On Friday 4th January the world of children's books lost a great storyteller and illustrator for John Burningham died aged 82 (1936-2019). I am amazed that in almost ten years I have not included his work on this blog, as his books have been ever-present in my children's libraries, Borka his first book, is a particular favorite of mine and Courtney (1994) is a gem.
John Burningham studied illustration and graphic design at the Central School of Art, graduating with distinction in 1959. He worked designing now-iconic posters for London Transport, before the publication of his first children's book; Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers in 1963 for which won the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration.
Today, I am going to share images of his book; 'Harquin, the Fox who went down to the Valley' published in 1967.
I share these images because they represent my favorite style of John Burningham's early work which is painterly and chunky, yet delicate with wonderful observation of detail, and because even though it is supposed to be illegal to hunt foxes in Britain, it still happens and none of the perpetrators of this evilness, never seem to get brought to justice.