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1001 Burglar Bill
Added on 23rd August 2020

Author Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator Janet Ahlberg
First published 1977
Publisher Picture Lions, London

A rather unusual love story told in the unmistakable style of the Ahlbergs.

Story

Burglar Bill steals anything and everything he can get his hands on, from tooth brushes to tins of beans. But when he steals an apparently empty box he gets much more than he bargained for…

Why we chose it

A much-loved picture book from two of the best-loved children’s authors and illustrators. A hilarious story that’s great for bedtime and also perfect for those just starting to read.

Where it came from

Janet and Allan Ahlberg wrote many books together before Janet died in 1994. Allan had many jobs before becoming an author including postman, plumber’s mate, grave digger and teacher.

Where it went next

In 2006 Bradley Walsh played Burglar Bill in The Queen’s Handbag, a live show at Buckingham Palace celebrating British children’s literature for the Queen’s 80th birthday. A production of Burglar Bill by The Pied Piper Theatre Company also toured the UK from November 2016 – February 2017.

Associated stories

Allan and Janet Ahlberg created a large number of books for young children, including well-known classics such as Each Peach Pear Plum, Peepo, Funnybones, Happy Families and The Jolly Postman (1986).

Allan wrote two volumes of poetry, Heard it in the Playground and Please Mrs Butler and a number of children’s novels. Woof, the story of a boy who shape shifts into a dog became a popular television series in the 1980s and 90s. He told the story of his own childhood in The Boyhood of Burglar Bill. Most recently he wrote The Runaway Dinner (2007) and The Pencil (2018) both illustrated by Bruce Ingman.

Added on 23rd August 2020

Author Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator Janet Ahlberg
First published 1977
Publisher Picture Lions, London