Shirley Hughes said it was a “tremendous honour” to receive the Book Trust lifetime achievement earlier today (7th July) at a reception in Holland Park, West London.
After receiving the award from author and Book Trust president Michael Morpurgo, Hughes said she was “absolutely thrilled”, adding: “I will remember this day for ever”.
Hughes used her speech to thank her publishers, including Random House Children’s, and said the key to success in illustration is “bringing the vitality from the first rough drawing to the final artwork. You can’t do that without a good editor and an in-house designer and I’ve had wonderful editors over the years”.
She also said children can enjoy books before they can read because “learning to look is a skill and children can get huge satisfaction from looking and turning the page. If they do that, you’ve got a reader for life”.
Morpurgo said it could not be more appropriate that the Book Trust lifetime achievement award has gone to the “great Shirley Hughes.”
“Go into schools anywhere, go into bookshops and look around, and what do you find? Shirley Hughes books everywhere: herds of them, swarms of them,” he said. “Her books are on every child’s bookshelf in the land. And they read them. They take the books off the bookshelf and read them again and again.”
Her books are beloved nationally and internationally, he added.
Pictured: Hughes gives a drawing class to children from Fox Primary School at the award ceremony earlier today.