Friday, January 27, 2006

Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham

Mr. Gumpy's Outing

by John Burningham
Ages 2-6
Topics: animals, boating
ISBN#: 0-8050-0708-3

Mr Gumpy has a boat and lives on the river. One day, he goes out in his boat and picks up many friends along the way. Before they can come aboard, Mr Gumpy clearly states a “rule” for each animal he picks up – the rabbit can only come if he doesn’t “hop about”, the pig if he doesn’t “muck about”, the children, if they don’t “squabble”. Everything is wonderful until all the animals do what he asked them not to do and splash...the boat tips. This turns out not to be a big problem – everyone lies on the bank to dry in the sun and then head back to Mr. Gumpy’s for tea.

Younger children will quickly learn the order of the animals and join in the telling of this repetitive, mild-mannered tale. The cheerful illustrations are mostly ink crosshatch drawings, interspersed with watercolor -painted line drawings. Muted colors capture a nostalgic feeling of a sunny day on the river and the tea scene is especially charming.

John Burningham is British and won the Kate Greenaway (the British equivalent to the Caldecott) for Mr. Gumpy’s Outing. He also wrote a sequel, Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car, and many other children’s books.

Buy Mr. Gumpy's Outing at


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