Mr. Gumpy's Outing
|Publisher:||Henry Holt & Company|
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.
One fine morning Mr. Gumpy decides it’s a perfect day for an outing in his little boat. Apparently, plenty of others think so, too. First some children ask to join him, then a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a pig, a sheep…Soon, Mr. Gumpy’s boat is precariously full, and there’s nowhere for anyone else to go—but overboard! This mild mariner takes everything in stride, though, and his guests are soon bellying up to a nice tea.
John Burningham earned the Kate Greenaway Medal, an ALA Notable Children’s Book award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, and it’s no wonder. This gifted and highly original author-illustrator creates a vision of glorious summer with deeply textured, sometimes only suggested, drawings. His tentatively questioning animals are ready to step right out of the pages and quietly join the delighted reader. And the simple, repetitive dialogue will lull the listener as long as it takes the characters to reach the boat’s maximum capacity. Even then, there’s no big splash—just an understated, Burningham-esque “and into the water they fell.” Young readers will never tire of this gentle, comforting storybook. (Ages 2 to 6) —Emilie Coulter