Dogger by Shirley Hughes
When I was a child, I had a special teddy called, imaginatively, Ted. Ted went everywhere with me until I lost him, aged 18, at a backpacker hostel in Rome. I was distraught (truthfully, I’m still upset about it) so it’s probably no surprise to discover that Shirley Hughes’ Dogger was a formative text for me. First published in 1977, this evergreen story about a little boy who loses his favourite toy and a big sister who saves the day, is as fresh and relevant now as it was nearly half a century ago. Coupled with Hughes’ instantly recognisable illustrations, Dogger is a warm-hearted story about family, community and sibling love, and how a small gesture from one person can be an enormous gift to another. We sadly lost Hughes earlier this year, but her formidable back catalogue will remain true and timely for generations to come. For ages 3+.