Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr Gumpy's Motor Car

Mr Gumpy's Motor Car

John Burningham
Picture Book and audio CD
For ages 4 to 6
Random House UK, 2011   ISBN: 978-1849412858

Mr. Gumpy is going for a drive in his motor car. It is a lovely day and when they see him drive by, the children, the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, the calf and the goat all ask if they too can go for a drive too. Even though it is going to be “a squash,” Mr. Gumpy agrees to take everyone with him.

For a while, the trip is perfect. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and Mr. Gumpy decides to drive down a cart-track. Unfortunately, the weather suddenly changes. It begins to rain and Mr. Gumpy has to hop out of the car to put up the hood. The road gets more and more muddy and the car starts to slip and slide as the wheels spin. Somebody is going to have to get out of the car to push it. The thing is that no one wants to get out in the rain and mud. What are they going to do?

In this entertaining and amusing picture book, John Burningham shows to great effect that there are times when everyone has to pitch in to help, even if they don’t want to.

For children who like to listen to stories, this title includes a CD. Sylvester McCoy narrates the story, and his narrative is accompanied by music and sound effects.