Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Ruby in the Ruins

Written by Shirley Hughes

Illustrated by Shirley Hughes

Ruby in the Ruins Synopsis

A classic picture book about family love, set in post-war London, from the much-loved and award-winning Shirley Hughes. Ruby and Mum have lived through the terrifying London Blitz and are waiting for Dad to come home from the war. Ruby hardly recognizes the tall man who steps off the train, but when she falls in the ruins nearby, there's only one person who she wants to rescue her.

Ruby in the Ruins Press Reviews

Shirley Hughes vividly evokes the atmosphere of post-war London ... This is a sympathetic family story that looks at the aftermath of war, and the changes is brings * The School Librarian * Heart-warming and with plenty to think about - from post-war Britain, to separated families and adapting to change, this is a wonderful read for children. * Julia Wills, Carousel * This classic book gives an accurate visual impression of the era from the bomb sites, the fashions worn and the uniforms of the day, but more than this it touches on many issues to show how war affects every member of the household and how those changes also have to be overcome. A highly recommended read. * Valerie Loh, Historical Novel Society Magazine * Hughes - whose great gift has always been to tell ordinary everyday children's stories, of losing a toy or camping - applies that same familiar style to war, as if it too were just another part of life. * The Glasgow Herald * Hughes's familiar drawing brilliantly capture the gaiety of VE day street parties against the eerie aftermath of the Blitz. At ninety, Hughes is the grande dame of the British picture book - and this touching story showers her formula working at its best. * Oldie * Hughes's drawings brilliantly evoke the gaiety of VE Day street parties ( the delicious sandwiches, cake and even chocolate biscuits! ) against the eerily derelict streets in the aftermath of the Blitz. * The Telegraph * [...] vividly evokes a child's view of the aftermath of war. After Ruby and Mum weather the blitz together, Dad comes home at last; but, to Ruby, he seems a huge, sunburned stranger, taking up too much space ... But rather than being remote and shell-shocked, Dad is warmly sympathetic to Ruby's escapades in this story full of resilient, hopeful love. * The Guardian * The book paints a wonderful picture of a child's life in post-war London, and celebrates the love of a family. * Parents In Touch * [a] poignant tale * The Daily Telegraph, Best 50 Books of 2018 * Ruby in the Ruins is so rose-tinted you can smell the floral perfume: death is avoided, Dad shows no sign of trauma, Mum has not been radicalised in his absence. Yet it's as comforting as a tea cosy and an ideal introduction to the war for delicate tinies. -- Alex O'Connell * The Times (Saturday Review) * The observation and draughtsmanship are Hughes in her prime, with scenes of street parties and bustling stations and perfectly rendered period costume. Faces express uncertainty or affection, and the physicality of children is accurately captured as they climb, balance or reach for an embrace. Especially remarkable are the lovely, scumbled views of ruined houses, with their piles of bricks and staircases leading nowhere. -- Nicolette Jones * Sunday Times * Set in the aftermath of the London Blitz and VE Day, Hughes takes an evocative look at the ruins of post-war London and the conflicts impact on family life. The relationship between Ruby and her father, newly returned from war, is particularly poignant and well-drawn. * The Bookseller *

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406375893
Publication date: 1st April 2018
Author: Shirley Hughes
Illustrator: Shirley Hughes
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages

About Shirley Hughes

Shirley Hughes has won many prestigious awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. She began to write and design her own picture books when she had a young family and has now published more than two hundred titles, including Dogger, the Alfie series, The Christmas Eve Ghost and Daisy Saves the Day. Her first novel, Hero on a Bicycle, was published in 2012, followed by Whistling in the Dark. She lives in West London.

More About Shirley Hughes

More Books By Shirley Hughes

Cover for Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas by Shirley Hughes
Cover for Alfie and Dad by Shirley Hughes
Cover for Mother's Day by Shirley Hughes
View All Books By Shirley Hughes

Share this book