Janet and allan ahlberg biography

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janet and allan ahlberg biography

Janet Ahlberg (Author of Each Peach Pear Plum)

In the early 1960s, Allan studied teacher training in Sunderland, where he also met Janet, his future wife. He had tackled a wide variety of jobs, ranging from postman to plumbers mate before working as a primary teacher for ten years. Janet, however, discovering that she couldnt do the policing job, went on to study graphic design, which led her to her vocation as an illustrator.

Several years later, bored with her then current job, and desperate for a creative opening, Janet asked Allan to write a childrens book for her to illustrate. Allan, having always wanted to write but being unable to find his niche, suddenly felt as though [he] was a clockwork toy and she had turned the key. So began the career which would later lead them to become one of Britains most successful author/illustrator teams, producing ingenious books of the highest quality.

Influenced by comics and cartoons, their perfect partnership went on to produce masterpieces including PEEPO!, which reflected Allans childhood (I am the Peepo! baby.), EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM and THE BABYS CATALOGUE. These books have all become childrens classics, with their rhythmic prose, their mix of dottiness and sentiment appealing both to young children and to the parents who read them aloud (Louette Harding, The Daily Mail).

Working together, they saw their books as more than simply the combination of words and pictures - rather, a whole package which worked as a unity: the tale is not in the typescript or in the pictures but in a way the two go together, a marriage of words and pictures. Striving for perfection, their main aim was to produce William Morris books at Penguin prices.

Allans writing took less time than Janets illustration, so he also collaborated with other illustrators, such as Fritz Wegner, Andre Amstutz, Colin McNaughton, Faith Jaques, Joe Wright and Emma Chichester Clarke, thus creating the bestselling Happy Families series, which have been called miniature masterpieces. The series has sold in excess of 2.6 million copies since its launch in 1980.

1980 also saw the birth of their daughter, Jessica who was a great inspiration to their work.

Allan also went on to write a range of fiction titles for older children, including WOOF!, THE BEAR NOBODY WANTED, THE GIANT BABY and THE BETTER BROWN STORIES. He is also much loved by teachers throughout the country for his two phenomenally successful poetry collections, HEARD IT IN THE PLAYGROUND and PLEASE, MRS BUTLER, which look at the funny side of life at school.

Since Janets sadly premature death in 1994, Allan has continued to work, recently producing his beautiful tribute to her, JANETS LAST BOOK, and continues to create wonderful books for children of all ages.

In April 1998, Allan moved to London.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Ah...
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Published 23.12.2018

Starting School - Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Interview: Allan Ahlberg

Janet and Allan Ahlberg have written more than books which have been read and loved by children all over the world. Are you curious as to where to start? Open each page and follow a little baby through their day while seeing through their eyes in this ingenious page turner. A series of peep holes lead readers from page to page and through to the next stage in the day, giving a delightful hint - and peep - of what is to come next. A poem on each page gives a clue as to what is hiding in the picture opposite, encouraging little ones to interact with the images; follow the fun rhymes together and try and find some of the many well-known nursery characters hidden throughout the book.

Janet and Allan Ahlberg

He has written children's books so far, and they all share his gentle, slightly off-the-wall humour - a sense of fun that makes them wonderful to read out loud. I can still recite the whole of Each Peach Pear Plum and my youngest is now Books are the Ahlberg family business. For 20 years, Allan worked with his wife, Janet. It was one of the most successful writer-illustrator partnerships of our time, but it came to an end when she died in November , aged only He has since teamed up with their daughter, Jessica, and for a while, his second wife, Vanessa, was his editor at Walker Books. But for Allan, books have not always been in the family.

Janet was born in Yorkshire and brought up in Leicester. The Ahlbergs met while enrolled in a teacher training course at Sunderland Technical College and married in They worked together for 20 years until Janet died of cancer in Allan wrote the books and Janet illustrated them. Janet and Allan Ahlberg were married and settled near Leicester. Allan was working as a primary school teacher and Janet had started illustrating.

J essica Ahlberg still keeps an old envelope on which is scribbled her dad's acceptance speech. He collected the Kate Greenaway medal on behalf of his wife, Janet, who won the prize in for her illustrations of Each Peach Pear Plum. Janet couldn't go because she had just given birth to Jessica and, with all the pride and joy of a first-time father, Allan Ahlberg finishes the speech by describing their newborn child as "not so much a baby, more a piece of market research". It was a good joke, and if it contains a germ of truth then Jessica, who is 33 and lives in Brighton, doesn't hold it against her dad. There is a frightening evocation of the perils of having a storyteller for a mother in AS Byatt's The Children's Book but growing up with both parents in a hugely successful children's book-creating partnership does not seem to have left Jessica with any scars.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sadoth P. says:

    JANET and ALLAN AHLBERG | Children's book author and illustrator

  2. Nuria C. says:

    Featured books by Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg

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