Alfie and Annie Rose are at the Harvest Fair where Alfie enters his masterpiece, Motor Bike Man, in the under-fives painting competition. As he checks out the prizes- a dinosaur book, a jigsaw puzzle and a bottle of green bubble bath, he spots a rather sad looking woolly sheep - the consolation prize. Alfie is delighted to win third prize, but dismayed to see that consolation prize winner Louise is not at all happy with the woolly sheep and dumps him crossly on the floor by her chair. Alfie knows that toys cannot understand, but secretly he thinks the sheep's feelings might be hurt. Then Alfie has a brilliant idea - one that makes everyone happy . . .
Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series. Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series.