Shirley Hughes is one of the best-loved and most innovative creators of books for young children. Shirley Hughes has written and illustrated over 50 books and sold more than eleven million copies, won major awards and created some of the most enduring characters of children's literature. Shirley Hughes had received the Eleanor Farjeon Award for distinguishedservices to children's literature, was awarded an OBE in 1999 and has received the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, twice.
Born and raised in West Kirby, a quiet seaside town on the Wirral, Shirley Hughes spent her wartime childhood drawing, painting and making up stories with her two sisters. Encouraged and inspired by visits to Liverpool's magnificent Walker Art Gallery, Shirley developed a lifelong interest in 'narrative painting', or pictures that tell stories. This led to a year at Liverpool Art School studying fashion and costume design followed by fine art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. Shirley Hughes soon settled in Notting Hill developing her distinctive graphic style using pen and ink, watercolour and gouache with which she infuses ordinary domestic scenes with a mixture of cosiness and magic.
2006 was the 25th anniversary of Shirley's best loved character Alfie.