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Excuses by Alan Ahlberg

I’ve writ on the wrong page, Miss. 

My pencil went all blunt.
My book was upside-down, Miss.

My book was back to front.

My margin’s gone all crooked, Miss.

I’ve smudged mine with my scarf.

I’ve rubbed a hole in the paper,

Miss. My ruler’s broke in half.

My work’s blew out the window,

Miss. My work’s fell in the bin.
The leg’s dropped off my chair,

Miss. The ceiling’s coming in.

I’ve ate a poison apple, Miss.
I’ve held a poison pen!
I think I’m being kidnapped, Miss! So . . . can we start again?


Allan Ahlberg, a former teacher, postman, plumber's mate and grave digger, is in the super-league of children's writers. He has published over 100 children's books and, with his late wife Janet, created such award-winning picture books as Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman - both winners of the Kate Greenaway Medal. He has also written prize-winning poetry and fiction and lives in Sussex.

Allan Ahlberg's Picture Books


Happy Families Series


Funny Bones

Jolly Postman Series



Younger readers


Longer stories