‘Mr. Gumpy’s Outing’ – Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room.

 

Today’s great book: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham (1970, Henry Holt and Company)

Interesting Facts about the Author: “John Burningham – A Life in Pictures”

Time to Read: we read it just before bed

Summary:  from the inside cover…”Mr. Gumpy lives by a river.  One sunny day he decides to take a ride in his small boat.  It is such a perfect idea, for such a perfect summer day, that he soon has company:  first the children, then the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, and still others until – Mr. Gumpy’s outing comes to an inevitable but not unhappy, conclusion.”

Best Quote from the Book:  “May I come, please Mr. Gumpy?”  said the pig.  “Very well, but don’t muck about.”

Our View:  I knew very little of the book of John Burningham until I was surprised on my birthday with a large hardback edition of his book, Would You Rather?, a wonderfully illustrated read-aloud that asks the reader all kinds of outlandish questions to determine what they would like to do on a particular day.  When I ran across the book, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, I immediately knew it was his book because of the familiar illustration on its cover.  His style of drawing is immediately recognizable and interesting, while all the while beckoning the reader to open the book and get reading.  The cadence of the words is also a wonderful example of a superior read-aloud for children.  Teachers/classrooms and families/homes need this book!

Favorite Illustrations from the Book:

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“Dad, listen to this!”

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Last night I was searching for a particular book that I wanted to share with my college students in class today.  I had been through every room and looked among every bookshelf and was now upstairs in the secret book room, searching through the piles of our children’s books that we have accumulated over the past 20 years together.  Of course, I got lost in the experience…to be around that many good books and illustrations is like getting caught in a really wonderful rainstorm.  The books were falling everywhere and I was happily caught in their flood.

And then, our youngest daughter (age 9) appeared in the little doorway and said, “Dad, listen to this!”  She was holding a newly discovered book from her school library.  A good friend had read this particular book only a few weeks before and they were talking about it that day, so she checked it out and brought it home to read.  She was about 20 pages in when she came across a couple of pages that she wanted to read to me.

It was a wonderful passage that was very poetic and very solemn, and she read it as though she were auditioning for a Shakespeare play.  Her eyes were alive with these words.  Her voice was alive with these words.  Her physical appearance was alive with these words.  Something about them reverberated somewhere within her young heart.

I’m glad she read to me.  What I heard, I needed to hear.  But what I saw, I will never forget.

‘Would You Rather…’ – Tuesday’s Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page.

 Would

Today’s great book: Would You Rather… by John Burningham (1985, Picture Lions)

The Author’s Book Website: http://www.puffin.co.uk/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000001755,00.html

Time to Read: short and sweet; bedtime or anytime

Summary:  from Publisher’s Weekly – “Would you rather… your dad did a dance at school or your mom made a fuss in a cafe?” John Burningham poses many more questions in Would You Rather… Humorous (and thought-provoking) vignettes accompany each possibility.”

Best Quote:  “Would you rather be made to eat spider stew, taste slug dumplings, chew mashed worms, or drink a snail shake?”

Our View:  This is among the best of the read-alouds that we have in our Book Room and it NEVER fails to bring a smile and a really good conversation among the kids.  I also read it to my college students every semester, just to get to know them better and pull a smile from them.  The choices and illustrations are spectacular and provide a place to talk among reader and listener, father and child, teacher and student, friend and friend.  A great little-known fact: Mr. Burningham collaborated with Ian Fleming on Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, and designed the model of the famous car.

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – A Million Choices – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.