JEREMIAH IN THE DARK WOODS – an intertwine of popular children stories

Author Allan Ahlberg and illustrator Janet Ahlberg created many children’s books, including picture books that regularly appear at the top of “most popular” lists for public libraries. Janet Ahlberg won two Kate Greenaway Medals for illustrating their books.

Book JEREMIAH IN THE DARK WOODS by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Book: JEREMIAH IN THE DARK WOODS by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (Book Review in


Genre – Children’s Literature

Author – Allan Ahlberg

Illustrator – Janet Ahlberg


Published by the Penguin Group,

First published by Kestrel Books 1977


Book Review: When Jeremiah ‘s  ( whose full name is: Jeremiah Obadiah Jackenory Jones) grandma sets a  plate full of jam tarts to cool on the  kitchen window-sill of their house made of gingerbread and cakes, with window panes of clear sugar and a roof of chocolate fudge  lodged in the middle of the dark woods – the tarts along with the plate disappears, Jeremiah follows the trail of blurry  footprints across the garden out in the dark woods to nab the intruder – and in this pursuit  he meets all the characters of other fictional stories who gatecrashes his story.

This story is an intertwine of popular children stories yet has a distinct creativity of its own – narrated in a humorous gist, a delightful slight gibe at the well-known children’s stories.

JEREMIAH IN THE DARK WOODS  by Allan Ahlberg, is a children’s literature predominantly narrated  in visual  intellect e.g. this excerpt from the story conveys the lushness of its text  in visual  sense: “ The Hatter had  a half-eaten sandwich in one hand and a watch in other, which he was shaking every now and then and holding to his ear.” ;  also narrated with an adequate smidgen  of emotional quality along with blunt joviality e.g. this excerpt highlights the jovial articulacy of its text: ‘What did you do with the plate?’ ‘I kept it,’ Goldilocks said.

The illustrations by Janet Ahlberg accurately depicts the author’s creative description with possessing the uniqueness and creative richness of its own – absolutely a visual delight. The story has a fair amount of illustrations to explain its content in a classy style, the illustrations are a mixture of black-and-white and colourful pictures however  the black-and-white pictures lack the profoundness of coloured ones.


Academic or Educational Significance/Use of the book: JEREMIAH IN THE DARK WOODS by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

An appropriate story book for children of 5-9 years, a brilliant children’s literature for vocabulary and creative development in children.

The entire story is divided into 6 chapters; the first page of the book consist the short introduction of the story, the story begins from the second page. At a leisurely pace this book is a week’s time read for children of 7-9 years.

This story could be best narrated to young children of 5-6 years with voice modulation and gestures, in short passages continuing till the story lasts – a suitable bedtime story; for older children of 7 years, a parent/teacher can assist them while reading;  a reading resource book for children of 8-9 years – though there are several words and a few sentences which require explanation from an adult.

Amazon link: Jeremiah in the Dark Woods by Allan Ahlberg & Janet Ahlberg

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