Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers by John Burningham


Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers by John Burningham

When winter came the other geese flew off in search of warmer climates, leaving Borka - the goose with no feathers - all alone. But her adventure was only just beginning...


When I was little, this was my favourite book; when my children were little, it was their favourite book. The story of how Borka, the youngest of six geese born to Mr and Mrs Plumpster without any feathers, is a touching tale of motherly love and triumph over adversity. Mrs Plumpster immediately knits poor, bald Borka a grey woollen jumper but when the family migrates south, Borka gets left behind because she can't fly. The abandoned goose is befriended by a friendly boat skipper who takes her on his boat back to London, where she is given a new home at Kew Gardens. The other geese don't mind about her having no feathers because there are so many other strange birds at Kew and anything goes. Borka is republished to celebrate its 50th anniversary. -- Katie Law Evening Standard Cape is right to publish this golden goose of an edition for an as-yet-uninitiated generation Observer Still remarkable for its humour, tenderness and richly textured illustrations. It remains strikingly original and young children will delight in the engaging story ... Every child's library deserves a copy -- Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times Burningham's illustrations have a tragi-comic power that really makes you believe in the plight of this goose ... A heart-warming, award-winning story that was ahead of its time when it was first published Books for Keeps

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


32 pages
Interest Age: From 5


John Burningham
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Publication date

4th July 2013



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