Working at Puffin means that from time to time you get to meet wonderful authors – but yesterday, I met the crème de la crème of Puffin authors. The almighty Allan Ahlberg. This was an author who, in my infant years kept me entertained with amazing books like Funnybones and Burglar Bill. I mean, father and son skeleton with their pet skeleton dog sing about bones and how they’re connected – genius!
Anyway, last night marked Allan’s 70th birthday and the publication of the lovely Collected Poems. To celebrate we threw a party for him at Puffin HQ and what a party it was! Not only did we have champagne, cake and gorgeous views over London but Allan gave a brilliant speech which included snippets from his school report from 1946! His teacher described him as somewhat unfocussed and dreamy! Other party guests included Raymond Briggs, Jan Pienkowski and Helen Oxenbury – a veritable red carpet of children’s illustrators. After getting my copy of Collected Poems signed by Allan and the illustrator Charlotte Voake, I went home elated from having been in the presence of true literary greatness. Happy Birthday Allan – here’s to a long and outstanding career!