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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

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.

When We Were Young A Compendium of Childhood

When We Were Young A Compendium of Childhood

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2005

In John Burningham's enchanting and truthful compendium of childhood, the well known and the unknown contribute funny, moving, magical and occasionally dark childhood memories. From Michael Palin's memory of seaside holidays with his dad and Seamus Heaney's evocation of a crashed Cadbury's chocolate van ('a trail of silver papers up the road') to the institutional upbringing of the mixed-race child of a black GI in the 1950s and a typical rural childhood in the Scottish highlands, it is full of evocative memories. And woven into the mix is a rich selection of quotations and fifty more of John Burningham's witty and poignant drawings.

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 ...

The Time of Your Life Getting on with Getting on

The Time of Your Life Getting on with Getting on

Author: John Burningham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2003

Ageing is that part of the future that we try to keep in the future. And 'nobody likes to get old...that doesn't mean to say you have to be an old fart sitting in the pub talking about what happened in the 1960s' Mick Jagger. John Burningham has collected fine examples of the wisdom and wit that comes with age from those in the know, woven with a rich selection of quotes and fifty poignant drawings by Burningham himself.

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.

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