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Allan Ahlberg - Author

About the Author

Allan Ahlberg was born in Croydon in 1938, but grew up in Oldbury, near Birmingham. From the age of twelve, his dream was to be a writer. Before he fulfilled his ambition, he tried his hand at a variety of other jobs including postman, grave digger, plumber's mate and teacher. He is 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.

Featured books by Allan Ahlberg

The Bucket Memories of an Inattentive Childhood

The Bucket Memories of an Inattentive Childhood

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2013

The Bucket by Allan Ahlberg is the enthralling childhood story of one of Britain's best-loved children's authors. 'My mother, who was not my mother, I see her now, her raw red cleaner's hands twisting away at her apron as she struggled to speak. Adoption was a shameful business then in many people's eyes, the babies being mostly illegitimate. Better not speak of it.' Allan Ahlberg was adopted as a baby. In 1938 he was picked up in London by his new mother and taken back to Oldbury in the Black Country. Now one of the most successful children's book writers in the world, in The Bucket he describes an oddly enchanted childhood lived out in an industrial town during the 1940s, in conditions which today we might describe as 'deprived'. He writes of a father in overalls smelling of wood shavings and oil, of a tough and fiercely protective mother who cries when he discovers that he is adopted, of life assurance policies ('GBP6 if the child dies under age 3') and fearsome bacon slicers, of half-remembered trips to his mother's sister's grave and to the bluebell woods. And of his first days at school: 'Allan could do much better. He is most inattentive and dreamy at times' (school report, December 1946). Using a mix of prose and poetry, supported by new drawings by his daughter Jessica and old photographs, The Bucket retrieves a childhood which lovers of Ahlberg's classic picturebooks The Baby's Catalogue, Burglar Bill and Peepo! might feel they have glimpsed before but which are now exquisitely brought to life. This beautiful, exquisitely designed book, which will also appeal to fans of Gervase Phinn, Alan Bennett, Roald Dahl and Nigel Slater's Toast, will be loved by generations of Ahlberg fans. Allan Ahlberg has a string of children's classics to his name . (Nicolette Jones, Guardian). Born in Croydon but brought up by his adopted parents in the Black Country town of Oldbury, Allan Ahlberg held jobs as a gravedigger, postman and plumber's mate before becoming a teacher. He taught for ten years before collaborating with his wife Janet on a series of much-loved, now classic children's picture books including Peepo!, Burglar Bill, Cops and Robbers, Each Peach Pear Plum, Woof!, Heard it in the Playground, Please Mrs Butler, The Boyhood of Burglar Bill, The Pencil, Friendly Matches, The Improbable Cat, Goldilocks, My Brother's Ghost, The Mighty Slide, Collected Poems, The Boy, the Wolf, the Sheep and the Lettuce and The Ha Ha Bonk Book.

Other books by Allan Ahlberg

The Man Who Wore All His Clothes

The Man Who Wore All His Clothes

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/10/2020

The first of Allan Ahlberg's mini-masterpieces for early readers, with striking illustrations by Katharine McEwen. Winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, this book is the first in a series of brilliantly funny early readers by Allan Ahlberg. One morning Mr Gaskitt puts on all his clothes, Mrs Gaskitt picks up a robber in her taxi, Gus and Gloria have trouble with a teacher, Horace the cat goes to a friend's house to watch TV and the car radio gets things wrong. What follows is an action-packed, massively swift-paced and farcical romp as different plots interweave and end in a thrilling car chase with Mr Gaskitt saving the day! With lively illustrations by Katharine McEwen.

Funnybones book with mix-and-match puzzle

Funnybones book with mix-and-match puzzle

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Undefined Release Date: 17/09/2019

On a dark dark hill There is a dark dark house And in that dark dark house live... The Big Skeleton, the Little Skeleton and the Dog Skeleton. Or is it the Big-Elephant Skeleton, the Little-Fish Skeleton and the Dog-Snake Skeleton? You decide with this brilliant mix-and-match puzzle along with the classic Funnybones tale. Match up the Big Skeleton's head with an elephant's body, or an elephant's head with the Big Skeleton, or whatever combination you like! Made from sturdy board perfect for little hands, this is a fantastic gift set featuring a timeless classic.

