Celebrating the life and work of Shirley Hughes CBE

This month we celebrate the life and work of beloved children's author and illustrator Shirley Hughes CBE who sadly passed away in late February 2022.


Shirley wrote more than fifty books, which have sold more than 11.5 million copies, and illustrated more than two hundred.

She won many accolades during her career including the 1977 and 2003 Kate Greenaway Medals for British children's book illustration. In 2007, her 1977 winner, Dogger, as story about a little boy who is left distraught when his beloved toy dog turns up at a jumble sale, was named the public's favourite winning work of the award's first fifty years. She won the inaugural BookTrust lifetime achievement award in 2015. 

An Association of Illustrators Patron since 1994, she was awarded an OBE in 1999 for Services to Children’s Literature, and in 2000 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, followed by a CBE in 2017 for services to literature.



“At the core of Shirley’s work is a child’s feeling, a child’s emotions. She spent her whole life taking this as seriously as many take adult feelings and emotions. This is part of what made her so special and so important,” - Michael Rosen.

Born in 1927 in West Kirby, Shirley studied at Liverpool Art School and the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford. From the 1950’s she worked as a freelance illustrator of other author’s books but began to write and illustrate picture books when she had a young family of her own, with her first book, Lucy and Tom’s Day, published in 1960.

Her reputation as a household name was secured with Dogger in 1977, which was translated into 13 languages after its publication and the Alfie series, featuring a young boy named Alfie and his sister Annie-Rose. Many of her books were set in the multicultural world she saw around her west London home.

Shirley Hughes art


Her legacy must surely be the memories of enjoying her stories, and the much loved books passed down through generations of children.

We are honoured to have a selection of limited editions by Shirley in the gallery. Visit the collection page here or call us on 01604 713743.


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