Books by John Burningham

MOTOR MILES by John Burningham
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"No one does whimsy like Burningham; no one. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Miles, a dog, learns to drive his own car, and everything changes. Read full book review >
THE WAY TO THE ZOO by John Burningham
Released: Aug. 1, 2014

"As in so many of his other books, Burningham's appeal lies in his ability to invent a fantasy scenario available only to young children, accomplishing it again here with consummate grace.(Picture book. 2-5)"
What could be more exciting than discovering a hidden door in your bedroom that opens to a secret passageway to the zoo? Read full book review >
PICNIC by John Burningham
Released: May 13, 2014

"A very good 'good night.' (Picture book. 2-5)"
A picture-book master presents an engaging feast of a bedtime book. Read full book review >
TUG-OF-WAR by John Burningham
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Young audiences will relish the outcome of this simple trickster tale and likely be startled into laughter by its edgy language. The little runts. (no source note) (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)"
Burningham charges up selected and rearranged illustrations from one of his early works with a new text that adds considerable bite. Read full book review >
IT’S A SECRET! by John Burningham
Released: June 1, 2009

"Bruce Ingman's Night on the Tiles (1999) offers a similar (if busier and more urbane) revelation, but the simpler plot and bigger pictures here will reveal the secret to larger and younger audiences. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Do cats sleep all day because they go somewhere at night? Read full book review >
Released: March 13, 2007

"Illustrated with very simply drawn and colored scenes featuring a bristly haired, surly looking lad whose scowls gradually change to smiles as his reputation improves, this is a cautionary tale that children may want to bring to their parents, rather than the other way around. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Burningham definitely has his eye on an adult audience with this take on the effects of positive and negative reinforcement. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC BED by John Burningham
Released: Sept. 9, 2003

"However, one is never sure where it's coming from. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Georgie outgrows his crib and goes shopping for a bigger bed. Read full book review >
HUSHABYE by John Burningham
Released: Oct. 9, 2001

"Sleep tight. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Gently changing rhythms and drifting into and out of rhyme, the author of countless toddler favorites enjoins pajama-clad tots to follow a trio of kittens, a drowsy baby, three tired bears, and other weary creatures down to slumberland. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"The full text of each featured right completes the package. (Picture book. All ages)"
It's always good to know your rights, especially if you are one of the vulnerable, and this picture book takes the elemental human rights of children, agreed upon by a United Nations convention in 1989, and holds them high for children to see. Read full book review >
CLOUDLAND by John Burningham
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Winsomely sure-footed. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A typical Burningham dreamer falls from the land of childhood into Cloudland; when he returns home he forever after longs for another taste of the land beyond. Read full book review >
THE SHOPPING BASKET by John Burningham
Released: June 1, 1996

"The ending is abrupt, but the trip is worthwhile, marked by sure pacing, quirky humor, and an airy style of illustration that belies its sophistication. (Picture Book. 3-7)"
Burningham (Courtney, 1994, etc.) adds a winner to the rest of his collection of light gems. Read full book review >
COURTNEY by John Burningham
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Witty, well told, and superbly illustrated. (Picture book. 4-8)"
One of Britain's most thoughtful and creative picture-book makers gives a familiar scenario his own inimitable spin. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Handsome and original: an entertaining addition to the Christmas shelf. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Poor Santa—he's crawling into bed after tucking in his weary reindeer when he spies Harvey's gift, still in his sack. Read full book review >
ALDO by John Burningham
Released: March 1, 1992

"Unusually perceptive, unsentimental treatment of a familiar theme. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The creator of several outstanding books that explore children's imaginative inner lives (Come Away from the Water, Shirley, 1977, etc.) takes a more direct approach than usual in a touching portrait of a solitary child with an imaginary friend, Aldo, a rabbit just about her size. Read full book review >
HEY! GET OFF OUR TRAIN by John Burningham
Released: March 1, 1990

"A neat surprise provides a chuckle at the end; mixed-media illustrations have Burningham's usual inimitable wit, beauty, and splendor."
A fine British author-illustrator blends several of his hallmarks in an effective plea for the environment. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1987

"And why?"
The latest picture book by this celebrated author-illustrator is full of mordant humor and interesting ideas. Read full book review >
WHERE'S JULIUS? by John Burningham
Released: Dec. 1, 1986

"Although this does not have the creative impact of Burningham's Come Away from the Water, Shirley, it still has much merit."
With his unique brand of offbeat, understated humor and distinctive art style, Burningham again explores the child's world of imaginative play. Read full book review >
GRANPA by John Burningham
Released: March 1, 1985

