What to Read After... Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Published on: 10 February 2020 Author: Anna McKerrow
Janet and Allan Ahlberg created some utterly timeless books together, but if you've read all of their works, what should you try next? We've got some ideas and want your thoughts too...
Janet and Allan Ahlberg are legendary picture book creators, with generations of children having enjoyed Funnybones, Each Peach Pear Plum, Peepo!, The Jolly Postman and Burglar Bill.
If your children have adored the Ahlbergs' distinctive characters and comforting aura of familiarity, here are some other books to try...
If you haven't already read and loved them...
Make sure you don't miss out on other classic British picture books such as Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Not Now, Bernard by David McKee, Come Away From the Water, Shirley by John Burningham and the punky 80s classic Fungus The Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs. They all celebrate the strange in the everyday in very different ways: perfect follow-ups for Ahlberg fans.
If you really loved the letters in The Jolly Postman...
Check out Dear Greenpeace, in which Emily writes to the famous organisation for advice about the whale that's appeared in her pond. Elsewhere, Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett features brilliant fold-out letters in a variety of beautiful envelopes for little ones to discover, and Emma's other title Nibbles The Book Monster is a similarly brilliant compendium of story-based surprises.
Older readers will love Chris Riddell's Alienography and Alienography 2: Tips for Tiny Tyrants, which include treats like a card game, letters, cards and fold out mini-books. The Templar Publishing 'Ologies' series, such as Egyptology, also feature lots of clever notes, clues and other interactive elements.
If your kids loved the oddly relatable yet spooky Funnybones...
... They'll love Jan Pienkowski's Haunted House, another 80s spooky classic! More recently, Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost's Argh! There's a Skeleton Inside You! is a fab non-fiction read for little ones about the human body. Slightly older readers could try Book of Bones, a brilliant non-fiction title for 6-9 year-olds - it gives readers lots of facts based on animal skeletons.
Kids who want more stories and not facts about skeletons will love Sam Lloyd's First Day at Skeleton School, which also doubles up as a useful read for little ones starting school or nursery. And Mark Sperring and Sue Hendra's Four Silly Skeletons is a funny rhyming book with plenty of uh-oh moments.
For little ones that love Peepo! or Each Peach Pear Plum...
Kate Hindley's beautiful Treacle Street series is an absolute delight for children aged 2+. And Ingela P Arrhenius' bright and interactive board book series, which features Where's Mr Lion? among many others, is great for the still-very-small. Also check out classics like Dear Zoo and We're Going on a Bear Hunt.
If your children have grown out of the board book stage, though, books by Yasmeen Ismail like Would You Like a Banana? or Two Can by Smriti Prasadam-Halls are good for toddlers with plenty of fun and repetition.
You've heard our suggestions - now we want to know which books you think would be great for fans of the Ahlbergs!
We've already had some great ideas on Twitter - @geordiecat2012 recommended Emily Gravett's stories, while @272BookFaith said: 'Can't go wrong with Sandra Boynton and Lynley Dodd books.' You certainly can't!
Meanwhile, @SueMMcGuire said: 'Tony Bradman's A Bad Week for the Three Bears. I can't wait for my grandchildren to come along so I can read this one aloud again.' Now that's the sign of a special book!
So what would you recommend? Leave your comments in the box below or tweet us @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter.