Shirley Hughes’ Top 5 Best Selling Books

Shirley Hughes is a British author and illustrator best known for her Alfie and Annie Rose series. Born on the 16th of July in 1927, she has written over fifty books and has illustrated more than two hundred. As a best selling author she has managed to sell more than 11.5 million copies, winning a multitude of literature and illustration awards.

For many British children in particular, she has been a large part of the childhood literary experience. Her illustrations are warm and colourful, and invoke memories of home cooked meals and cuddling up with a parent or grandparent for story time.

Shirley Hughes has been popular since 1960 and her work still holds up today as pieces of wonderful children’s literature. As a celebration of her writing and illustration, we have collated her top 5 best selling books according to Amazon.

Happy reading!




1. Dogger

“When Dave loses his favourite toy, Dogger, he is desolate. But then Dogger turns up at the school summer fair, and everything seems all right – until someone else buys him before Dave can get the money!”

“Join Alfie and Annie Rose for Christmas! Alfie opens his advent calendar and makes cards and presents. He sings carols and decorates the tree. And he writes a special letter to Father Christmas… But what will Father Christmas bring on Christmas Day? It’s going to be such an exciting day!”

“Annie Rose and Alfie have lots of games they like to play together, like being scary monsters with Bernard, or running their own shop. But there are some things Annie Rose is too little to do and even some things Alfie would rather do without her. But if Annie Rose is ever sad or cross there is only one person who can make her feel better . . . her big brother.”

“In this collection of poems, a small girl and her baby brother romp through the changing seasons, taking pleasure in the different elements and weather conditions – sunshine, wind, rain, mist, snow. From the joys of the seaside to the miseries of the sickbed, the world of childhood is explored.”

“Alfie and his best friend Bernard have a day out full of surprises when they go to meet a very great person indeed. What’s more there are secret dens to explore, snowy skies, birthday fun and a very unexpected visitor on a special night-time trip! Join our little hero and his friends and family in a celebration of all things Alfie…”

The Private Lives of Authors: Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a German speaking Jewish novelist born in Prague to a middle class family. His childhood was lonely despite being the eldest of six children; his two brothers unfortunately died in their infancy and the remaining children were mainly raised by governesses. Both parents worked hard in the family business and were consequently absent for much of the working week, leaving the household in the care of servants.

Kafka was a shy and introverted character, and an avid reader. He considered writers such as Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Heinrich Von Kleist to be “true blood brothers”. Kafka’s father expected him to take over the family goods business, however, after completing a degree in Law he worked for insurance companies, and started an asbestos factory with an acquaintance. He claimed to despise working just to pay bills and would much rather have spent his time writing. Illness plagued him through his adult life, with complications arising from tuberculosis keeping him from joining the military.

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Brambly Hedge Creator Jill Barklem Died Aged 66

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Born in Epping in 1951, Jill Barklem had a natural talent for art and drawing. He interest in the natural world became a real influence in her work, and after completing her study of illustration at St Martin’s in London, she went on to research extensively for her Brambly Hedge stories.

Her curiosity and interest in rural life bled into her quaint and sweet stories, accompanied by beautifully detailed images of anthropomorphised field mice and other hedgerow creatures.  Her Brambly Hedge stories were adored by many children growing up in the 80s and 90s from her first book ‘A Spring Story’ (1980) to ‘A Year in Brambly Hedge’ (2010). Her work was made into an animation in 1996, voiced by two British treasures- Jim Broadbent and June Whitfield.

After a long illness Jill died, aged 66, on November 16th 2017. The publisher’s staff at HarperCollins were all deeply saddened at the news of Barklem’s death. “Her exquisite Brambly Hedge stories have enchanted children and many adult admirers across the world for more than 35 years. Jill was a lovely person with a rare talent to turn her astute observation of the English countryside into an enchanting miniature world,” she said. “Her enduring stories about the mice of Brambly Hedge remain as beautiful today as when she first created them and will continue to be treasured by future generations.”

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Orwell Statue Unveiled at BBC Broadcasting House

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On the 7th November this year, a brand new statue of one of my all time favourite authors was unveiled outside the BBC’s London Head Quarters, at New Broadcasting House.

Eric Blair had worked at the BBC as a producer for the “Empire Service” over 70 years ago and some suggest that it is this time at the BBC that gave him the inspiration for room 101, in his now famous novel 1984 which he penned under the more familiar name George Orwell.

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10 Doris Lessing Quotes We Can All Relate To

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Doris May Lessing (22nd October 1919 – 17th November 2013) was a British novelist poet, playwright, and short story writer, best known for her novels including The Grass is Singing (USUK), and The Golden Notebook (USUK).

An early feminist, Lessing was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007, described by the Swedish Academy as “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”. When met on the street by journalists and told she had won the prize, she responded “Oh, Christ!”. Read More

10 Moving Quotes from Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe (16 November 1930 – 21 March 2013) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic, best known for his novel Things Fall Apart (USUK), considered to be the most widely read book in modern African Literature and winner of the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.

Achebe lived a fascinating life, growing up in South-Eastern Nigeria. He excelled at school and won a scholarship to study medicine but changed his studies to English Literature at University College, Ibadan. It was here he began writing stories, eventually gaining worldwide attention for his works. Read More

Final Paddington Bear Adventure to Be Published on the Anniversary of His Creator’s Death

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Michael Bond, the creator of the beloved Paddington Bear, sadly passed away earlier this year on 27 June at the age of 91. On the first anniversary of his death, Paddington’s last outing, which Bond was working on shortly before his passing, will be published.

“He was working on it very shortly before he died,” said Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel. “It hadn’t been illustrated, but it was there in manuscript form, and it’s lovely … He kept that magic touch right until the end. He always had to be writing, it was always his way, right through his life.” Read More

10 Classic Gifts for Austen Lovers

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Sometimes we need a little inspiration for writing those gift lists, or even for presenting others with ideas for ourselves! For Reading Addicts is here to help.

Despite being written over 200 years ago, the Jane Austen classics are still as popular as ever today. Her social commentary, wit, and love stories seem to still capture people’s imaginations.

Jane Austen fans will take great pleasure in perusing this list of goodies. It has something for everyone…

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