Children’s author and illustrator Shirley Hughes has died aged 94

LONDON (AP) — British children’s author and illustrator Shirley Hughes, best known for her popular “Alfie” series and classic “Dogger” picture book, has died, her family announced Wednesday. She was 94 years old.

Hughes died “peacefully at home after a short illness” on Friday, the family said in a statement.

“Shirley’s books on everyday family life are adored by generations of families and she is held in the highest regard by her peers,” the family statement read.

“Dogger” tells the story of a little boy who loses his stuffed dog toy. The book was first published in 1977 and millions of copies have been sold worldwide. It won the British Kate Greenaway Medal, an award for Distinguished Illustration in a Children’s Book.

Hughes illustrated some 200 children’s titles throughout his career. She was appointed a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE, in 2017 for her services to children’s literature.

Michael Morpurgo, author of the novel “War Horse,” was among many to pay tribute to Hughes on Wednesday.

“Shirley must have started the reading life of so many millions of people. That moment when you’ve read a book like ‘Alfie’ and you sit down and think ‘That was wonderful, tell me another one'” , wrote Morpurgo. “Thank you, Shirley, from all of us, children of today and children of yesterday.”

BookTrust, a UK charity dedicated to children’s literacy, awarded Hughes its first Lifetime Achievement award in 2015. At the time, Hughes said: “I have derived so much satisfaction from my long career, from first as an illustrator of other artists’ stories, then create my own.

“Best of all has always been to meet very young children who learn to watch with such rapturous delight and visually follow a story long before they are able to read,” she said.

Hughes studied Drawing and Costume Design at Liverpool School of Art and Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art, Oxford.

Her early work included illustrations for the classic “My Naughty Little Sister” by Dorothy Edwards. She published the first book she both illustrated and wrote, “Lucy And Tom’s Day”, in 1960.

Hughes was married to John Vulliamy and the couple had three children.

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