Janet Ahlberg was born in Huddersfield, England in 1944 and brought up in Leicester. Originally trained as a teacher in Sunderland from 1963 to 1966, Ahlberg was encouraged to paint and draw. She decided that keeping charge of a class was very hard work so she decided to develop her artistic ability and went to study graphic design at Leicester Polytechnic for three years. She met and married Allan Ahlberg and began to illustrate books for children, first with Night published in 1972, and then with The Brick Street Boys series, written by her husband. Since then, she and Allan Ahlberg have worked together successfully. Another series, also written by Allan Ahlberg, is Happy Families, published by Puffin Books. In 1978, Ahlberg was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for Each Peach, Pear, Plum. Ahlberg is a two time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal having won again in 1991for The Jolly Christmas Postman. She was awarded the Kurt Maschler Awards in 1986 for The Jolly Postman: or Other People's Letters, whoch sold over a million copies worlwide. Sadly Janet Ahlberg died in 1994 at the age of 50 after suffering from cancer
Allan Ahlberg was born in 1938 in South London, and grew up in the Black Country. He worked as a teacher, postman, grave digger, soldier and plumber's mate before he became a full-time writer. He met his wife and creative partner, Janet at teacher training college. It was because Janet wanted to illustrate a book that Allan wrote his first book, the Brick Street boys. After that, together they wrote 37 books. Janet died in 1994 and Ahlberg discontinued his writing career for a few years before picking it up again.