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Picnic
     

Picnic

by John Burningham
 
The renowned John Burningham is in classic form with a simple story of a boy, a girl, and some animal friends that invites the child listener to join in.

One day, Boy and Girl head down the hill with a picnic basket and meet a fancily dressed Sheep, Pig, and Duck. They all set off to find the perfect place to sit outside — until they see Bull coming! A

Overview

The renowned John Burningham is in classic form with a simple story of a boy, a girl, and some animal friends that invites the child listener to join in.

One day, Boy and Girl head down the hill with a picnic basket and meet a fancily dressed Sheep, Pig, and Duck. They all set off to find the perfect place to sit outside — until they see Bull coming! A short-lived chase segues into a gentle interactive text as the friends wend their way from an idyllic outdoor world to a welcoming house on a hill. (Can you find Pig’s ball? Shall we find your bed?) In a charmingly understated tale with child-friendly illustrations and a hint of sly humor, John Burningham evokes a perfect summer day with a fresh new picture book.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
Burningham, one of the great British children's illustrators, brings a gentle interactivity to his latest book…adding to the fun…
Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
Displaying his signature sly humor, Burningham (Tug of War) follows a boy and girl (conveniently named Boy and Girl) as they try to find a place to picnic with friends Sheep, Pig, and Duck, who are dapperly accented with kerchiefs, hats, bowties, and other accessories. The five quickly hit a snag (“But they had not seen Bull”), and they race to the woods to hide from him. Burningham directly engages readers on multiple occasions through search-and-find questions, asking them to spot the would-be picnickers hiding behind trees and, subsequently, to find Sheep’s hat, Pig’s ball, and Duck’s scarf. The items are easy to spy, tailoring the challenge to younger preschoolers, while pithy sentences and easy-to-grasp vocabulary will help beginning readers sound out the sentences. Vivid, springy greens and yellows, coupled with loose and exuberant black outlines, lend vibrancy and airiness to Burningham’s paintings. As the day winds down and the weary cast retires for the night, a final question (“Shall we see if we can find your bed?”) offers a pointed lead-in to readers’ own bedtimes. Ages 2–5. (May)
From the Publisher
A picture-book master presents an engaging feast of a bedtime book. Just as Boy and Girl pack their picnic basket with everything they’ll need for a perfect luncheon, Burningham packs every part of his book’s design with details that contribute to its success.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Carefree sensibility and bucolic charm... Burningham’s trademark sketchy insouciance, with broken black outlines and dappled marker coloring, establishes a playful, sunny tone that’s perfect for a day in the spring-green countryside. The simple, jolly figures revel in spare, open vistas with plenty of space for listeners to accompany them, while the interactive hunt-and-seek game extends the fun for the story hour set. This one will find its way into the regular rotation in no time.
—Booklist (starred review)

A beautifully simple story of a girl, a boy, a duck, a sheep, and a pig at play. ... This lovely picture book is vintage Burningham and will appeal to the youngest of readers. The text is short and sweet with the illustrations providing the details. ... Reminiscent of a simpler day, this book is a breath of fresh air—a time out of a busy schedule to enjoy the beauty of a picture book with a young child.
—School Library Journal

Displaying his signature sly humor, Burningham follows a boy and girl (conveniently named Boy and Girl) as they try to find a place to picnic with friends Sheep, Pig, and Duck, who are dapperly accented with kerchiefs, hats, bowties, and other accessories. ... The items are easy to spy, tailoring the challenge to younger preschoolers, while pithy sentences and easy-to-grasp vocabulary will help beginning readers sound out the sentences. Vivid, springy greens and yellows, coupled with loose and exuberant black outlines, lend vibrancy and airiness to Burningham’s paintings.
—Publishers Weekly

Lovely... Across airy pages filled with brightly accented drawings, the book follows a boy, a girl and a group of dapper animal friends on a lunchtime excursion to the countryside. With deceptive simplicity, the gentle story is full of age-appropriate satisfactions.
—The Wall Street Journal

