The Car Ride ¦ A Good Job
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Yes. Well. When you consider what John Burningham is really capable of - the bare bones authenticity of The Blanket, My Dog or My Baby, the simple, logical entertainment of Mr Gumpy's Outing - how are the mighty fallen? The pictures are good as ever and very Burningham - spare, understated and pale - but the text is poor stuff.
Of the two A Good Job is probably the better. Written in a 'rat-a-ta-tar' rhyme pattern, it describes the problems facing a boy and teddybear who come to clean the house. But the rhythm sometimes falters and the rhyme deteriorates into banality. As for The Car Ride, take my advice: if you want a really good story about a trip in a car by John Burningham, then read Mr Gumpy's Motor Car. I found The Car Ride very difficult to read; some pages do rhyme, some don't, the rhythm stops with a clunk several times and the idea seems rather ordinary.
The children were interested in the books as soon as they recognised the artist but, although they enjoyed a first reading of both of them, agreed that they much preferred 'Mr Gumpy' because, as Daniel said, 'there's more in them and they're easier to read'.