Picnic is a typical John Burningham picturebook. Like Burningham's bestselling The Shopping Basket and Mr Gumpy's Outing, Picnic has a simple text. And of course there are the illustrations. Inimitable and immediately recognisable, Burningham's drawings are famous within genre (Raymond Briggs says they are 'completely original' works). I must admit I'm not a huge fan of John Burningham's style, although children seem to be drawn to his books and they are always hugely popular at the nursery where I work.
The tale of 'boy' and 'girl' setting off on (surprise surprise) a picnic, the story tells of their encounters with animals that have a tendency to lose things. The reader is then asked to spot the lost item in the picture. However, this isn't a Where's Wally? type of book. As Picnic is aimed at pre-schoolers, the lost items are easy to find, and I would say the book is more an introduction to basic vocabulary than a test of children's observational skills.
Picnic is a lovely book to read with young children at the end of the day. As the characters go to bed at the end of the story it is ideal for bedtime, and is a calm and pleasant read.
Most suitable for children aged 1-4.
Picnic is out now, published by Jonathan Cape, and imprint of Random House Children's Publishers.
With thanks to the fabulous Jasmine for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.