A lyrical novel filled with magical realism.
—The Seattle Times

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One day Boy and Girl make a picnic lunch. They invite a well dressed Sheep, Pig, and Duck to picnic with them. As they look for a good place, a bull begins to chase them, so they run across the double pages into the woods to hide. We readers are asked to find them as they hide on the next double page. When the wind blows Sheep’s hat away, we need to find that, as we must locate Pig’s runaway ball and Duck’s lost scarf, all not too well hidden. Finally, the group finds a good place to picnic and play games until it’s time to go home. Since they are very tired, all are invited to sleep at Boy and Girl’s house. The last challenge of the very simple story in large type is to see who is sleeping in which bed. The appealing characters are created with paint inside heavy black outlines in stylized, simplified naturalism in the large book. Page designs range from vignettes to single and double pages. The double page of the menacing bull is particularly effective. Don’t miss the decorative end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 3 to 5.
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Here’s a new adventure for the youngest readers from Burningham, England’s revered, prolific illustrator, twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. A sister and brother fill a picnic basket and go down a hill. Are they Jack and Jill? No, they’re Boy and Girl, but they do run into trouble when a huge black and white Bull starts chasing them and their friends, Sheep, Pig, and Duck. As they run into the woods to hide, readers are invited to find each of them, peeking out from behind five trees. The picnic is interrupted by a series of catastrophes: Sheep’s hat is blown away, Pig’s ball rolls downhill, Duck loses his blue scarf among a cluster of blue flowers. Can eager viewers spot them? All objects recovered, the hungry friends sit down to enjoy their lunch of sandwiches, buns, and fruit. Burningham paints them playing with the soccer ball, then takes them back up the hill to sleep over, asking readers to name each sleeper in the five beds. This timeless tale exists in a whimsical world of its own; it could almost be set in the eighteenth century. Few children today would ever encounter a black and white bull— much less a sheep in a straw hat, a pig in a natty green jacket or a duck wearing a blue scarf! Still, they venture out, have their bit of danger and some entertaining adventures, returning home ready to sleep, as a tired young listener may be induced to do by Burningham’s child-friendly, red-roofed house dozing under a crescent moon. Parents might also try Tad Hills’ Duck & Goose Go to the Beach (Schwartz & Wade, 2014) for another circular story of a journey that ends in sleep. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 2 to 6.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
PreS-Gr 1—A beautifully simple story of a girl, a boy, a duck, a sheep, and a pig at play. The human siblings live on top of a hill and set off one day for a picnic. At the bottom of the hill, Boy and Girl see their friends Duck, Sheep, and Pig and invite them along. An unexpected chase from a bull causes them to run into the woods. When it is safe to come out, they find the perfect spot for their picnic and frolic in the sun until it's time to head home. This lovely picture book is vintage Burningham and will appeal to the youngest of readers. The text is short and sweet with the illustrations providing the details. The large trim size and bright white pages make it great for sharing with preschoolers, allowing them to point out familiar sight words. Picnic has an interactive quality that encourages readers to find objects easily hidden in the pictures. Each painting is done in bold and bright colors that catch viewers' attention. Reminiscent of a simpler day, this book is a breath of fresh air—a time out of a busy schedule to enjoy the beauty of a picture book with a young child.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-12
A picture-book master presents an engaging feast of a bedtime book. Just as Boy and Girl pack their picnic basket with everything they'll need for a perfect luncheon, Burningham packs every part of his book's design with details that contribute to its success. The front cover art introduces the protagonists, while the back depicts the anthropomorphic animal friends—Duck, Pig and Sheep—who join them. Open the book, and the bull that frightens them away from their first picnic site is charging forward on the front flap. Meanwhile, endpapers depict the many characters, places and props that appear in ensuing pages. This provides an "I spy" element to the design, reinforced by later pictures in which the characters lose various items and the text directly asks readers to find them hidden in the pictures. When the group finally does find "a good place to have their picnic," Burningham treats readers to a wordless double-page spread with generous white space at the top and a verdant, speckled ground on which the friends share their meal. After playtime, they head home to go to bed, and the text asks the reader, "Who is sleeping in which bed?" This leads to a final page that pulls no punches in its playful, direct statement: "Shall we see if we can find your bed?" A very good "good night." (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763669454
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
645,602
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

John Burningham is one of the world’s most recognized and beloved children’s book creators, with a career that has spanned more than fifty years. He has received two Kate Greenaway Medals and numerous other awards, including a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor for It’s a Secret! He is the author-illustrator of Tug-of-War and the author of There’s Going to Be a Baby, illustrated by his wife, Helen Oxenbury. His work is featured in the collectors’ volume John Burningham. He lives in London.

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