Thursday, 12 November 2015


John Burningham is one of Britain's individual illustrators producing memorable books for both children and adults...

Among his many much-loved books is the original edition of Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...

I met John last year when I interviewed him for a BBC Radio 4 programme celebrating Chitty's 50th birthday...

 You can listen to the programme HERE

Anyway, on the day of the interview, the walls of John's studio were covered in original drawings (along with old  photographs and posters) for his next book: a celebration of that universally adored drink of which Kipling wrote:
"If the aunt of the vicar has never touched liquor, watch out when she finds the champagne." 

Recently published by LockAwe Books, John Burningham's Champagne is a delightful, bubbly brew, made with love and wit and fizzing over with quotes in praise of Champagne  from the famous and infamous, lavishly illustrated with sparkling new illustrations and vintage imagery...

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” 
– Bette Davis

“I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.”
– Lily Bollinger, Owner of Bollinger Champagne from 1941-1971

"The House of Lords is like a glass of champagne that has stood for five days."
– Clement Attlee
The book is full of fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes such as the art of sabrage – opening a bottle of champagne by lopping off the neck of the bottle with a sabre and allowing the froth to clear the broken glass!

Legend has it that Champagne was invented by the Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, who was cellar master at the Abbey of Hautvillers, and that his first words on tasting the drink were...
"Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!"

A number of John's original drawings are available for sale from Chris Beetles Gallery as are signed copies of the book for £25 – the perfect Christmas gift for every Champagne lover!

“Champagne is one of the elegant extras in Life.”
– Charles Dickens

1 comment:

TonyTheProf said...

My children use to enjoy John Burningham's Granpa which was made into a delightful cartoon, sadly never released on DVD.