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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: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2019

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. Praise for Mr Gumpy's Outing - winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal A story of real drama observed with gentle humour

Simp

Simp

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/07/2019

Simp is a small, fat, ugly dog. Nobody loves her and she hasn't got a home, so she sets out in search of a friend and finds a family -and some hidden talents that make her rather special...

John Patrick Norman McHennessy The Boy Who Was Always Late

John Patrick Norman McHennessy The Boy Who Was Always Late

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2019

Every day, John Patrick sets off along the road to school, and although he hurries, strange and improbable happenings repeatedly make him late. To make things worse, his teacher never believes his story.

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

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
Picnic

Picnic

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/05/2014

One day Boy and Girl go out for a picnic. They meet all sorts of creatures along the way - some come with them and some chase them, but whatever happens, today will be a day for Adventure!

Picnic

Picnic

Author: John Burningham Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2013

One day Boy and Girl go out for a picnic. They meet all sorts of creatures along the way - some come with them and some chase them, but whatever happens, today will be a day for Adventure!

It's a Secret!

It's a Secret!

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2010

Join Marie Elaine on a thrilling rooftop journey that takes her to a most unusual party! One night Marie Elaine finds her cat Malcolm dressed to go to a party. On condition she keep his secret, Malcolm agrees to let her come with him, and they set off through the streets - a dangerous journey, for Marie Elaine is now as small as her cat! At the party there are cats and more cats, and they are all very excited ... the Queen of the Cats is on her way! It is a night that Marie Elaine will never forget - and she won't forget to keep the secret either!

Edwardo the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World

Edwardo the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2007

Edwardo is an ordinary boy, so sometimes he can be a bit grubby or clumsy, a bit cruel or noisy or rude. The more that he is criticised, the worse he becomes, until one day they call him 'The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World'. Just then, Edwardo's luck begins to change, and a series of chance events reveal that really he is a lovely boy, and has been all along.

Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present

Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2004

When it comes to delivering the last present in his sack, no journey is too far for Father Christmas! A charming seasonal story from an award-winning artist. It's Christmas Eve and there is one present left in Father Christmas's sack. It's for a small boy called Harvey Slumfenburger, who lives far, far away on top of the Roly Poly Mountain. But no journey is too far for Father Christmas!

The Magic Bed

The Magic Bed

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/2004

Georgie has got a new bed, but it's not like other beds. For each night, Georgie says the magic word and it whisks him away on a fantastic adventure. He loves his bed, but one day he and his family go on holiday, and when they come back, Granny has a big surprise for Georgie ...

Granpa

Granpa

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2003

Granpa nurses his granddaughter's dolls, mistakes her strawberry-flavoured pretend ice-cream for chocolate, takes her tobogganing in the snow, and falls in with her imaginary plans to captain a ship to Africa, like all good Granpa's should. It is a friendship that children who read this book will long remember.

Mr Gumpy's Motor Car

Mr Gumpy's Motor Car

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2002

Mr Gumpy has decided to go for a ride in his motor car. It's a nice day and the sun is shining, so off he goes. But he only gets as far as the lane before the children, the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, the calf and the goat ask if they can come along too. As the motor car and its passengers make their way across the field, the weather begins to turn and the rain is soon pouring down. The tyres cannot grip the muddy ground, so Mr Gumpy asks for volunteers to push the car. But everyone has an excuse, until it gets so bad that they all have to get out and help. Eventually, the sun shines once more as they drive across the bridge - and there's time for a swim on the way home.

Husherbye

Husherbye

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2001

A lilting lullaby in which we see everyone at the end of the day, tired and ready for bed - the cat and her kittens, a family of bears, a fish, a goose, a frog, even the man in the moon. Each one weary, each one whispering 'Husherbye'. In the second half of the book we see each character curled up or snuggled down and tucked up and comfortable, each in an appropriate place, fast asleep and the reader reminds the listener that the time has come for sleep and invites them to rest their head on the pillow: Tomorrow's a new day. You will go to sleep now. HUSHER BYE HUSHERBYE HUSH.

Trubloff

Trubloff

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2001

Trubloff the mouse lives with his family in the village inn but dreams of becoming the greatest balalaika player in the whole country and one night he runs away with a band of gypsies who promise to teach him to play. Trubloff's poor family are overcome with worry but in the end it is Trubloff's gift for music which saves them from an awful fate.

