Motor Miles by John Burningham
  

Motor Miles

Written by John Burningham

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

October 2016 Book of the Month There’s a perfect simplicity to this book, the work of a picture book genius. Miles is a difficult dog, won’t come when called, doesn’t like walks or other dogs, barks too much. The only thing he does like, in fact, is going out in the car. Fortunately, the family’s neighbour realises that what Miles needs is a car of his own, and offers to make him one. John Burningham’s illustrations, simultaneously comic and serious, match his deadpan text beautifully; Miles and his young owner Norman are wonderfully realised characters; the colours glow: quite simply wonderful. ~ Andrea Reece

Synopsis

Motor Miles by John Burningham

Miles is a very difficult dog...Until he is given his very own motor car and learns to love the open road!

This enigmatic story is a joy to read, gently exploring the transformational power of freedom. John's distinctive, expressive artwork is stunning, whether it's his instantly recognisable characters or the expansive, contemplative spreads of colour, as Miles discovers the joys of the road. This is a story that children will immediately engage with, while parents absorb the magically nostalgic air and subtle celebration of change and growing up.

Reviews

Picture books for children are a bit like crash test dummies; they are put through it night after night. I often wonder whether a fresh offering will endure the daily battering of over-familiarity. However delightful they appear, they rarely do. John Burningham, whose masterpieces Borka and Mr Gumpy's Outing won him the Kate Greenaway medal in 1963 and 1970 respectively, is one of the handful of authors for the very young whose work bears infinite readings. I never weary of his beautiful illustrations, carefully honed words and unusual tales that take you on an interesting journey but make sure you're home for tea. He has done cars before; Mr Gumpy had one, but not a red convertible driven by a dog called Miles. In this new story Milesis given a home by the wonderfully named Alice Trudge, who has a son called Normain. He is a difficult dog. He doesn't like walks, food, rain, other dogs and he barks excessively. Yet he still has the heart of his family, who make Miles happy by taking him out in the car. However, like many of us, Alice imagines there is more to her life than being a designated driver to her pooch - and a neighbour, Mr Huddy, suggests that she get Miles his own vehicle, then offers to make it. Mr Huddy's workshop is magnificently detailed and before long the DIY Testarossa is ready and Miles has driving lessons. So when Alice is sick, it's obvious who must take Norman to school (surely every child's fantasty, being dropped off by your own dog-driver) and take him on weekend jaunts. One day they went to the seaside very early in the morning. It's the only line on that spread, but the illustration of the sea at sunset, the puffing ship on the horizon and the car purring along the beach is breathtaking. Although, with Norman growing too big for his passenger seat, will their fun last? Burningham's messages - fill your life, use your freedom, develop expertise and know when to let your charges fly - are delivered with the lightest touch. Even if your name is not Gumpy, this book is worth making an outing for. -- Alex O'Connell Saturday Times Review John Burningham, who has brought us so many memorable picture-book characters since Borka the goose with no feathers arrived in 1963, now introduces Miles, who is a very difficult dog . Characteristically for Burningham - and this is an important lesson for children - misbehaviour does not mean forfeiting affection. Instead, Alice Trudge and her son Norman, who own Miles, find what he really likes to do, which is to go out in the car. Taking him daily is time-consuming, so a neighbour builds him his own car and Miles learns to drive. He takes Norman to school, and the two have joyous secret outings. With his wavering, fragmented line and beautiful washes of colour, Burningham expresses character and comedy, and depicts landscapes through the seasons that are magical and seductive. Everything about this picture book suggests freedom, in the style and the story. The tale is simple but encompasses kindness to animals, neighbourliness, the advantages of being practical and handy, the rewards of diligently learning a skill, a love of the outdoors, the pleasure of companionship, following your own inclinations and knowing left from right. There is a fun punchline too. The book might look sketchy, but it is just right. -- Nicolette Jones Sunday Times October 2016 Book of the Month There's a perfect simplicity to this book, the work of a picture book genius. Miles is a difficult dog, won't come when called, doesn't like walks or other dogs, barks too much. The only thing he does like, in fact, is going out in the car. Fortunately, the family's neighbour realises that what Miles needs is a car of his own, and offers to make him one. John Burningham's illustrations, simultaneously comic and serious, match his deadpan text beautifully; Miles and his young owner Norman are wonderfully realised characters; the colours glow: quite simply wonderful. -- Andrea Reece, Lovereading4Kids http://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/book/13204/Motor-Miles-by-John-Burningham.html

About the Author

John Burningham

John Burningham studied illustration and graphic design at the Central School of Art, graduating with distinction in 1959. Many illustration commissions followed including iconic posters for London Transport, before the publication of Borka: the Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers, John’s first book for children (Cape, 1963) which won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration and heralded the beginning of an extraordinary career. John Burningham has since written and illustrated over thirty picture books, that have been translated and distributed all over the world. These feature his classic and much loved children’s books including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by Ian Fleming (Jonathan Cape, 1964); Mr Gumpy’s Outing (Jonathan Cape, 1970) also awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal; Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (Jonathan Cape, 1972); The Shopping Basket (Random House, 1980); The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Penguin/Puffin, 1983); Granpa (Jonathan Cape, 1984) later made into an animated film and Oi! Get off our Train (Jonathan Cape, 1989) and various books for adults England (Jonathan Cape, 1992); France (Jonathan Cape, 1998); The Time of Your Life (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2002) and When We Were Young (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004).

Tug of War was republished in 2012, and a special edition of Borka, celebrating 50 years in print, was published in June 2013. Picnic appeared in the autumn of 2013 and The Way to the Zoo was published in the UK in 2014. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is celebrating its 50th year in print with a limited edition in hardback to be published in 2015.

John is married to the illustrator, Helen Oxenbury. They have three children, three grandchildren and a dog named Miles. They live in London.

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
32 pages
Interest Age: From 3

Author

John Burningham
More books by John Burningham

Author's Website

johnburningham.com

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Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

1st September 2016

ISBN

9780857551740

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