Missed Part 1 with Rotraut Susanne Berner? Click HERE. You caught it? Good! On to the next on the shortlist: John Burningham
In 1964, my birth year, he made some smart moves: to marry Helen Oxenbury (another brilliant kid-lit author illustrator), AND to illustrate Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang (published in 3 volumes in ’64-65) which surely launched the book’s international success and his own. My proof? At least 60 more books and multiple awards. Told ya.
I haven’t read enough to proclaim a favorite, but one I feel particularly drawn to is Come Away from the Water, Shirley, about Shirley and her parents who take a trip to the beach. Her parents settle in their beach chairs with knitting and newspapers, while Shirley is off fighting pirates and retrieving treasure. I adore the contrast!
Another I have had to read to my kids over and over, and gladly, is Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, which won Burningham his second Greenaway Medal in 1970.
Publisher: Jonathon Cope, 1970
Ages: 4 and up
Themes: boats, boating, animals
Opening: This is Mr. Gumpy. Mr. Gumpy owned a boat and his house was by a river.One day Mr. Gumpy went out in his boat. “May we come with you?” said the children. “Yes,” said Mr. Gumpy, “if you don’t squabble.”
Summary: (from B&N) One sunny day Mr. Gumpy decides to take a ride in his small boat. It’s a perfect idea for a lovely summer day, and soon he is joined by children, a rabbit, a cat, a pig, and a host of other friends. But when the goat kicks, the chickens flap, the dog teases the cat and the children squabble — the boat tips into the water and everyone tumbles out. No one minds getting wet on such a nice day, though, especially since Mr. Gumpy invites everyone to his house for tea.
Burningham at an exhibition celebrating 50 years of his work
Check out a slide show of some picture book art – HERE.; his wikipedia page HERE; some ‘Vintage” love for his debut as an author-illustrator in 1963 which, wouldn’t you know it, won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal – his first (comment to let them know to fix the date!) HERE; read more in an interview with Burningham and Oxenbury about their recent collaboration HERE