Celebrating Shirley Hughes

Beloved children’s author and illustrator Shirley Hughes has passed away at the age of 94.

She died “peacefully at home after a short illness on Friday 25th February 2022”, a statement to the PA news agency said.

Ms Hughes was born in West Kirby, Merseyside, and after attending art school began her career as an illustrator for other children’s authors, before penning her own books. She went on to publish more than 50 titles and picked up numerous awards along the way.

To celebrate Ms Hughes’ incredible career, these are her most famous books as illustrator and author.


Dogger, published in 1977, won the Kate Greenaway Medal, awarded for ‘an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people’.

It tells the tale of a boy called Dave, who loses his favourite cuddly toy.

Read: Books guaranteed to make you cry

My Naughty Little Sister

Ms Hughes illustrated this classic children’s book, the first in a series written by Dorothy Edwards.

The titular Naughty Little Sister is a mischievous three-year-old who tries to cut of the family cat’s tail and eats all the trifle at a birthday party, amongst other antics.

Alfie Gets in First

The first in Ms Hughes’ phenomenally popular Alfie series, Alfie Gets in First (1981) is the story of the chaos that ensues when the title character accidentally locks his mum and baby sister Annie Rose out of the house.

Read: Why old-fashioned toys are making a comeback

Annie Rose Is My Little Sister

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Celebrating the bond that siblings share, Annie Rose is My Little Sister is told from the perspective of older brother Alfie, who loves playing with Annie Rose and always knows how to cheer her up, but sometimes gets frustrated with his little sister.

The Bell Family

Illustrated by Ms Hughes and authored by Noel Streatfield, The Bell Family (1954) chronicles the ups and down of life in the vicarage at St Marks with dad (a reverend), mum, children Paul, Jane and Ginnnie, baby Angus and lovable pooch Esau.

Read: Big books to get lost in

Out and About

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Ms Hughes’ first book of poems is intended as an introduction to poetry for children. The collection focuses on the four seasons as seen through the eyes of a small girl and her baby brother.

Written by Katie Wright

Fashion and beauty editor at the Press Association.