Whadayamean

Whadayamean

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2000

John Burningham comes up with yet again with a book like no other. WHADAYAMEAN is a fascinating look at the damage we are doing to our environment. When God returns to the beautiful Earth we have misused, two small children are instructed to find a way of bringing people to their senses.

John Burningham's ABC

John Burningham's ABC

Author: John Burningham Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/06/2000

With its board book format and large size, John Burningham's ABC makes an ideal introduction to the alphabet for inquisitive toddlers. Each letter is given a single bold image in the author's inimitable style.

Humbert

Humbert

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2000

This is the story of Humbert, a working horse, Mister Firkin, his master, and the Lord Mayor of London. Mister Firkin was a scrap-iron dealer and he would travel the streets of London with Humbert, shouting 'Any scrap, any old iron for sale?' The Brewery horses are terrible snobs and show off about how important they are because they are used in the Lord Mayor's Show. But when disaster strikes, it's Humbert who rushes to rescue and escorts the Mayor to Mansion House.

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
Cloudland

Cloudland

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

Albert and his mum and dad go walking one day in the mountains. Unfortunately, Albert slips and disappears over the edge of a cliff; his parents are very upset. Albert is lucky though - the Cloud Children see his fall and speak the magic words ( They either said, Fumble gralley goggle ho hee , or Teetum waggle bari se nee , or was it Gargle giggle fiddle num dee? ) that make Albert light enough to float among the clouds, with them. Albert sleeps that night drifting in the sky. The next day, Albert and the Cloud Children have lots of fun: jumping off tall clouds, making as much noise as they can in the thunderstorm, swimming in the rain, painting pictures next to the rainbow and walking on the filmy traces left by passing aircraft. When Albert wants to go home again, the Queen arranges for his cloud to drift near his home, and for him to gently float down - but not before they all have feasted with the Man in the Moon!

Avocado Baby

Avocado Baby

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

MINI TREASURES: delightful mini picture books to treasure for ever. AVOCADO BABY When the weedy Hargraves have another baby, they're concerned that it's going to be just as weak and pathetic as them. Then one they feed it avocados...

Courtney

Courtney

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/1996

When the children bring Courtney home he's just a loveable scruffy old dog. But the-mongrel-that-nobody-wants has the most amazing talents. He can cook! He can juggle! He can even play the violin! Then one day Courtney the wonder dog packs up his trunk and leaves home - but the children find out his helping paw is not far away...

Time To Get Out Of The Bath, Shirley

Time To Get Out Of The Bath, Shirley

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/03/1994

It's time to get out of the bath but Shirley's not listening. She's floated away to a secret watery land beyond the plughole - to where knights ride white horses, and kings and queens float in moats around their castles...

Would You Rather?

Would You Rather?

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/01/1994

Would you rather drink snail squash or eat mashed worms? Help a witch make stew? Tickle a monkey? Or maybe - if you could really be anyone or do anything in the world - would you rather just be...you?

Aldo

Aldo

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1993

John Burningham brings us this poetic tale about a special friendship between a lonely girl and her secret friend, Aldo. With Aldo around, sunshine and laughter fill the little girl's life and she forgets her everyday fears.

Come Away From The Water, Shirley

Come Away From The Water, Shirley

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/1992

On a day trip to the seaside Mum and Dad settle down in their deckchairs to snooze the day away while for Shirley it is a chance to set sail for uncharted seas, adventure and buried treasure. But not before her Mum has warned her off the dangers of tar, stray dogs and cold water. . . . With the alternative pictures giving both sides of the story, children and adults alike will appreciate the humour and observations from this well known children's author.

The Shopping Basket

The Shopping Basket

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/1992

Steven is sent out for groceries on to the mean street of the city with only a shopping basket for protection. There are several shady characters about who are offering to lighten the load of the basket by helping themselves to his provisions! Stephen's having none of it and with the help of some of the city's less attractive sights he outsmarts all of them and makes it home in time for tea. With the pictures telling as much of the story as the text, children and adults alike will appreciate the humour and observations from this well known children's author.

Oi! Get Off Our Train

Oi! Get Off Our Train

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/10/1991

A little boy sets off on a round-the-world night train to dreamland with only his toy dog for company. But soon all sorts of endangered animals are asking if they can jump up and join them on their journey...

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