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John Burningham - Author

About the Author

John Burningham (1936-2019) 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 was married to the illustrator, Helen Oxenbury.

Featured books by John Burningham

Mouse House

Mouse House

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: John Burningham Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/02/2018

In the house there lives a family: a mum, a dad, a girl and a boy. But they are not alone; a secret mouse family is living there too, who only come out when everyone else is asleep. One day they are spotted and the mouse catcher is called ... Will they escape in time?

ebook of the month
Borka: The Adventures of a Goose With No Feathers

Borka: The Adventures of a Goose With No Feathers

5+ readers

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/03/1999

Once upon a time there were two geese called Mr and Mrs Plumpster. Each Spring they returned to the marshes of their ancestors, and Mrs Plumpster laid her eggs. Soon six fine young Plumpsters hatched: Archie, Freda, Jennifer, Oswald, Timothy and Borka. But Borka was different. Borka had no feathers and could not fly. When winter came the other geese flew off in search of warmer climates, leaving Borka all alone. But her adventure was only just beginning . . .

ebook of the month

Other books by John Burningham

Mr Gumpy's Rhino

Mr Gumpy's Rhino

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2021

A brand new Mr Gumpy story from picture-book legend, John Burningham Mr Gumpy is off on an adventure! This time he's rescuing a rhino who's lost its parents... But growing rhinos needs lots of food. Will Charlie the rhino and Mr Gumpy manage to make a happy home together? A madcap adventure for children, adults and rhinos alike from the creator of Would You Rather and Avocado Baby. Praise for Mr Gumpy's Outing - winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal A story of real drama observed with gentle humour Guardian

Avocado Baby

Avocado Baby

Author: John Burningham Format: Board book Release Date: 07/01/2021

A new edition of the classic board book beautifully reissued - celebrating the power of babies... and avocados! The Hargraves are a weak and puny family. When a new baby arrives, they're willing to try anything to make it grow big and strong. Even avocado . . . Amusing for adults, impressive for toddlers, good for greengrocers The Observer John Burningham is one of the most outstanding author-illustrators of children's books today . . . Twentieth-Century Children's Writers John Burningham is the much-loved creator of Mr Gumpy's Outing and Would You Rather.

More Would You Rather

More Would You Rather

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2019

Would you rather have breakfast with bears, lunch with a lion or dinner with ducks? Would you like to fly with the pelicans or swim with the fish? Would it be worse if an elephant made a terrible smell or you fell over in a field of cows? Ask - and answer - these questions and many more in this funny, imaginative game of a book from John Burningham.

Mouse House

Mouse House

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

In the house there lives a family: a mum, a dad, a girl and a boy. But they are not alone; a secret mouse family is living there too, who only come out when everyone else is asleep. One day they are spotted and the mouse catcher is called ... Will they escape in time? A story of home and hope from picture-book genius, John Burningham.

Mouse House

Mouse House

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: John Burningham Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/02/2018

In the house there lives a family: a mum, a dad, a girl and a boy. But they are not alone; a secret mouse family is living there too, who only come out when everyone else is asleep. One day they are spotted and the mouse catcher is called ... Will they escape in time?

ebook of the month
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