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Mr. Gumpy's Outing
ISBN 0224619098 / 9780224619097 / 0-224-61909-8
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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 [via]