Books by Shirley Hughes

HERO ON A BICYCLE by Shirley Hughes
Released: April 23, 2013

"A superb historical thriller. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Thirteen-year-old Paolo Crivelli dreams of being a hero in Nazi-occupied Florence. Read full book review >
BOBBO GOES TO SCHOOL by Shirley Hughes
Released: March 12, 2013

"Another satisfying domestic drama from veteran author Hughes, this will please old fans and make new ones. (Picture book. 3 to 6)"
The plot is a familiar one: A young child and her favorite stuffed friend are separated and then joyously reunited. Read full book review >
DON'T WANT TO GO! by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"Familiar and comforting. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Pleasantly predictable, this new offering from a veteran perfectly captures a typical childhood experience. Read full book review >
THE CHRISTMAS EVE GHOST by Shirley Hughes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"A lovely, refreshing, nostalgia-free reminiscence. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Hughes draws on her childhood memories in this longer-than-usual story about a fatherless Welsh family's struggles in Depression-era Liverpool. Read full book review >
ELLA’S BIG CHANCE by Shirley Hughes
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Hughes has added shimmer to her familiar pen-and-gouache style and elegantly fashioned a delightful, revisionist fairy tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Few illustrators could so stylishly dress up the tale of Cinderella with the dash and glitter of the roaring '20s as Hughes has done here with aplomb. Read full book review >
OLLY AND ME by Shirley Hughes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2004

"The narrator may not sound her age, but her observations beg to be read aloud, and it's the mutual affection, the shared joy of ordinary family activities that will make the strongest impression on young listeners. (Picture book/poetry. 4-7)"
In what amounts to a companion for Annie Rose Is My Little Sister (2003), the doyenne of cozy domesticity offers a warm slice-of-life portrait of another brother-sister combo, this time with the unnamed sister doting over her toddler brother. Read full book review >
ANNIE ROSE IS MY LITTLE SISTER by Shirley Hughes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2003

"Conveying a warm feeling of domestic harmony, and modeling an ideal but not unrealistic closeness, this will please fans of Frieda Wishinsky's Oonga Boonga (reissued 1998, with illus by Carol Thompson), Marc Brown's tales of Arthur and D.W., and the like. (Picture book. 5-7)"
With a mixture of pride, affection, and just an occasional saving flash of irritation, Alfie rattles on about his relationship with his adorable, adoring, younger sibling. Read full book review >
ALFIE'S 1-2-3 by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: March 31, 2000

"Fans of Alfie will savor this newest adventure while the uninitiated will quickly discover why this series has such enduring popularity with children and adults alike. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Alfie and his little sister Annie Rose are back, this time introducing the numbers one through ten in a playful approach to counting. Read full book review >
THE LION AND THE UNICORN by Shirley Hughes
Released: April 1, 1999

"It may be difficult for this to find its audience, but children too young for Michelle Magorian's Good Night, Mr. Tom (1986) might be captured. (Picture book. 8-10)"
From Hughes (Enchantment in the Garden, 1997, etc.), a WWII story with big ambitions—many of them realized'set out in the pages of an unusually long picture book. Read full book review >
ALFIE AND THE BIRTHDAY SURPRISE by Shirley Hughes
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1998

"Hughes's trademark illustrations capture, as always, the homey details of family life in a neighborhood where the kindness of others plays a large part in everyday events. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Alfie (The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook, 1992, etc.) is back, and this time he wants to cheer up his neighbor, Bob MacNally, whose old gray cat, Smoky, has died. Read full book review >
ENCHANTMENT IN THE GARDEN by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

A storybook with echoes of Frances Hodgson Burnett—absentee parents, a lonely girl, an orphan who blossoms while working in a garden, children who meet clandestinely, away from the governess's eyes—from Hughes, who illustrated an edition of The Secret Garden: all the elements of an old-fashioned read, but precious and out-of-date. Read full book review >
HIDING by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Charming and enriching. (Picture book. 2-6)"
As she did in Bouncing and Giving (both 1993), Hughes explores and extends what initially looks like a simple concept: At first, a child plays peekaboo with a toddler who's gazing raptly at the cushion from behind which she declares ``You can't see me''; then they play hide-and-seek, in which the place of concealment is a secret. Read full book review >
STORIES BY FIRELIGHT by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"As welcome as a cozy blaze on a raw winter day. (Picture book/Young reader. 4-10)"
Another beguiling thematic collection: poems; stories— including a story-within-a-story in which a child convalescing with her mother's artist friend Morag explores a rocky coast, gets on quietly with her own drawing while Morag works, and enjoys Morag's tale of a selkie wife; a wordless ``Midwinter Night's Dream'' in which a young somnambulist sees all kinds of benign fantastical creatures lurking around his home; three fine Christmas entries, notably a British barmaid's harried response to ``A couple requiring a meal and a bed'' (``It's the wrong time of year, as I've already said;/I'd help if I could, with her in that state,/But I'm rushed off my feet and we're so understaffed...''). Read full book review >
GIVING by Shirley Hughes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1993

"Endpaper vignettes introduce additional verbs; a companion title, Bouncing (ISBN 1-56402-128-9) follows the same tots through a merrily rambunctious day. (Picture book. 2-6)"
If childhood has an illustrator laureate, it must be Hughes: no one else captures emotions, concerns, and body language with such sensibility and affection. Read full book review >
THE BIG ALFIE OUT OF DOORS STORYBOOK by Shirley Hughes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 16, 1992

"Mom'' and other needless Americanizations, undermining the splendidly evoked British setting. (Young reader/Picture book. 3-8)"
Four longish stories and as many pleasant poems about happy, wholesome experiences for Alfie and his little sister: setting up shop on a cardboard box; camping out with Dad in a real tent near Grandma's (a huge pig provides an amusing midnight disturbance, just scary enough); adopting a rock (``Bonting'') that Alfie invests with so much personality that losing ``him'' at the beach is truly sad (he's found, in the end). Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1992

"A treasure. (Short stories. 8-12)"
Nine more stories, written by the versatile New Zealander in the 70's but only now published here; their common theme of being in tune with the natural world makes them especially apposite to the 90's. Read full book review >
WHEELS by Shirley Hughes
FICTION
Released: May 27, 1991

Busy Trotter Street stars again, with a typically benevolent Hughes flavor to the events. Read full book review >
THE BIG ALFIE AND ANNIE ROSE STORYBOOK by Shirley Hughes
Released: March 22, 1989

For everyone who'd like to return to the comfortable family and neighborhood made so entirely real in the four previous books about Alfie and his little sister, a generous collection of incidents and vignettes. Read full book review >

Old Mrs. Dean next door really is a pain: officiously, she interferes when the kids slide on an ice patch, causing the fall she meant to prevent; she's a boring, TV-watching babysitter; worst, she's always complaining about Samantha's dog. Read full book review >