Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thank You, John Burningham

While I have many favorite author/illustrators, none resonate with me quite as much as the late John Burningham. Leaving behind a legacy of amazing children's books, he passed away earlier this month at age 82. The managing director of his publisher called Burningham, "a true original, a picture-book pioneer and an endlessly inventive creator of stories that could be by turns hilarious and comforting, shocking and playful."

I find it no coincidence that probably my all-time favorite title of his was born the same year as I. I can't recall a time I didn't know this story, and it is still a favorite of mine to use in storytime.

When I went back to school to get my Masters degree, these two titles were fairly new. A friend I made in school introduced me to Avocado Baby, saying that it was one of his young son's favorite bedtime stories. As a soon-to-be children's librarian, I made it a point to get to know Burningham's work.

My oldest daughter was born around the same time this book came out. It was a bedtime favorite, the gentle lyrical prose is such a delight and a perfect match to the pictures, without being too sweet.

These next three were all published in the last ten years and I adore each of them, as a librarian, as a mom, as a human. I don't even have cats or dogs and I'm excited about the prospect of a party with the Queen of the cats! Picnic is perfect for storytime, and I swear I was Sylvie from The Way to the Zoo when I was a kid.

Motor Miles came out in 2016 and I remember being so excited when it came in at work. My guess is that's John Burningham, zipping around in a car or a plane with his dog, thinking up more wonderful adventures.
 More Favorites:

The Magic Bed

There's Going To Be a Baby

Come Away From the Water, Shirley


Mouse House

Where's Julius?

Harvey Slumfenberger's Christmas Present

Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car

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