Baby on Board

Baby on Board

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/07/2019

Once, many years ago, there was a baby, in his pram, with his sisters and their sandwiches and lemonade and toys . . . A lyrical and epic story about a baby and a trio of toys, and their adventure on the high seas. Beautifully told by master storyteller Allan Ahlberg and stunningly illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark in their first standalone picture-book collaboration.

Bye Bye Baby

Bye Bye Baby

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

This is a sad story- but it has a very happy ending. Once, there was a baby with no mummy- but he wanted a mummy very much. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he set off to find one. Along the way he met lots of new friends, none of whom could be his mummy but wanted to help him find one. When they met a lady with a pram and no baby, the baby finally found his mummy- there was just one more thing he needed- a daddy! A beautiful story about finding your family, it can be used to talk about adoption, fostering and changing families. This Janet and Allan Ahlberg classic is a must for every bookshelf.

Baby on Board

Baby on Board

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Once, many years ago, there was a baby, in his pram, with his sisters and their sandwiches and lemonade and toys . . . From master storyteller Allan Ahlberg, this is a beautifully told lyrical adventure about a baby, a hardy trio of toys and their adventure on the high seas! Stunningly illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, this is lovely book for little and big readers alike. The perfect addition to any nursery bookshelf, to be enjoyed over and over again.

The Children Who Smelled a Rat

The Children Who Smelled a Rat

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2018

The fourth of Allan Ahlberg's mini-masterpieces for early readers. In this thrilling, thunderous (and extra-long) Gaskitt story, Mrs Gaskitt finds a parcel, Mr Gaskitt loses a baby, Horace has mixed feelings about a bird, and the twins' teacher, Mrs Fritter, is - ooer! - not herself. Why? How? When? Why? (again). The children smell a rat!

The Cat Who Got Carried Away

The Cat Who Got Carried Away

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2018

The third book of Allan Ahlberg's mini-masterpieces for early readers. Welcome to the latest grand and gripping Gaskitt story, in which Gus and Gloria have a lot of running to do, Mrs Gaskitt hardly ever gets out of bed and something dreadful happens to Horace! (Also starring: a brainy rat named Randolph; a barking pram; and a considerable number of penguins.) What more do you want?

Each Peach Pear Plum

Each Peach Pear Plum

Author: Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/04/2018

Each Peach Pear Plum - the classic picture book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Each Peach Pear Plum is a timeless picture book classic from the bestselling illustrator/author team Janet and Allan Ahlberg, creators of Peepo!. Each beautifully illustrated page encourages young children to interact with the picture to find the next fairy tale and nursery rhyme character. In this book With your little eye, Take a look, And play 'I spy' Praise for Each Peach Pear Plum: 'Deceptively simple. Each Peach Pear Plum is a work of genius' Elaine Moss 'This familiar rhyme has been given the brilliant Ahlbreg treatment to which no young child can fail to respond. It's a book which will be read over and over again . . . just perfect!' Child Education 'A charming, pictorial fantasia...a warm, sunny, delectable picture book' Brian Alderson, The Times Allan Ahlberg has published over 100 children's books and with his late wife Janet, created many award-winning children's picture books. The Baby's Catalogue was inspired by their daughter, Jessica. The Ahlbergs' books are nursery bookshelf standards and have been the recipient of worldwide acclaim and awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal. Look out for these other classics by Allan Ahlberg: Burglar Bill; Cops and Robbers; The Baby's Catalogue; The One and Only Two Heads; Son of a Gun; The Little Worm Book; Two Wheels Two Heads; Funny Bones; A Pair of Sinners; Happy Families; Peepo!; The Ha Ha Bonk Book; Help Your Child to Read; Ten in a Bed; Please mrs Butler; Daisy Chains; Yum Yum; Playmates; Foldaways; Woof; The Cinderella Show; The Jolly Postman; The Jolly Christmas Postman; The Jolly Pocket Postman; The Clothes Horse and Other Stories; The Mighty Slide; Starting School; Heard it in the Playground; The Bear Nobody Wanted; It was a Dark and Stormy Night; The Giant Baby; Baby Sleeps; Blue Buggy; Doll and Teddy; See the Rabbit; Please Mrs Butler; The Better Brown Stories; The Boyhood of Burglar Bill

The Pencil

The Pencil

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2018

The acclaimed duo behind The Runaway Dinner and Previously imagine the comical world that comes to life when a pencil starts to draw... A hilarious and utterly enchanting new classic The Times A special 10th anniversary edition of a modern classic, The Pencil is a playful, witty, wonderfully quirky story about the power of imagination. Say hi to Banjo! Once a pencil draws him, there's no telling what will come next - a dog, a cat, a chase (of course), and a paintbrush to colour in an ever-expanding group of family and friends. But it's not long before the complaints begin - This hat looks silly! My ears are too big! - until the poor pencil has no choice but to draw ... a rubber. Oh no! In the hands of Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, can anything but havoc and hilarity ensue? With gorgeous golden foil on the cover and spine, this edition is one to share and treasure.

