Born in England in 1924, Alan Gilderdale attended Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London. Alan worked as a painter, printmaker, art lecturer and full-time illustrator. He had work exhibited in London, Toronto and Auckland and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art (UK). His work also featured as cover art and black and white illustrations for a number of other books.
Alan worked with his wife, Betty Gilderdale
, on the Little Yellow Digger
books. Despite Alan’s initial reluctance to spend months drawing diggers, they submitted text and illustrations to Scholastic who published it as a picture book in time for Christmas 1992. It has been reprinted several times and has become a perennial favourite with New Zealand children.
In 2009, Alan was one of the members of the inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award
- Nelson Treasure text by Phyl Wardell (Hodder & Stoughton 1983).
- Rifle and Tomahawk text by Mona Tracy (Hodder & Stoughton 1983).
- Silver Island text by Edith Ann Howes (Hodder & Stoughton 1983).
- The Cruise of the Crazy Jane text by Isabel Maud Peacocke (Hodder & Stoughton 1984).
- The Little Yellow Digger text by Betty Gilderdale (Ashton Scholastic 1992).
- The Little Yellow Digger at the Zoo text by Betty Gilderdale (Scholastic 1998).
- The Little Yellow Digger Saves the Whale text by Betty Gilderdale (Scholastic 2001).
- The Little Yellow Digger Goes to School text by Betty Gilderdale (Scholastic 2005).
- The Little Yellow Digger and the Bones text by Betty Gilderdale (Scholastic 2009).
Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award
2003 for The Little Yellow Digger.