Much-loved children's author John Burningham dies

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Children’s author and illustrator John Burningham has died aged 82.


John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury

mouse3The creator of popular picture books including Mouse House, Avocado Baby and Oi! Get Off Our Train, Mr Burningham died on Friday 4 January after contracting pneumonia.

He studied illustration and graphic design at the Central School of Art and Design, graduating with distinction in 1959 and going on to illustrate posters for London Transport.

In 1963, his first book, Borka: The Adventures of a Goose With No Feathers, won the Kate Greenaway medal, heralding the start of an extraordinary career that spanned six decades and produced more than 60 books.

avocadoMr Gumpy’s Outing won Mr Burningham his second Kate Greenaway Medal in 1970, while Granpa, a moving tale of friendship and bereavement, won The New York Times Best Illustrated Award and the Kurt Maschler Award and was later made into an animated film.

In 2012, Mr Burningham was nominated for a Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. He also illustrated Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming and published several books for adults.

In 2018 John Burningham was the joint recipient of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award with his wife, Helen Oxenbury, who survives him, as do their son, two daughters and seven grandchildren.

  • John Mackintosh Burningham, artist, author and illustrator, born 27 April 1936, died 4 January 2019.
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