Shirley Hughes is one of the most highly-respected children’s authors and illustrators working today. She has written over seventy books, including Dogger and the Alfie series, and illustrated many more by other writers. She has been published across the world and generations of children have grown up enthralled and comforted by her work.
Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers’ work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards’s My Naughty Little Sister series.Shirley Hughes Photograph © Kate Peters
Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book – Lucy and Tom’s Day – was published in 1960, and she has continued to delight and innovate right up to the present day, with wordless picture books and strip cartoons among others, but always with her characteristic attention to detail and effortless evocation of the everyday life and concerns of small children.
Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella’s Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public’s favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley was awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to Children’s Literature.