Shirley Hughes was born in 1927. After a year at Liverpool Art School studying costume design, Shirley moved on to the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford. She has written and illustrated over fifty books and sold more than eleven million copies.
In both 1977 and 2004 she won the Kate Greenaway Medal and in 1984 she won the Eleanor Farjeon Award. In 1999 she was awarded an OBE for services to children's literature and in 2000 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.