Friday, June 22, 2007

Hooray for Dogger!

A few years ago, our family discovered Shirley Hughes at our local library. She's a UK author and illustrator whose picture books capture childhood and childhood's feelings better than almost any books I know. Her books quickly became some of our family favorites. My daughter is especially fond of the Alfie books.

But the very first Shirley Hughes book we ever read (and so in some ways a sentimental favorite, since it was the book that introduced us to this beloved author) was David and Dog. David and Dog is the American title; in the UK it's known as Dogger, and it won the Kate Greenaway Medal (the equivalent of our American Caldecott Medal) back in the late 70s. The book was published in 1977, and I think won the award in 1978.

I just read this morning that Dogger has been awared the "ultimate" Greenaway honor, in that it was chosen by readers around the world as their favorite of the Greenaways (apparently readers could vote from a short list of previous winners). What wonderful news, and what a lovely honor for the now nearly 80 year old Shirley Hughes.

If your family's never discovered Dogger, it's well worth looking for. Hughes' books, especially the older ones, are not always easy to find and buy here in the U.S. (at least for reasonable can often find used copies for higher prices). It's a marvelous tale of a little boy who loses his beloved stuffed dog and how his older sister helps him get it back. So simple, so ordinary, and yet so perfect, both in text and illustrations.

In honor of the day, I've added Dogger to my sidebar list of books I love. It's a randomly generated list from a favorites catalog I've just recently begun keeping at I had to go searching in the website to find it, but I couldn't resist adding it. I hope some day I can really add a copy of this lovely book to my actual (not just virtual!) shelves.


Erin said...

Ooh, another new author to check out. :) Definitely due for a trip to the library!

Beth said...

Shirley Hughes is WONDERFUL! You will love her. The only reason I've not reviewed more of her books on Epinions is that there aren't that many in the database, and I get lazy about SAP's. Maybe in honor of Hughes' Greenaway, I will see if I can't get them to add a copy of Dogger. :-)