Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Incomparable Shirley Hughes

On the 16th of July, Shirley Hughes, one of the best known and most loved childrens' author/illustrators celebrated her 90th birthday.
Shirley Hughes has given us an exceptional and accurate into the childs' view of the world throughout her long and celebrated career. Her first book, Lucy and Tom's Day was published in 1960. Her Alfie and Annie Rose stories are not simply charming; they are an insightful look into the culture of children, as Alfie and his little sister Annie Rose navigate the world with their own particular view and Alfie proves himself to be quite a problem-solver and keen observer of life around him. And they are joyous! Dogger (1977) won the Kate Greenaway Medal and became her first book to be
published world wide, proving an international appeal. The awards she has been given for her work make for incredible reading, and include, in 2015, BookTrusts' inaugural lifetime achievement award.
A keen observer of childhood interaction herself, Hughes feels
“It’s my job with a picture book to slow children down, make them pore over the drawings and recognise their world. Even before they read, they are learning to be readers, to notice things and make connections.”(The Telegraph, Judith Woods, 17 July 2015)
And she does this incredibly well. There is much to look at, much to understand in all her many books, and all from a childs' perspective.
I could go on and on, but others have done that much better than I over the years. What I really wanted to say in this brief, rather meager attempt her is simply this:
Happy Birthday, Shirley Hughes...and many thanks for all the gifts you have given us. Your stories, your pictures and your insight have meant the world.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/11721398/Shirley-Hughes-Its-my-job-with-a-picture-book-to-slow-children-down.html

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