Mr Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham

Published: 15th March 1990Goodreads badge
Square Fish
Illustrator: John Burningham
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Star

Mr. Gumpy lives by a river. One sunny day he decides to take a ride in his small boat.

It is such a perfect idea, for such a perfect summer day, that he soon has company: first the children, then the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, and still others until– Mr. Gumpy’s outing comes to an inevitable but not unhappy, conclusion.

“Come for a ride another day,” says Mr. Gumpy at the book’s end. And young readers will return again and again to this sprightly story with its clever, captivating illustrations that reflect the sunlit quality of a lazy summer afternoon.

A classic story of Burningham’s that remains popular and everlasting. Mr Gumpy plans to go on a boat trip and soon all those nearby want to come along as well: if they all behave themselves.

Gumpy’s own good nature gets him in to trouble as one should never work with children and animals, their instincts and nature failing to be held back for a quick boating trip. While there are antics and warnings, Gumpy is a good soul and has no hard feelings for the companion’s behaviour.

There is tension and suspense as you worry how much more this boat can take, will these occupants behave themselves? Will the boat be able to stay afloat? I really enjoyed this story, it’s simple but filled with substance and has a nice bit of adventure and friendship.

The illustrations are a wonderful accompaniment to the story, working together to tell the story Burningham wanted to tell. The pictures are uniquely Burningham’s style of fine line and recognisable, uncomplicated designs which are a combination of simplicity and wonderful detail.

The ending is heartwarming and you can really see why this story has lasted and why it’s beloved by so many.

You can purchase Mr Gumpy’s Outing via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon Aust | Amazon

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