Shirley Hughes was born and grew up in the Wirral, near Liverpool. She studied at Liverpool Art School and at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford before starting on a career as an illustrator.
To begin with she illustrated other people`s stories but after her children were born she began to design her own picture books. Her first book 'Lucy and Tom`s Day' was published in l960.
Perhaps her best known and most loved book is 'Dogger' which won the Kate Greenaway Award in l977
but Alphie and Annie Rose as well as Tom and Lucy are household names with children; her readers love to recognize and identify themselves with the story-book characters.
Shirley has illustrated over two hundred books. As well as the Kate Greenaway, she has received the Other Award, the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award and in l999 her tireless and distinguished work for children`s literature was recognized with an OBE.
Her working life has recently been celebrated in a retrospective exhibition held at The Ashmoleon Museum in Oxford, and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Alongside this 'The Shirley Hughes Collection' was published by the Bodley Head. In 2002 the Bodley Head also published A Life Drawing, a fascinating autobiographical account of her creative life as an artist and a celebration of her illustration work.
Shirley lives in West London with her husband John and has three children, one of whom, Clara Vulliamy is also a full time book illustrator.
Shirley Hughes is the winner of the 2003 Kate Greenaway Award for her
picture book, Ella`s Big Chance - the fairy tale of Cinderella retold. Writing in the Guardian Review, she says 'Clothes and disguises of all kinds are very important in fairy tales. I set my Cinderella story in the jazz age on the French Riviera with the dresses inspired by the great Paris couturiers of that era. The ballroom and dance sequences are inspired by the RKO Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films with those curving Art Deco staircases and wide, reflective dance floors that in my childhood represented the essence of glamour.' This is the second time she has won the award.
Shirley Hughes is photographed here with Babette Cole at our recent Winter Exhibitions.