'It is Coronation year, 1953, and the town of Oldbury, in the West Midlands, where Ahlberg grew up, has organized a football tournament to mark the royal event. Excluded from their school's official entries, Ahlberg and his friends enter their own scratch team in the competition. This is the story of their progress, on the field and off. It is comic and serious and curiously heroic, and all children who like football (including girls, who are indeed not totally excluded from the team) will love it.'
-- Peter Hollindale, Books for Keeps
In the early 1960s, Allan studied teacher training in Sunderland, where he also met Janet, his future wife. He had tackled a wide variety of jobs, ranging from postman to plumber's mate before working as a primary teacher for ten years. Janet, however, discovering that she 'couldn't do the policing job', went on to study graphic design, which led her to her vocation as an illustrator. Several years later, bored with her then current job, and desperate for a creative opening, Janet asked Allan to write a children's book for her to illustrate. Allan, having always wanted to write but being unable to find his niche, suddenly felt 'as though he was a clockwork toy and she had turned the key'. So began the career which would later lead them to become one of Britain's most successful author/illustrator teams, producing ingenious books of the highest quality. Influenced by comics and cartoons, their perfect partnership went on to produce masterpieces including PEEPO!, which reflected Allan's childhood ('I am the Peepo! baby.'), EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM and THE BABY'S CATALOGUE. These books have all become children's classics, with their 'rhythmic prose, their mix of dottiness and sentiment appealing both to young children and to the parents who read them aloud' (Louette Harding, The Daily Mail). Working together, they saw their books as more than simply the combin