The Christmas Eve Ghost
Shirley Hughes
Shirley Hughes, who has created favourite picture book characters including Alfie and his little sister Annie Rose, goes back in time in this warm-hearted and evocative picture book. Life is hard for Bronwen and Dylan's mum. She makes her living...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 06/09/2010
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Don't Want to Go!
Shirley Hughes
In her warm and readily recognisable illustrations, award winning illustrator Shirley Hughes always captures the small but important details of how young children feel. When Mum is ill one day, Dad says Lily has to go to Melanie's house, but...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/03/2010
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Jonadab and Rita
Shirley Hughes
Steeped in magic, this is a wonderful story that demands to be read again and again. A bit old and a bit shabby, Jonadab is a donkey, just one of the many toys in Minnie's toy box. Both he and...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/03/2010
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A Brush with the Past 1900-1950
Shirley Hughes
Shirley Hughes's beautiful illustrations full of carefully researched period detail, go right to the heart of the social changes that took place in the first half of the century. Different fashions, different foods, different working practices, different dances – all...
Lovereading Price: £20.00 - Saving £5.00 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers | 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 06/10/2005
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Dogger
Shirley Hughes
Winner of the Greenaway of Greenaways in 2007 and Greenaway winner in 1977. Filled with humour and Shirley Hughes' deft touch, this is a book for young readers to tackle by themselves, as well as a delight to...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 18/11/1993
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Author Info

Author's Website

www.alfiebooks.co.uk/allabo...

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