The Woman Who Won Things

The Woman Who Won Things

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2018

The second of Allan Ahlberg's mini-masterpieces for early readers. One lucky morning ... Mrs Gaskitt opens the post and finds she's won a prize! Next she kisses the postman! Never mind, though - the postman is Mr Gaskitt doing his very latest job. Meanwhile, Gus and Gloria get a new teacher, Mrs Plum, with silvery hair, a big smile and a huge suitcase, who's ever so helpful when things start to go missing in the classroom. And then Mrs Gaskitt finds she's won another prize! What happens next?

My Worst Book Ever!

My Worst Book Ever!

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2018

Picture books are such good fun and so is making them - but who knew there were so many things that could go wrong? This is the story of a picture book doomed from the very start. Allan has a good idea for book about a crocodile, but every time he sits down to write he's interrupted. The manuscript gets soaked in tea and nibbled by snails. And then when Bruce gets started on the pictures, he gets over-excited and draws a hippo not a crocodile. The publishers get over-excited too - they want a dinosaur and experiment with all kinds of different fonts. Allan and Bruce think they've straightened things out, but then when the book goes off to the printer - you guessed it - there's MORE trouble. Pages in French and Chinese get muddled with the English, and somehow Bruce's hippos and dinosaurs get mixed up with them too.

Funnybones

Funnybones

Author: Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

This is how the story begins. On a dark dark hill there was a dark dark town. In the dark dark town there was a dark dark street . . . This new edition of the classic story includes an accompanying CD, featuring the story read by acclaimed comic actor Stephen Mangan. Janet and Allan's frightfully funny Hallowe'en classic tells the story of three skeletons - a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton - who venture out of their cellar one night to find someone to scare, only to find that everyone is in bed. Who will they scare now?!

Funnybones: The Pet Shop

Funnybones: The Pet Shop

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

In a dark dark street There is a dark dark house . . . In this FUNNYBONES story, the big skeleton and the little skeleton are fed up with the dog skeleton and decide to swap him at the pet shop. They start off with a goldfish but soon get tired of him and swap him for a parrot - but soon they get bored of him too . . . Eventually the pet shop owner gives them a box to take home with a surprise pet inside. What do you think it will be?

Funnybones: The Black Cat

Funnybones: The Black Cat

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

In a dark dark street There is a dark dark house . . . In this FUNNYBONES story, the skeletons go sledging - WHEE! - and crashing - BANG! They can't see their bones in the white snow but they can see a black cat . . . until she slips into their dark, dark cellar . . .

Miss Brick the Builders' Baby

Miss Brick the Builders' Baby

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2017

Mr and Mrs Brick are builders, just like their mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers. But their new baby doesn't seem to be following in their footsteps. Instead of building things up, she keeps knocking things down! Based on the classic 'Happy Families' card game, this highly entertaining series is ideal for reading and sharing at home or at school. It is guided by the Education Adviser, Brian Thompson, and written by the award-winning author, Allan Ahlberg. 'The best thing to happen to beginner readers since Dr Seuss' Children's Rights Workshop.

Master Bun the Bakers' Boy

Master Bun the Bakers' Boy

Author: Allan Ahlberg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2017

Bertie Bun was born to be a baker. His mum is a baker. His dad is a baker. Even his grandparents were bakers. But Bertie has a big problem - he's bored of bread! He wants to be a butcher's boy, or a bus-driver's boy or even a balloonist's boy - and his wishes are going to land him in lots of trouble ... Based on the classic 'Happy Families' card game, this highly entertaining series is ideal for reading and sharing at home or at school. It is guided by the Education Adviser, Brian Thompson, and written by the award-winning author, Allan Ahlberg. 'The best thing to happen to beginner readers since Dr Seuss' Children's Rights Workshop.

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