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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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All About Alfie Hardcover – 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1998
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"No one can match Shirley Hughes in the simple mastery of both words and pictures." --Times Educational Supplement

"Shirley Hughes is a national treasure." --Philip Pullman

"It is Alfie's 30th birthday. Shirley Hughes has compiled an omnibus entitled All About Alfie. The opening painting sets the scene for the birthday boy." --Jan Lee, Oxford Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Shirley Hughes was trained at Liverpool Art School and at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. She illustrated many books by other authors before she started to write her own picture books. Her own family, two sons and a daughter, were very young then and she learned the craft of storytelling mostly by reading to them. Her books have won many awards and are published in Europe, China, Japan, and the Far East, as well as Australia, Canada, the U. K., and the U. S. A. She travels widely, talking to and drawing for children in schools and libraries as well as at adult conventions.

Shirley is married to an architect, now retired, and they have lived in the same family house, overlooking a London square garden, for more than forty years. They have, to date, six grandchildren who keep them on their toes.

In Her Own Words...

"I grew up in a nice, quiet, well-behaved suburb of Liverpool. But our uneventful lives were rudely interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Wewent to school carrrying gas masks, did air-raid shelter drills, saved Up mountains of scrap metal, and attempted to knit Mufflers for the troops. (Mine were very long; I never quite got the hang of casting off.) I slept under the stairs (hiring the winter of the big blitz, when we saw the sky over Liverpool lit by searchlights, tracer bullets, and Fires from the burning docks.

"All this may sound very exciting, But the problem with wartime is that when it's not frightening, it's deadly dull. You can't go on holiday, the grown-ups are too harassed and exhausted to pay much attention to amusements, and every nice kind of food is scarce. I recall, on a rare trip to the seaside (the beach was out of bounds, full of barbed wire and concrete gun emplacements), gazing at a longempty slot machine which had held chocolate bars and now seemed like a rusting icon from another world.

"Nevertheless, we managed to have a good time. We drew a lot, read and wrote stories, and got up magazines. (Mine was called, rather unoriginally, 'Girl's Own.) We acted plays, dressed in homemade costumes, to any audience we could press into service, cats included. Later, we became hopelessly stageand movie-struck. I think that by accident I had an ideal childhood for an illustrator. In a pre-televisual age, our Sunday afternoon outings, if we were lucky, were to Liverpool Art Gallery, which was cram-full of Victorian an narrative paintings with titles like 'The Hopeless Dawn,' 'Too Late!,' and 'When Did You Last See Your Father?' Tremendous stuff, and it fueled my lifelong conviction that stories and pictures belong together. I think most children probably feel the same.

"With me, drawing and painting stuck. I was never much good at anything else, so I went on doing them. Writing was a secret thing, kept well under wraps. When I emerged from art school, I wrote to a distinguished typographer saying I wanted to illustrate children's books. He wrote back saying that this was impossible 'except as an adjunct to teaching or matrimony.' All the same, I was determined to do it.

"When I think of an idea for a story, it always starts with a very strong image in my head, usually of a child doing something. With picture books, the words are unthinkable without the images-the two develop together, like a film. Alfie first made his appearance running up the street ahead of his mum, who came trundling behind with the shopping and his baby sister, Annie Rose, in the buggy. I knew from the first moment I reached for a pencil to get down a rough drawing of him that he was positively pink in the face with determination to get into the action. A lot has happened to him-and to mesince. He is a very ordinary little boy, a kind of fouryear-old Everyman just beginning to come to grips with the complexities of life. Now, rather to my amazement, well over two million Alfie books have been sold worldwide. But I still relate back to that rapid sketch done in a state of high excitement, which is where it all began."

