The book begins with a small girl in West Kirby who is obsessed with comics: The Daily Sketch, The Daily Express and The Mirror-each of these newspapers helped to shape one of our finest illustrators. Shirley's story takes us from this gentle start, through the second world war, and to a career, which began with Art School in a blitzed Liverpool, led to Oxford, and then to London. Shirley reflects on art, and her own development, in a tale which is fascinating and full of personalities. She describes her own creative process as 'the nearest thing I know to flying into the sun' and it is this passion for the world of illustration, which shines through the book and gives it a unique personality. Lavishly illustrated throughout with sketches from her Italian sketchbooks, doodles from boring meetings, roughs from what would later become classic picture books and perfectly executed paintings done just for the fun of it, this book will be a treasured gift for those who love art and those who have grown up with the enduring characters from Shirley's books who inhabit so many homes through this country and beyond.