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John Burningham - Children's Author


As an adult
John undertook many jobs as he was growing up, including framing, slum-clearance, forestry, and school building, which involved travelling through Italy, Yugoslavia, and Israel. In 1956, John started his studies at the Central School of Art, where he received a diploma in 1959. He designed posters for London Transport and the British Transport Commission, and also spent a year animating puppets for film in the Middle East. John is married to Helen Oxenbury, another well-known author and illustrator of children's books. They have one son and two daughters.

As an artist
John’s first attempt at writing and illustrating a children's book was Borka: The Adventures of a Goose With No Feathers in 1963. It won the Kate Greenaway Medal that same year. John won the Greenaway for the second time in 1970 with Mr Gumpy's Outing. His success continued through numerous titles for both Cape and Walker, and he is regarded as one of the world's most talented picture-book makers.


Featured Books, with extracts by John Burningham


The Way to the Zoo
The Way to the Zoo
John Burningham
April 2014 Book of the Month   Award-winning John Burningham tells a touching story of a little girl and the special friends she makes in the night time.  When Sylvie finds a door in her bedroom she discovers a secret passage...
Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers | Books of the Month | Free Prize Draws | Picture Book Party
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/04/2014
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There's Going to be a Baby
There's Going to be a Baby
John Burningham
Award-winning illustrators John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury have teamed up to create this stunning and touching story about the excitement and anxiety surrounding the arrival of a new baby in the family. Funny, kind and thoughtful about the many different...
Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/09/2011
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Mr Gumpy's Motor Car Book and CD
Mr Gumpy's Motor Car Book and CD
John Burningham
Award-winning illustrator John Burningham’s classic adventure of a delightful day’s jaunt in a car. It is a beautiful summer’s day when Mr Gumpy decides to set off in his car. The children and all the animals want to join him....
Featured in: 3+ readers | Baby and Toddler | Bookshelf Essentials
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2011
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There's Going to be a Baby
There's Going to be a Baby
John Burningham
Award-winning husband and wife John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury have teamed up in this wonderful picture book which delicately captures the complex and sometimes overpowering feelings of an older sibling waiting for the arrival of a new baby. John Burningham’s...
Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/10/2010
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Borka: The Adventure of a Goose with No Feathers
Borka: The Adventure of a Goose with No Feathers
John Burningham
Greenaway winner in 1963. John Burningham's classic first picture book, Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with no Feathers is somewhat reminiscent of the Ugly Duckling story and like that story there is an eventual happy ending.  Together the illustrations...
Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/03/2003
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Mr Gumpy's Outing
Mr Gumpy's Outing
John Burningham
Kind Mr Gumpy lets all the animals join him on his boat for a lovely trip down the river. It looks like a perfect day out. But animals don’t always know how to behave and soon Mr Gumpy finds he’s...
Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 30/06/2001
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Avocado Baby
Avocado Baby
John Burningham
This story tells about the Hargraves baby, who is born into a very weak family but grows super-strong once its mother begins feeding it mashed avocado.
Featured in: 5+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/06/1994
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