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Baby's First Book Club (1998)
  • ISBN-10: 158048042X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580480420
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,141,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
We sure love Alfie and his sister Annie Rose. Their ages approximate the relationship between my own two kids, and the adventures are wonderful! We also really like the illustrations and the simple depictions of everyday life in a family that loves each other and seems to have a house that is just as comfortably messy as ours! We especially like the story about the burst pipe, and we read about Alfie's trip to his friend Bernard's birthday party whenever we have a party coming up on our own calendar. As a Mom who's trying to do a good job wading through the millions of childrens books out there, I'm delighted to recommend Alfie -- this one's a keeper!
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Format: Hardcover
My 2 and half year old asks to read this book and other Shirley Hughes' books repeatedly. They are endearing and engaging for both of us (and Dad & big brother too). These realistic and beautiful renderings of a toddler's everday dramas explore small but important truths about behavior... sharing (at a birthday party) , courage (overcoming fear of opening a door by oneself), thoughtfulness (helping a sister in need), and learning about and taking care of one's belongings. But I only came to recognize these subtle messages after several requested readings which is of course most important. In our house this book is highly requested as well as recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This book features four charming stories about a little boy, Alfie, and his everyday adventures. My 3-year-old especially loves the birthday party story, but also frequently asks for the "raining in the house" story, the "I'm there first" story and the "rain boots" story as well. The illustrations are exceptional, and a treat for a cartoon illustration-weary parent to behold. Every parent will see a little of Alfie in their own child, and appreciate him/her the better for it!
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By A Customer on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I often wish I could find other books just like "Alife." We have a little boy who absolutely loves Alfie stories. There are several wonderful things about this book. First, the stories are delightful--gentle but realistic depictions of a boy who can figure things out and actually accomplish some little four-year old feats on his own. I love the interaction among the family members (although I guess the dad is a little removed for my taste...). The illustrations are so true. I agree with the earlier reviewer, I'm also comforted by the little daily messes in Alfie's house. We also love the format of this book. It's big and long (divided into several stories) and our little guy really feels like he's reading a "serious" book. He likes to consider which story to read and we've even had a chance to do some teaching about page numbers. I've bought this book for several kids in the 3-4 year old group and I've heard good things from all of them. This is one I can imagine saving for the grandkids.
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Format: Hardcover
The Alfie and Annie Rose books are quite perfect for little ones, especially as the stories so aptly capture what it means to be a young child (a toddler as in Annie Rose, or preschooler as in Alfie). This particular book contains 4 stories:
"Alfie Gets in First" - Alfie gets locked in his house whilst his mother and baby sister get locked out. As time passes, the neighbors come by to lend a helping hand, but young Alfie may get himself out after all.
"Alfie's Feet" - delightful story about Alfie and his wellington boots.
"Alfie Gives a Hand" - Alfie attends his friend Bernard's birthday party, with his little blanky in hand, and learns about what it is to be a real friend, and of letting go.
"An Evening at Alfie's" - our favorite of the four. Alfie's parents go out for an evening of fun, and Alfie and Annie Rose are left in the care of Maureen, a young teenager. Soon, Alfie and Annie Rose are not in bed, but wide awake when a water pipe bursts, leaving a watery mess all over the house.

This is perfect for reading aloud to younger children, and the stories are just the right length for reading at bedtime. Recommended for toddlers-preschoolers.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All About Alfie is a delightful book containing 4 of Shirley Hughes' early works about our preschool hero. Alfie is a gentle, loving little boy who is still...a typical little boy. He is adventurous and imaginative, tender and at times, timorous. In "Alfie Gets in First" Alfie loves his Mum and little sister, Annie Rose, but sometimes he wants the distinction of getting up the stairs and into the house first. There comes the problem! He is locked in, with his mother and sister locked out! However will they get through this dilemma? In another story, Alfie's mum and dad are out for the evening. Alfie enjoys his babysitter, Maureen, but soon a leaky roof disrupts their evening and frightens poor Annie Rose. Through many humorous scenes, the situation is somewhat fixed and life quiets down to a contented "Evening at Alfie's." There are 2 other stories with similar themes: a warm, close-knit family who faces daily scrapes and challenges yet comes out loving, safe and secure. These books bring a quiet reassurance to little boys and girls and remind parents that children are some of the greatest gifts and adventures of life.
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