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Alfie and the Big Boys (Alfie)


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A story especially for children starting school - starring the inimitable Alfie!

About the Author

Shirley Hughes was born and grew up in West Kirby, near Liverpool. She studied at Liverpool Art School and at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, before embarking on a career as a freelance illustrator. At first she worked as an interpretive illustrator, but she began to write and design her own picture books when her children were very young. Her first book, Lucy and Tom's Day, was published in 1960. Now living in London's Notting Hill, Shirley Hughes has illustrated over two hundred children's books and is renowned as a champion of children's literature. She has been the recipient of the Other Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal and the prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award.


PreS-Gr 1-Alfie attends Parkside Nursery School, which is next door to the Big School. He and his friend Bernard admire the older boys, and Ian stands out as a leader on the playground. However, he never takes notice of the younger children. On Saturday at the garden shop, however, Ian begins to cry when his mum leaves him at the play area, and Alfie is there to soothe him. The boys' mothers soon pick their children up and ultimately become friendly. When Ian and Bernard visit Alfie, the big boy plays quietly with Alfie's little sister, Annie Rose. Alfie and Bernard think that lining up dolls is babyish, but then all of the children play a rough-and-tumble game outdoors. Hughes's protagonist remains an extremely likable and highly recognizable character. The realistic line and color illustrations are filled with activity and expression; augmenting characterization, they combine with an understated text to provide a gentle commentary on daily life. A British setting provides the backdrop for this universal story of family, childhood experiences, friendship, and fears.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

There is something quintessentially comforting about Shirley Hughes' books * Sunday Telegraph *
No-one tells a plain tale better than Shirley Hughes and her telling here is brilliantly complemented, as ever, by her stunning illustrations which are the product of a deeply compassionate and carefully sharp eye * The School Librarian *
Hughes invites young readers into a world they will recognise and love, and shows that toughness is not everything * The Sunday Times *
Shirley Hughes' beautifully observed - and exquisitely illustrated - books are a national treasure. In this latest Alfie adventure, our boy hero discovers that even big boys cry * Independent *
This is one of those books that reaffirm - if reaffirmation is needed - the importance of picture books -- Chris Stephenson * Carousel *

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