ACHUKA was privileged to be invited to Book Trust’s presentation of the first Lifetime Achievement to Shirley Hughes yesterday, at the Orangery in Holland Park.
Michael Morpurgo agave an introductory speech (written in the mistaken assurance that Shirley would be wearing a hat, as she generally does to literary parties) which had just the right mix of humour and veneration. There were lots of ‘great & good’ people in attendance, including the new Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell. It was a particular pleasure for me to see Clare Hall-Craggs acting as Shirley’s chaperone as well as meeting up with, for the first time in years, Ted Dewan, both longtime ACHUKA friends. After the formalities, a local Y2 class were treated to a special live drawing session in an outside marquee. Shirley drew Alfie running and two illustrations based on comical rhymes, all undertaken in a charming non-performance-like way, so that it was as if we were watching her draw in a home setting. I wish my three grownup children and both grandchildren, all of whom have loved her books, could have been there.
The cupcakes featuring Shirley Hughes book jackets (pictured below) were made for the occasion by Bluebell Kitchen.