TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Janet Ahlberg

Janet Ahlberg (nee Hall) was born in Huddersfield in 1944 and brought up in Leicester. Originally training as a teacher in Sunderland (1963-66), Ahlberg was encouraged to paint and draw. Whilst on teaching practice she found keeping charge of a class very hard work so decided to develop her artistic ability and went on to study graphic design at Leicester Polytechnic for three years.

She met and married Allan Ahlberg and began to illustrate books for children, her first book being Night published in 1972. Her career took off with the publication of The Brick Street Boys series, written by her husband. Since then, she and Allan Ahlberg have worked together successfully.Another series, also by Allan Ahlberg, is Happy Families, published by Puffin Books.In 1978 Ahlberg was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for Each Peach, Pear, Plum. In 1986 The Jolly Postman, probably Ahlberg's most successful book, selling over a million copies worldwide, won the Emil / Kurt award.

Many of the Ahlbergs' books re-create a bustling, happy family world of the 1950s set in the Midlands. Ahlberg's illustrations are full of detail and very distinctive in style. Sadly Janet Ahlberg died in 1994 at the young age of 50 after suffering from cancer.

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