Books by Allan Ahlberg

HOORAY FOR BREAD by Allan Ahlberg
Released: April 9, 2013

"Mirthful artwork and friendly rhymes get readers all toasty with warm, good feelings. (Picture book. 2-6)"
A baker delivers a loaf from the oven to his family's kitchen, where the bread is eaten, slice by slice, through the course of one day. Read full book review >
THE GOLDILOCKS VARIATIONS by Allan Ahlberg
Released: Oct. 23, 2012

"The frequently distributed buns aren't all that's delicious in this exhilarating suite of variations on a classic. (Pop-up/fractured fairy tale. 5-9)"
A familiar old tale is taken for a terrific spin with more bears, three pigs, assorted woodland animals, space aliens, additional young cast members (including one in a red hood) and lots and lots of sticky buns. Read full book review >
THE BABY IN THE HAT by Allan Ahlberg
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Hurrah! (Picture book. 4-8)"
Wouldn't it be remarkable if someone caught—in his hat, no less—a baby who had fallen out of a second-story window and then he ended up marrying that same baby many years later? Read full book review >
THE PENCIL by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

"Like its classic antecedent, this may not only inspire some creative world-building in budding artists, it also gives the relationship between story and audience an additional interactive aspect. (Picture book. 6-9)"
In this distant cousin to Harold and the Purple Crayon, a pencil draws a smiling boy (previously met in Ahlberg and Ingman's Runaway Dinner, 2006) and names him "Banjo." Read full book review >
PREVIOUSLY by Allan Ahlberg
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"The title word's repetition creates a verbal pattern that comes out more clearly when spoken aloud, but even solitary young readers will follow the plot easily—in either direction. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Along the same lines as David LaRochelle and Richard Egielski's The End (February 2007), but using more predictable elements, Ahlberg and Ingman present a set of linked tales in rewind mode. Read full book review >
THE RUNAWAY DINNER by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"More sophisticated in structure than the classic tales and verses that inspired it, this madcap riff is for primary-grade readers—and their clever parents. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Just as a boy named Banjo is about to eat dinner, his sausage, Melvin, jumps up and runs off, accompanied by the dish, fork, knife, carrots (all girls named Caroline, Clara, etc.), peas (all boys named Peter, Percival and Paul) and so on. Read full book review >
THE CHILDREN WHO SMELLED A RAT by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"A rare treat for new readers. (Fiction. 5-9)"
Madcap, zany adventures follow the Gaskitt family in these 16 chapters of fun. Read full book review >
THE SHOPPING EXPEDITION by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2005

"And the trip home is accomplished with the turn of a final page—a perfect ending for a child's transformation of a common errand into a decidedly uncommon outing. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Leaving dad to paint the kitchen, a child trails her mom, little Harry and Wilf the Wonderdog out to the grocery store in this enticing invitation to take the long way 'round. Read full book review >
THE IMPROBABLE CAT by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 10, 2004

Do not be deceived by the diminutive trim size and aloofly posed but pettable-looking feline on the cover: there's nothing warm or fuzzy about this eerie tale of a family enslaved by an adopted stray. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE CAT BABY by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2004

"Charming gossamer whimsy. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A small volume in the hand is full of winsome nonsense. Read full book review >
HALF A PIG by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

"The fun does not obscure the senior Ahlberg's very serious commitment to words, and one can only hope that readers (and listeners) will take him up on his exhortation to use some good ones in stories of their own. (Picture book. 5-10)"
A wild custody battle over a pig becomes the raison d'être for Ahlberg père's latest deconstruction of the picture book. Read full book review >
A BIT MORE BERT by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Oct. 11, 2002

"Readers will walk away with a grin on the faces as big as the one that graces Bert's great pumpkin noggin. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Bert, our hero of the simple pleasures and deadpan circumstances (The Adventures of Bert, 2001), returns. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO WORE ALL HIS CLOTHES by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"The Gaskitts score a direct hit on the funny bone, and young readers will hope they haven't seen the last of this resourceful clan. (Easy fiction. 6-8)"
The Gaskitt family has an exciting morning in this tilt-a-whirl tale from the ever-innovative Ahlberg (The Adventures of Bert, p. 798, etc.). Mr. Gaskitt rises in the morning, dons three sets of socks and underwear, three shirts, two pairs of pants, four sweaters, and four coats. Read full book review >
THE ADVENTURES OF BERT by Allan Ahlberg
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 28, 2001

"Bring us more Bert, please. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Top-drawer, absurd entertainment from two English masters of the droll. Read full book review >
THE WOMAN WHO WON THINGS by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"Running jokes and surprises further animate this cheery tale, which will draw 'Young Cam Jansen' graduates like flies. (Fiction. 8-10)"
Fans of the resourceful Gaskitt family, introduced in The Man Who Wore All His Clothes (2001), will welcome this new, multi-stranded caper. Read full book review >
TREASURE HUNT by Allan Ahlberg
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 2001

"A cozy companion for such similar explorations of family ritual as Ezra Jack Keats's Peter's Chair (1967) and Vera Williams's 'More, More, More,' Said the Baby (1990). (Picture book. 3-5)"
Ahlberg and Tyler (Snail House, 2001) celebrate the playful games that deepen family ties; each morning brings a succession of treasure hunts, as Tilly's mother hides her breakfast banana in the kitchen, her father hides her sock rabbit in the garage—and where has the cat gone off? Read full book review >
MY BROTHER’S GHOST by Allan Ahlberg
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2001

"Frances's matter of fact, plainspoken tale will leave smart readers thinking about ghosts and memories, brothers and sisters, and the timelessness of love. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Even after his death, Tom is there for his little sister and brother in this poignant ghost story. Read full book review >
THE SNAIL HOUSE by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2001

"The author and illustrator both keep the boundaries between the real world and that of the imagination distinct but easily bridgeable, and the children's experiences always seem more exhilarating than perilous. (Picture book. 5-8)"
This homespun tale, heard at Grandma's knee, will transport readers just as it does her young listeners. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERIES OF ZIGOMAR by Allan Ahlberg
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"It's not a bad book, but it's not on par with collections by Prelutsky, Silverstein, and Dahl, and not even up to Ahlberg's own high standards. (Anthology. 6-12)"
A haphazard collection of poems, musings, noodlings, and heavily revised fairy tales from Ahlberg (The Better Brown Stories, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
THE BETTER BROWN STORIES by Allan Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Adults will enjoy the existential overtones and the echoes of famous plots, while young readers and listeners will delight in every chapter of this fractious escapade. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Is there no respect for authority? Read full book review >
THE BEAR NOBODY WANTED by Allan Ahlberg
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

"Perfect for sharing aloud. (Fiction. 7-12)"
Made on an assembly line, the bear fails inspection and lands in the reject bin—a calamity that, ironically, is more difficult for him to endure since it's a result of his supercilious expression: a mouth stitch gone awry and a misplaced eye affect his character as much as they do his visage. Read full book review >
THE JOLLY CHRISTMAS POSTMAN by Janet Ahlberg
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Pure delight. (Picture book. 2+)"
What could be more appropriate? Read full book review >
THE BLACK CAT; THE PET SHOP by Allan Ahlberg
Released: Oct. 17, 1990

The characters in these stories—two more in the Funnybones series—are mostly skeletons, which would give them high interest even without Ahlberg's inventive wit. Read full book review >