"There are ways to make scattered moments, and tenuous feelings, add up—but only in the pictures does the relationship register here."
The jacket drawing of a little girl clinging to her grandfather's shoulders conveys a joyous, adventuresome sharing—but leaves in doubt just what sort of vehicle (a horse-drawn cart, perhaps) they're breezing along in. Read full book review >
AVOCADO BABY by John Burningham
Released: Sept. 1, 1982

"With mediocre illustrations such a conceit might be as weak as the Hargraves—but Burningham's cartoons, as expertly ingenuous as the words, bring out all the kinetic humor of the situation while maintaining the tone of the text."
A scant 350 words tell matter-of-factly about the Hargraves baby, who is born into a very weak family but grows superstrong once its mother begins feeding it mashed avocado. Read full book review >
THE SHOPPING BASKET by John Burningham
Released: Sept. 10, 1980

"Sly and satisfying."
Steven is a nerdy looking kid with skinny legs and glasses, but a sly one when it comes to outwitting the various animals who make demands on his market basket. Read full book review >
WOULD YOU RATHER. . . by John Burningham
Released: Oct. 31, 1978

"The pictures are wonderfully zesty, childlike, and droll; and Burningham's ending ('or perhaps you would rather just go to sleep in your own bed') makes the whole exercise a choice bedtime book, to inspire any child's musings as (s)he drifts off to sleep."
Favorite childhood pastimes and mind play don't always survive translation to picture-book form, but Burnigham's free-floating, storyless imagination-stretcher is consistently felicitous. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 16, 1978

Through a bathtub drain astride a rubber duck is an unlikely route to a medieval fantasy—for one thing most children's fantasies about drains are nightmares and for another bathrooms and jousting fields haven't the natural association of the pirate ship and beach in Come Away From the Water, Shirley (1977). Read full book review >
MR. GUMPY'S MOTOR CAR by John Burningham
Released: April 14, 1976

"If the day's events are a virtual rerun the mood is fresh and expectant; with Gumpy's mild-faced companions, the portentous scratchboard landscapes and, especially, the sprucely cross-hatched motor car all offering plenty of inducement to go along for the ride."
The second outing of our friend Mr. Gumpy (see KR, 1971) begins when the same company of two children and assorted farm animals piles into his red roadster, nearly breaks into a melee because everyone has a reason why he can't help push the car after it gets stuck in the mud, and ends amicably, as before, with a cooling swim. Read full book review >
MR. GUMPY'S OUTING by John Burningham
Released: Oct. 28, 1971

"MPSLUGMISTER Gumpy has the bumbling charm of an English Mr. Hulot and his outing is an unqualified pleasure."
Mr. Gumpy's little scow becomes a miniature ark when he takes two children and one each of various domestic animals for a ride. Read full book review >
SEASONS by John Burningham
Released: Aug. 7, 1970

"The stock is heavy, the stitching chancy, but rebinding is feasible and it would be a pity to pass it by at either price."
So many eye-blinking picture books are in fact picture albums, empty of significant content, that it is good to have artistry unadorned, in the service of mood, moment, and surpassingly vibrant views. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 16, 1968

"Where youngsters will respond to the spoof of tally ho-kum, the pictures are sure to please."
The fox who disobeyed his father and went down to the valley redeemed himself by leading the hunters astray, thus saving the family den. Read full book review >
JOHN BURNINGHAM'S ABC by John Burningham
Released: May 31, 1967

"Great looking, good learning."
Down Fall, up Burningham: a first alphabet book of familiar objects, the letter in upper and lower case, the word underneath on the left, the full-page, full-color illustration on the right; a big beautiful alphabet book, John Burningham at his fresh, funny best. Read full book review >
HUMBERT by John Burningham
Released: May 31, 1967

"The plot, however, is just another poor-horse-makes-good."
A four-by-four red and ruffled Lord Mayor riding on a stove in Mr. Firkin the junkman's wagon, drawn by the determined horse Humbert—when the coach and four broke down. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1965

"Only the eye is satisfied here, but very well satisfied indeed."
Prubloff is a magnificently drawn mouse, illustrated in full- color by the same talented English hand that did Borka. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 26, 1964

"The freely stylized illustrations in bold lines and appropriate, vivid colors are many and strong."
Borka, like the ugly duckling, was laughed into an inferiority complex. Read full book review >