Alan was born in London and spent his early years in the docklands but much prefers living in the country. He decided that he wanted to be an illustrator from an early age, really because he loves the magic of the drawn line but not least of all because it meant that he wouldn’t have to go out to work. He attended Medway College of Art & Design and had three great years at Bath Academy of Art in Corsham; no one has ever asked but he got a 1st class honours degree.
Alan has worked as a freelance illustrator since leaving college in 1980. His first children’s book ‘Storm’ by Kevin Crossley-Holland, won the Carnegie Medal and ‘Thomas and the Tinners’ by Jill Paton Walsh won the 6 to 8 years category of the Smarties Prize. In 2003 he won the Premio Marsili Award for non-fiction from the Musei di Palazzo Poggi in Bologna. More recent prizes include a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor award in the USA.