Monday, February 6

Children’s author of Alfie series and Dogger, Shirley Hughes dies at 94 after short illness

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Children?s author of Alfie series and Dogger, Shirley Hughes dies at 94 after short illness

Children’s author and illustrator, Shirley Hughes has died after a short illness at the age of 94, her family said ON Wednesday.

Hughes, best known for her popular Alfie book series and the picture book Dogger which won her the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal, died “peacefully at home” on Friday.

Dogger, first published in 1977, told the story of a little boy who loses his stuffed dog toy. She achieved the feat decades later, winning the prize a second time for Ella’s Big Chance, a reimagining of Cinderella, in 2003.

Throughout her career, she illustrated around 200 children’s books and sold more than 10 million copies of her books.

She was appointed a CBE in 2017 for her services to children’s literature, having been made an OBE in 1999.

Other notable accolades include the inaugural BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

She was chosen by a judging panel of authors including Sir Michael Morpurgo and Malorie Blackman.

Upon receiving the award Hughes described it as a “tremendous honour”.

She said: “I have derived so much fulfilment from my long career, first as an illustrator for other artists’ stories and then creating my own.

“Best of all has been perennially encountering very young children who are learning to look with such rapt pleasure and follow a story visually long before they are able to read.”

‘Shirley’s incredible stories touched so many generations’

Born in West Kirby, Hughes was the daughter of TJ Hughes, who founded what would become a successful chain of department stores that first appeared in Liverpool.

She studied drawing and costume design at the Liverpool School of Art, and also studied fine art at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art.

Her early work included illustrations for Dorothy Edwards’ My Naughty Little Sister, with the first picture book she illustrated being Lucy and Tom’s Day in 1960.

In 2017, when asked about the inspiration for Dogger, she told the PA News Agency the canine character was inspired by her own son losing his stuffed toy dog.

She said: “At the time both his ears flopped over, but the toy was pressed so lovingly against his owner’s face that one ear was pushed upwards, so when I came to do the story I used him as a model.”

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