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Alfie Outdoors by Shirley Hughes 📚 a book review

August 31, 2015

Have you noticed how everything which is now in fashion was also popular when we were younger?

It’s as if we are slowly moving away from technology in favour of things which we enjoyed when we were children, or our parents enjoyed when they were younger. 

I have noticed this especially with children’s toys. Although the electronic or battery operated toys are still very popular and a wide array of them are on display in toy shops, I have also noticed the growing popularity of wooden toys, stuffed dolls made from colourful fabrics. It is as if we are so over loaded with technology we want to go back to our roots, to a time when small things brought happiness and it wasn’t always the most expensive things which brought us satisfaction.

When I first saw the Alfie range of books at my local book shop I was mesmerised, taken back in time to when I was a little girl. I have always loved to read and these books brought back these memories. The illustrations, the titles and the story lines were all good family orientated stories any parent or grandparent would relate to and would want their children to read.


Today I am reviewing the latest Alfie story by Shirley Hughes. Shirley Hughes is one of the nation’s, and my, most-loved and highly respected illustrators and story tellers. She was honoured with an OBE in 1999 for her outstanding contribution to children’s literature. She has won many awards over the years for her lovely stories about Alfie – the Kate Greenway medal for illustration twice, the first ever Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to literature, and many more.

A beautiful illustration of Alfie & his dad

Alfie Outdoors is a story about getting out and about with Alfie, playing in gardens, getting muddy and making dens. 

I am in the process of creating a much bigger vegetable patch in my garden, with the help of my very green fingered father. The vegetable patch will be the boys project and we will get seeds for them to plant, as Alfie does in the story.

Last night before bed we read Alfie Outdoors, about how Alfie learns to pick and plant seeds with his dad and has to wait for them to grow. Little boys, especially mine, are not always very patient, but as Alfie does in the story, mine too have to learn to wait for things to grow with time.

I think books need to teach children about life in the nicest softest possible way, and this book does that.

My little ‘Alfie’ gardening

I absolutely loved this story as did my boys. The illustrations are just so classical and heartwarming. The story so important in teaching children the importance of getting out, enjoying what wonders the great outdoors has to offer.

A lovely present any child will love, a super addition to any bookcase, and a book which I know will be enjoyed by children and grown ups alike. 

We live in an age filled with blood sucking vampires, computer generated beings and scary action heros with supernatural powers, but sometimes all you want is a simple story in a beautifully illustrated hardback book, about a lovely little boy and his nice family. Back to basics is what happiness is all about these days.

    Alfie Outdoors was published on 30th July 2015 by Bodley Head, find out more about Alfie books here –

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