Janet & Allen Ahlberg (a husband and wife team) wrote and illustrated many books which were among our family favourites when our kids were small and I’m happy to see that they are still available. I love the warmth and charm of the illustrations and the books have an easy going style that make them fun and comforting. The books have humour and are interactive, engaging both child and adult in the reading. The story lines are simple but the design is intelligent. My favourite children’s books are always the ones that appeal to adults as well as children.
If you want to know more about the Ahlbergs, here are two delightful articles. They wrote and illustrated for 20 years but sadly Janet died of breast cancer when she was only 50. Allan speaks candidly in this article about their childhoods, their married years, and how he had to go on without her. Janet speaks about how they wrote together and how her illustrations were shaped. Their stories are interesting and engaging.
Interview with Allan Ahlberg
Interview with Janet Ahlberg
‘Peepo!’ follows a baby and family through an ordinary day. It is written in a “peek-a-boo” style with a series of holes cut into the pages giving a view to each next stage of the day. It’s such a nice normal family, not perfect, a little messy, but loving.
The poetry in this book is so much fun and there are nursery characters like Tom Thumb, Baby Bunting, and the Three Bears hiding on the pages to be found in the colourful pictures. This is a delightful non-traditional “I Spy” nursery rhyme book.
‘The Jolly Postman’ is the most interactive and tactile. This book includes real letters that can be removed, opened, and read. The letters are as fun as receiving real mail and are such an amusing addition to the story.