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Allan and Janet Ahlberg

Allan and Janet Ahlberg (1944 - 1994

Allan Ahlberg was born and bought up by foster parents in Oldbury, the West Midlands, which he has described as "a very poor working-class family". He went on to train as a teacher at Sunderland Technical College, where he met Janet Hall and they and married in 1969. The pair went on to form one of the great picture book writing and illustrating partnerships, producing many of the best-known and best-loved books of the latter part of the twentieth century. Their joint work began when she asked him, then a primary school teacher, to write a story. The first three published collaborations appeared in 1976 and 1977, The Old Joke Book, The Vanishment of Thomas Tull, and Burglar Bill (1977). For Each Peach Pear Plum (Kestrel), Janet won the 1978 Kate Greenaway Medal from the British Library Association. Probably their greatest success was The Jolly Postman, published by Heinemann in 1986, which in twenty years sold over six million copies world-wide. There were two sequels, The Jolly Christmas Postman (1991), for which Janet won her second Kate Greenaway Medal, and The Jolly Pocket Postman (1995). Now in his mid-eighties Allan continues to work with his daughter Jessica, who is also a writer, and he continues to maintain his role on the council of The Society of Authors.

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