Our Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Shirley Hughes

Published on: 05 July 2015

The winner of our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award is the author and illustrator of more than 200 cherished children's books, Shirley Hughes OBE.

The prize, which celebrates the body of work of an author or illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to children's literature, is being presented to Shirley during our Children's Book Week (6-12 July), while children up and down the country are celebrating great books.

Among Shirley's most celebrated works are the Alfie stories, a series of beautifully illustrated picture books about a boy's world, and Dogger, which was voted the public's favourite Kate Greenaway Medal winner of all time.

Described by Philip Pullman as a 'national treasure', Shirley is currently collaborating with her daughter, Clara Vulliamy on the Dixie O'Day series, which has been described as a 'mother-and-daughter dream team.' Dixie O'Day is included in the BookTrust Best Book Guide 2015 that launches today as part of Children's Book Week. Shirley's books also feature in the BookTrust listing of the 100 Best Books.

 Shirley Hughes OBE

BookTrust CEO, Diana Gerald, says:

BookTrust is thrilled that our first ever Lifetime Achievement Award goes to someone whose remarkable, multi-talented contribution to children's fiction spans several generations and continues to this day. Her characters are imprinted on the memories of two or three generations, a recognition of their enduring charm. This evergreen storytelling is something we particularly want to celebrate with this award.
Significantly, Shirley continues to innovate and create, providing young children with a love of reading that we know will give them a great start in life. We often hear about 'national treasures', but Shirley Hughes is up there with the best.

Shirley's first novel, Hero on a Bicycle, was published three years' ago, after decades of success with her picture books, and her second novel, Whistling in the Dark, has just been published by Walker Books.

Now in her ninth decade Shirley continues to delight children, parents and grandparents with their favourite fictional toddler, publishing a brand new Alfie book, Alfie Outdoors, in August. She is also reissuing her very first book as author/illustrator, Lucy & Tom at the Seaside, marking the title's 55th year in publication.

Shirley will celebrate her award with a summer party at The Orangery in Holland Park on 7 July where she will demonstrate her incredible illustration skills to local schoolchildren.

Award winner, Shirley Hughes, says:

Being chosen for the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is a tremendous honour which I appreciate more than I can say. I have derived so much fulfilment from my long career, first as an illustrator of other artists' stories and then creating my own. Best of all has been perennially encountering very young children who are learning to look with such rapt pleasure and follow a story visually long before they are able to read.

Award judge and BookTrust President, Michael Morpurgo, says:

Many millions of our children have come to love reading through the wonderful books of Shirley Hughes. She is also a national treasure to parents, because many millions of them too have grown up with Shirley Hughes, and are now passing on their affection for her stories, her characters and her illustration, to their own children. Book Trust's first Lifetime Achievement Award could not be more richly deserved.

The judges of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award were: Book Trust President and 2003-05 Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo; former Book Trust Chief Executive and Chair of Judges, Viv Bird; 2013-15 Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman - who first suggested introducing the Award; and Telegraph digital culture editor, Martin Chilton.

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