7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #388: Featuring John Burningham

h1 June 29th, 2014 by jules

” … the shadow of CHITTY-CHITTY-BANG-BANG
chased after them over the ground.”

(Click to enlarge)

“Sylvie asked a little bear to come back with her.
He did and slept in her bed.”

(Click to see spread from which this illustration comes)


I’m keeping things incredibly brief today. There’s been a lot of moving of furniture in our home (made all the more complicated by the fact that our house is tiny), and it’s been a lot like moving, as well as a game of Tetris. I’m about to fall right over, and it’s a tiny miracle I’m even getting this post up.

John Burningham is one of my favorite illustrators of all time. Today’s post celebrates the fact that he has two new illustrated titles out — The Way to the Zoo (Candlewick, August 2014) and the 50th anniversary edition of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, coming from Candlewick in August.

Burningham created the original illustrations for Chitty, the only children’s book Ian Fleming wrote. (Fleming, as the story goes, wrote it for his son.) Published in 1964, it was then adapted to film four years later (with a screenplay by Roald Dahl, no less), as well as a 2002 musical. This deluxe anniversary edition of the novel is beautifully-designed (ah, silver endpages), and Burningham’s dynamic illustrations are expertly reproduced in all their glory.

The Way to the Zoo is a brand-new picture book and includes many things I’ve come to love about Burningham’s books over the years — secret passageways, adventures, and intrepid, young protagonists in a (mostly) adult-free world, to name but a few. In this one, a young girl discovers a door in the wall of her bedroom and, after exploring one night, discovers the door leads to the zoo. One by one, she brings animals back into her home until she has to take matters into her own hands (my favorite illustration of the book, where she gets “very upset”). Magic, mystery, Burningham’s glorious illustrations — this one’s a keeper.

Here’s a bit more from each book. Enjoy.


(Click to enlarge)



* * *


“This door was heavy, but Sylvie used all her strength and at last it opened.
She found herself in the zoo, with lots of animals looking at her.”

(Click to enlarge)


(Click to see spread from which this illustration comes)



CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. Text by Ian Fleming copyright © 1964, 1964 by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. Illustrations copyright © 1964 by John Burningham. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a registered trademark of United Artists Corporation and Danjaq LLC used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

THE WAY TO THE ZOO. Copyright © 2014 by John Burningham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

Forgive me again for an absence of kicks (I sorta did this last week), but I’m. wiped. out. Tell me YOUR kicks this week, while I continue to haul books around our tiny home.

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #388: Featuring John Burningham”

  1. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR MOVING. You’ll find new energy (like you need any of that!) once it’s all done. Yay for tiny homes, thimbles really!
    1. nose to the grindstone for me: painting finals for a book by Caroline Starr Rose
    2. empty nest for a while this summer; slower pace and fewer exuberant piles of teenager-stuff in the house.
    3.Isle au Haut and Deer Isle, Maine!
    4. bicycles!
    5. unexpected things in the flower garden that make it appear that we know what we’re doing!
    6. miraculously manageable mosquitos
    7. dinner parties that last past bedtime.

  2. Good morning, Jules and everyone else too!
    I think I might need to find The Way To The Zoo. Thanks for sharing the artwork and your insights.
    Moving furniture is hard work; hope the results make you feel like you have a new space. Rest easy today.
    Rob: Paintings for a book by Caroline Starr Rose sound wonderful.

    My kicks:
    1. Rain
    2. Air conditioning to curb the humidity
    3. Mock Orange blossoms
    4. Greetings from chickadees
    5. Astonishing MG books
    6. Picture books galore
    7. Time and strolls with Xena

  3. Good Morning!
    John’s work is lovely. Can’t wait to check it out in these two books.
    Jules – Good luck moving things around Jenga style.
    Rob – Love your kicks. Enjoy the beautiful weather and pace of summer (deadlines aside).


    1. My friend’s cd release party was great. The first song she did was, “Book Club” which was inspired by our great group of friends.
    2. I’m doing that couch to 5K thing in hopes of running one the next time I do one. My knees hurt but I’m getting better.
    3. Kids got out of school Friday and they both got great report cards.
    4. Cleaned the house and did ALL of the laundry so we can be ready for the onslaught of summer visitors.
    5. My husband is being so supportive in so many ways.
    6. Good IPAs are so nice in the summer.
    7. Eight days til the ICON conf. in Portland, OR.

    Happy July in advance!

  4. BTW
    Here’s a link to video of the BookClub song http://youtu.be/avewaAffrTw
    The new version on her cd has a full band. You can download it here: http://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/kathleenhealy

  5. Good morning. Isn’t this book a delight. I love it’s magic. It’s going to be a hit with kicks. I can’t believe that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is 50!
    Jules, tend to those sore muscles and enjoy the bookcases.
    Rob, looking forward to the new Caroline Starr Rose book. Enjoy the empty nest.
    Margie, stay cool and enjoy the mock orange blossoms.
    Moira, yay for Portland! Meet up? Yay for supportive husbands.
    My kicks:
    1. My ten day school project is finished. It was all about creating bibliographies of books in the library to support the Calkins writing curriculum.
    2. Enjoying the quiet of the school building as I worked this week. Just a few lingered to finish up.
    3. Traveling out to a family owned winery in Oregon winde country to pick up wine. The showery day made it interesting.
    4. Dinner with my friend’s daughter and her fiancé. We gave the stamp of approval.
    5. Coffee and French pastry with a friend.
    6. Local blackberry honey.
    7. Dreaming.
    Have a happy July 4th.

  6. Good morning, Imps and zoo animals and automobiles! How are you all doing today?

    Jules: If I had a nickel for every time I reference Tetris (and Jenga), especially when shelving/rearranging/packing items, I would be very rich. I hope that you like how your furniture turns out, and that you all have fun moving it about! Turn on some music and have a dance-and-rearranging party. Cha cha cha.

    Rob: Hurrah for flower gardens! Good luck with the final paintings.

    Margie: Having never encountered Mock Orange blossoms personally, when I first read your list of kicks, I pictured sassy orange flowers mocking other flowers.

    Moira: Your sea-garbage mermaid broke my heart with its beauty and truth. High-fives to the hard-working kiddos. Best of luck with the couch to 5K! Good luck to Kathleen.

    Jone: Once-noisy buildings, when quiet, can feel simultaneously eerie and calming.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1. Saving mice
    2. Cleaning
    3. Donations
    4. Doing what needs to be done
    5. Dark chocolate granola
    6. Staged readings
    7. Memories

  7. Thanks for the good wishes, Rob. Finally got most of it done. Whew. And I type now from an infinitely cleaner desk … Your kicks are filled with good things — growing, quiet, isles, and friends. Looking forward to the book!

    Margie, what is one astonishing MG novel you’ve read? I was so busy moving this weekend that I didn’t get to start a new one I’m eager to read with my daughters, but definitely next weekend …

    Moira: The ICON conference is so soon! How exciting!

    Jone: Enjoy the quiet. Happy summer!

    Little Willow: The mouse thanks you.

  8. […] Ooh, ooh. I posted about that book here last summer. I like it too. There’s art from the book at that […]

  9. […] own messy history of becoming itself makes my eyes widen. It’s what’s so exciting about John Burningham.   – From John Burningham’s Cannonball Simp   – From John […]

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