A new Burningham book is always a cause for celebration.
Meet Miles, a rather difficult dog. He refuses to come when called, doesn’t like walks, turns his nose up at the food he’s offered and barks way too much. Despite all this he’s managed to win the hearts of his owners, Norman, and Alice Trudge who takes him for car rides, most notably up the hill to a café where he becomes a petted pooch.
This however, becomes something of a chore for Alice Trudge. Thank goodness then for neighbour Mr Huddy, who builds Miles a car of his very own.
Miles learns to drive – love that sequence – takes to the road and starts taking young Norman on secret excursions. Some glorious Mr Gumpylike scenes show the two enjoying seasonal jaunts through fields …
woods and valleys,
all of which have a positive effect on Miles, who gradually becomes a reformed character. Inevitably however, Norman outgrows the car and Miles stops driving. Perhaps Mr Huddy has another surprise up his sleeve though …
John Burningham’s down-to-earth telling leaves his masterful illustrations of Miles discovering the joys of freedom, and those lyrical landscapes, to do the talking. For me, Burningham still wields a very special magic.