Borka by John Burningham (first published by Jonathan Cape in 1969)

Introduced by Anne Brichto of Addyman Books in Hay-on-Wye

#booksellersbreakfast series

The Bookseller’s Breakfast was full of fun today. My daughter is here for a few days and when I went to our local Londis (the best in the whole country – thank you family Pugh) there were these two little duck rolls. I paired them with John Burningham’s Borka, made two pots of coffee, put out butter and jam and the bread was still warm!


If you haven’t discovered the wonderful yet slightly odd world of John Burningham I can highly recommend it. His four seasons book was one I had from an early age and it affected me like some modern art does when it really matters. There is a bit of your brain that loves it but also a bit that is slightly thrown and almost dislikes it.


Burningham is a unique children’s illustrator and storyteller in that his work is quite challenging. Both the parent and the child will never be bored with his books.


Find out more abour John Burningham here.


“Now, all geese look very much alike when they are young, but right from the start there was something odd about Borka. Borka had a beak, wings, and webbed feet like all her brothers and sister, but she did not have any feathers. Mr. and Mrs. Plumpster were very worried about this. They called in the doctor goose, who came along with his little leather bag. The doctor examined Borka carefully and said there was nothing wrong with her except that she did not have any feathers. “A most unusual case,” he went on, and he thought for a long while. Then he told Mrs. Plumpster that there was only one thing to do. She must knit some feathers for Borka.”

2 thoughts on “Borka

  1. This charming tale (with great cover) reminds me of one I heard when very young but have not found since nor met anyone who heard it. It concerned two tribes of geese. One tribe wore red bandanas and the other, green. It was obvious to them that they were, therefore, enemies …
    Does anyone know the name and author of this tale?

    Liked by 1 person

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