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The Jolly Christmas Postman Stamp Issue 22 October 2008

Isle of Man Post Office is delighted to celebrate Christmas 2008 with this charming and world famous set of images from the award-winning best-selling children’s book, the Jolly Christmas Postman, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.

For generations children have been fascinated and entertained reading The Jolly Christmas Postman and discovering the surprises hidden inside it from miniature envelopes, puzzles to cards and letters, as the Jolly Postman delivers seasonal greetings to various fairy-tale characters on Christmas Eve in this interactive children’s classic. The Jolly Christmas Postman was a successor to The Jolly Postman which brought Allan and Janet Ahlberg their greatest success. The books and a further one The Jolly Pocket Postman, sold over five million copies worldwide and won the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Emil/Kurt Maschler Awards.

Dot Tilbury, Philatelic Bureau Manager of Isle of Man Post Office said:

“Choosing the theme for our Christmas stamps is probably one of our most difficult tasks as we try to please everyone with a popular subject. However, the opportunity to feature ‘The Jolly Christmas Postman’ on our stamps for this year was an easy decision as the art work is so scrumptious and conveys Christmas at its sentimental best".

Allan and Janet had a unique relationship. They met on a teacher trainer course in Sunderland and married in 1969. Janet decided against teaching as a career and turned instead to graphic design. While Allan worked full time as a teacher, Janet’s first work was published. She began urging Allan to write text for her to illustrate and within no time at all Penguin took The Old Joke Book, A&C Black took The Vanishment of Thomas Tull and Heinemann took Burglar Bill.

The Ahlbergs had arrived and there would be no looking back. Working together, they saw their books as more than simply the combination of words and pictures – rather, a whole package which worked as a unity.

By the 1980s the Ahlbergs were big news, not just in Britain but all around the globe with their books translated into 21 languages from Catalan to Finnish and Hebrew to Japanese. Since Janet’s premature death in 1994, Allan has continued to work, producing his beautiful tribute to her, Janet’s Last Book.
The Isle of Man Post Office is particularly pleased to present these stamps in the year of Allan’s 70th birthday.

View the Stamps and related products here

For an illustrated pdf press release please click here

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