The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 11, No 1 (2007)

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A Curious Mix: The Books of Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Tamsin Shute

Abstract


Janet and Allan Ahlberg, British husband and wife team, illustrated and wrote rich, multi-layered stories in which the text and illustrations interweave and complement each other. Their humorous stories playfully engage readers by borrowing characters and structures from traditional children's stories. The books in themselves are works of art: from cover to cover the illustrations add details to the stories, which can be appreciated by children and adults alike. Many of the Ahlbergs' books fall into one of two categories: the fairytale-inspired and the baby's day stories. By looking at three from each category, one can derive a sense of their common characteristics, motifs, themes and techniques present throughout their works and how they contribute to make the Ahlbergs' stories so appealing, popular and enduring.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680