Shirley Hughes, creator of the Alfie and Dogger series for children, died at the age of 94 after a brief illness.

Shirley Hughes, a children’s novelist and illustrator, died at the age of 94 on Wednesday following a brief illness, according to her family.

Hughes died “peacefully at home” on Friday. She was well known for her popular Alfie book series and the picture book Dogger, which won her the coveted Kate Greenaway Medal.

Dogger, first published in 1977, was about a young child who misplaced his plush dog toy. She repeated the feat decades later, winning the award again in 2003 for Ella’s Big Chance, a retelling of Cinderella.

She illustrated over 200 children’s books over her career and sold over 10 million copies.

She was granted a CBE in 2017 for her services to children’s literature.

The inaugural BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 was another important honor.

A judging panel of authors, including Sir Michael Morpurgo and Malorie Blackman, chose her.

Hughes characterized the medal as a “tremendous honor” when he received it.

“My long career has given me so much fulfillment, first as an illustrator for other artists’ stories and then as a creator of my own,” she added.

“The best part has been meeting very young children who are learning to stare with such rapt delight and follow a story visually long before they can read.”

‘Shirley’s incredible stories touched so many generations’

Born in West Kirby, Hughes was the daughter of TJ Hughes, who founded what would become a successful chain of department stores that first appeared in Liverpool.

She studied drawing and costume design at the Liverpool School of Art, and also studied fine art at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art.

Her early work included illustrations for Dorothy Edwards’ My Naughty Little Sister, with the first picture book she illustrated being Lucy and Tom’s Day in 1960.

In 2017, when asked about the inspiration for Dogger, she told the PA News Agency the canine character was inspired by her own son losing his stuffed toy dog.

She said: “At the time both his ears flopped over, but the toy was pressed so lovingly against his owner’s face that one ear was pushed upwards, so when I came to do the story I used him as a model.”


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