Friday, 19 December 2008

Shirley's Winter Wonderland

Shirley's Winter Wonderland, originally uploaded by ninethreeo.

I finished work yesterday until the 6th January, and I woke up at 6am this
morning being sick.

Toddler E and I have been taking it easy this morning on the sofa under a
duvet. After watching The Muppets Christmas Carol, we got out some books for
a read, mostly Shirley Hughes today.

I LOVE Shirley Hughes. There's something so cosy and real about her words
and images. With the family theatre of bathtimes and bedtimes, trips to the
park and the shops, set against the backdrop of nature so evocatively
painted through the seasons, they remind me to appreciate the new things E
is learning everyday. And not just her numbers and letters, but the myriad
of things which occupy her mind.
As Shirley says of children in this article at The Times Online:
"They are learning more at this stage than at any other, grappling with
these big things: are my boots on the right feet? Can I safely put my
security blanket down? You have to tap into the way they feel about these

There are the things E experiences everyday, the things she notices and
hasn't yet learned to take for granted, and through Shirley Hughes's books
they are captured in such beautiful detail: the cat on the wall on the way
to the park, the difference between day and night, the sound of falling
They remind me what it's like for E to be a small child, and they also remind me to appreciate these things too.

Over at the Penguin website she says this:
"I want children, however tiny they are, and wherever they live, to use their eyes, to look out and see that it's ravishingly beautiful out there."

I really knew nothing of what Ms Hughes looks like or about her personal life before reading these articles though, but I liked this, also from The Times:
"Appointed OBE in 1999 for services to children's literature, Shirley Hughes
at 78, tall and upright in elegant, home-sewn clothes, shows no sign of
slowing down"


The Times

The pic is of E reading Colours, from Shirley's nursery collection which also includes Noisy, Bathwater's Hot, All Shapes and Sizes, and When We Went to the Park. We have these as
individual books and also as a collection. The individual books are better because the illustrations are bigger and given the right amount of space. In the collection some are cropped.

E is nearly three and still really enjoys these books. She is getting Rhymes for Annie Rose for


Lynne said...

Hi, I'm visiting here for the first time having seen your comment about your parent's brindle greyhound on One Perl Button blog. They are lovely dogs aren't they.
Have a wonderful time on the Isle of Arran a favourite place of mine and my children's. It's a number of years since I've been there though. Hope you post some pictures when you get back. I'll call again.