The Suitcase Lady


January 15, 2019, 7:55 pm

I received the news from a friend of mine, a former children’s librarian and soon-to-be-published children’s book author, that John Burningham has died in London at the age of 88.

An award-winning author and illustrator of books for children, Mr. Burningham’s books brim with gentle wit and kindness. He and his wife, Helen Oxenbury, also an author, have been bringing delightful tales to young and old alike for over six decades.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing is undoubtedly John Burningham’s most famous book. However, when I heard of his passing, the first thing I thought of was avocados.

I stumbled upon his book, Avocado Baby, when I was the children’s storyteller for my local library. All these years later, that book stands out in my mind as one of the funniest books I ever used in my storytimes.

Mr. Burningham’s editor, Kate Fletcher, says, … “he never speaks down to his audience, yet captures the spirit of imagination and inquisitiveness in children so well. In his own words for describing his approach to book-making: ‘There is no demarcation in my work for children and for adults.’ ”

I invite you to see for yourself. Click here for a short YouTube video of a British storyteller reading Avocado Baby.

With the condition that America is in now, we could use an Avocado Baby in our midst.

2 Comments for this entry

  • Maureen

    Such a nice tribute to a wonderful author. I used many of their books in storytime and the parents always wanted to check them out.

  • Alyce Weiss

    I had forgotten about that delightful book. Thanks for the
    reminder. I wonder if that is the reason my family likes
    guacamole so much.