About the author

Photograph: Eamonn McCabe
“Nothing captures the vulnerability and resilience of children like the pen and paintbrush of Shirley Hughes.”
Times Educational Supplement

Shirley Hughes has illustrated more than 200 children's books and is one of the best-loved writers for children. She grew up in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied at Liverpool Art School before attending the Ruskin School of Fine Art in Oxford.

Shirley has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and has been awarded an OBE for her distinguished service to children's literature. 

In 2007, Dogger was voted the UK's favourite Kate Greenaway Medal-winning book of all time. Shirley’s latest novel, Whistling in the Dark is inspired by Shirley’s own childhood memories of growing up during the Blitz. 

Shirley recently recorded a documentary about dances she attended as a teenager growing up in wartime West Kirby: 


Shirley has three grown-up children and seven grandchildren, who keep her on her toes. She has lived in her house in Notting Hill, West London, for about 50 years. In her spare time, Shirley likes looking at paintings, sewing and wandering about with a sketchbook.

Enjoy other books by Shirley Hughes: 

Hero on A Bicycle 
From much-loved author Shirley Hughes comes a thrilling World War II novel for children. It is 1944 and Florence, Italy, is occupied by Nazi German forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though – and neither have Paolo and his sister, Constanza

Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings do against a whole army with only a bicycle to help them? In extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of extraordinary things… 

Daisy Saves the Day

This charming picture book from the much-loved and award-winning Shirley Hughes tells the story of Daisy Dobbs – a young girl who works in London during the coronation of George V. 

When Daisy starts as a scullery maid in a grand house, she works as hard as she can to try and please her kindly employers. But her greatest day comes when disaster strikes and only Daisy can save the day… 

Out and About: A First Book of Poems
In this wonderful collection of poems, Katie and her little brother Olly romp through the  changing seasons, taking pleasure in the different  elements and weather conditions – sunshine, wind,  rain, mist, snow…

From the joys of the seaside to the miseries of the sickbed, this exuberant volume captures to perfection the world of childhood. 

For readers age 2+



The Christmas Eve Ghost 

When Bronwen and Dylan are frightened by ghostly noises from the chimney on Christmas Eve, they run straight into the arms of their neighbour, Mrs O'Riley

1930s Liverpool is brought to life with evocative drawings in a story that recognizes the richness of human kindness, even in times of hardship and poverty.

For readers aged 5+

 Cover artwork © 2015 Giordano Poloni, from an original sketch by Shirley Hughes. Website text © 2015 Shirley Hughes and Walker Books. All rights reserved. Walker Books Limited, 87 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HJ. Registered in England under Company No .1378601