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Shirley Hughes (1927 - 2022)


We are deeply saddened by Shirley's passing earlier this month - at the age of 94, she had led a most extra-ordinary life, bringing so much happiness to so many people around the world. A truly great person - the world is poorer for her absence

Shirley Hughes was born and brought up in the Wirral. She studied at Liverpool Art School and the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford. Initially she illustrated other people’s stories but after her children were born she began to design her own picture books. Lucy and Tom’s Day Out, her first book as author and illustrator, was published in l960. She has since published over fifty of her own titles including the much loved Alfie series.


Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award and the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and for her best known and most popular book, Dogger, she won the Kate Greenaway Medal in l977. She was highly commended for the same award in 1999 for The Lion and Unicorn, and won it for the second time with Ella’s Big Chance (2003), a retelling of the Cinderella story illustrated in a 1920s style. In 1999 her tireless and distinguished work for children’s literature was recognized with an OBE.


In 2002 her illustrated biography A Life Drawing was published to critical acclaim and an exhibition of her work entitled From Alfie to Dogger was displayed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

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