Cover image for Hushabye
Burningham, John.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, 2001.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations 22 cm
A cat, three bears, a fish, a frog, a baby, and others look for a place to go to sleep at the end of the day.
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: Husherbye.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.8 0.5 55684.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Little Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A long day is drawing to a close, and several creatures are ready for sleep. A cat with a stroller full of kittens needs a place to rest, as does the baby who's been sailing a boat on the sea. The man in the moon is exhausted, and three tired bears make their weary way up a flight of stairs. Soon, though, each has found a place for the night where they can sleep and wake up ready for a new day. Featuring a simple story and the repeated refrain "Hushabye hush hush," John Burningham's latest is the perfect lullabye to soothe even the most restless little one.

Author Notes

John Burningham was born in Farnham, United Kingdom on April 27, 1936. After two and a half years of non-military service as a conscientious objector, he graduated from Central School of Art with distinction in 1959. Before becoming a children's author and illustrator, he made puppets for Yoram Gross's animation film Joseph the Dreamer and was commissioned to produce a number of posters for London Transport.

Burningham's first picture book, Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers, was published in 1963 and won the Kate Greenaway Medal. His other books included Humbert, Avocado Baby, Oi! Get Off Our Train, Courtney, Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present, Come Away from the Water, Shirley, England, Cloudland, France, and There's Going to Be a Baby written with his wife and fellow illustrator Helen Oxenbury. He also illustrated Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1964 and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows in 1983. He received the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1970 for Mr. Gumpy's Outing, the Kurt Maschler award in 1984 for Granpa, and the Booktrust lifetime achievement award in 2018 with Oxenbury. Burningham died on January 4, 2019 at the age of 82.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 1-4. A weary day is winding down for a host of creatures: a drooping mother cat walks with a stroller and toddler kittens; three exhausted bears drag themselves up the stairs; a goldfish with deep under-eye bags yawns. It's time for sleep and everyone finds a bed, including the listener: "You are tucked up in bed. Your toes are warm. You're out of the wind and the rain. Your head's on the pillow. You'll soon be asleep. Hushabye." The text rhymes erratically, with a few off notes, but the irresistibly soothing sound, rhythm, and motion in the words are constant: the boat that's afloat, "rocking on watery waves"; the refrain of "hushabye." Elegant, appealing collages combine scribbly colored sketches with richly colored paper backgrounds that reinforce the sense of deep calm, and the large type is well suited for young ones learning to puzzle out letters and words, A lovely bedtime offering from the veteran British author-illustrator. See Amy Hest's Kiss Good Night, below, for another bedtime choice. --Gillian Engberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a simple narrative featuring intermittent rhyme, Burmingham's (Cloudland) quirky lullaby introduces a handful of weary characters. A cat with a stroller has "had a hard day and/ now needs a place for/ her kittens to stay./ Hushabye." A baby has "been sailing/ a boat on the sea/ and now needs to sleep./ Hushabye." Also ready to rest are three travel-weary valise-toting bears climbing a staircase, a fatigued fish and "the man in the moon,/ he'll be sound asleep soon," sprawled out on his crescent. The text and ingenuous, inventively layered artwork reveal the sleeping spot each selects, which range from rather conventional (the cat family cuddles together in a hayloft) to outlandish (the baby curls up all alone in a tiny boat, floating on a pink sea). Realistic pen-and-ink drawings appear underneath the text, complementing the vividly hued, droll illustrations opposite. In the end, Burningham effectively draws readers into his tale, concluding on a soothing note with words that beg to be whispered: "Your head's on the pillow./ You'll soon be asleep./ Hushabye/ hushabye/ hush." Ages 3-7. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Considerable talent and artistry are needed to make such a simple book work so well. Toddlers will love the fanciful situations (a mother cat pushing kittens in a stroller, the "-three tired bears who are climbing the stairs") and the refrain, "Hushabye," in this gently spoken lullaby. Bits of torn paper are incorporated into the paintings, adding texture and interest to the expressive creatures and their surroundings. In a characteristic touch, a full-page picture on the right is matched by a smaller, complementary drawing on the left. The only deviation from this pattern comes in the middle of the book, where a double-page spread with green blobs of trees, sleeping white cows, and a deep red sky create the setting for the refreshingly straightforward verse: "Now we are tired,/we need to lie down./It's time to sleep for the night./When morning comes,/we will wake up again./Tomorrow will be a new day." It all strikes a restful and dreamlike chord, and provides a perfect invitation to sleep.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.