Winning Year: 1963
Illustrator: John Burningham
Title: Borka: the Adventure of a Goose with No Feathers

Original Publisher: Cape
Current Publisher: Jonathan Cape (imprint of PRH)
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780224064941
In Print

Borka one of six goslings hatched by Mrs Plumster, is different from the rest, she has no feathers. The doctor advises the distressed mother to knit some for her daughter, but the grey jersey makes swimming and flying equally difficult and Borka is left behind when the family migrate in the autumn.

Visual Literacy Pack (PDF)


John Burningham was born 1936. He trained at the Central School of Art and Design, London. His first picture book, Borka was published in 1963. He is married to Helen Oxenbury, another popular children's illustrator.

He says that, "Drawing is like playing the piano; it's not a mechanical skill like bricklaying and you have to practise constantly to keep it fluent. Even after 40 years it doesn't get any easier. When I draw I'm conscious of looking for a lively line - though what defines a lively line is difficult to say- but a bald outline would not be very interesting, obviously. A dipping pen is good - the weight of the line alters the pressure you put on, so you get a bit of variety."




We read this book in May 2008 as part of our Literacy work in Year Two. Some of us liked this book and thought it was our favourite book ever! We liked it because Borka was special, the ending was happy and the pictures were beautiful. Year Two, Wix Primary School, Battersea, London

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