Total joy! Nothing amid the gaudy, arty, over-self-conscious picture books with which we are afflicted offers a tythe of the pleasure of this story of the midnight adventures of Marie Elaine and her cat Malcolm. What happens cannot be set down here because, of course, it is a secret, but what can be pointed to is the relaxed, unpretentious way in which Burningham’s seriously hilarious pictures match in with his wide-eyed, deadpan text. Send forth barrows to distribute copies to every child, parent, relative, schoolteacher, and CILIP librarian in the land.
Following the publication of John Burningham’s autobiographical essay – the ‘Editor’s Choice’ of our last issue – a celebratory exhibition has now been mounted at the Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh until 5 September.