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Mr Gumpy’s Outing

mr gumpy's outing lgeJohn Burningham
Red Fox
Age 3-7

This is a much loved picturebook classic which captures children’s attention and demands to be returned to time and again.  Children learn in the most pleasurable ways about asking politely, the consequences of not listening, forgiveness and being together. Children will also discover a variety of language, a predictable structure and pictures which help tell the story.





Share the storymr gumpyb

Picture talk
Talk about the cover picture, naming the animals and thinking what it might be like to be on the boat.  Open the cover and talk about where the story takes place. Can children see any of the characters from the boat? Then turn to the first page and introduce Mr Gumpy. What can children tell about him from the picture?

Read aloud
Read the story aloud, taking time to talk together about the pictures as you do. Encourage children to imagine what might happen next and turn the page to see if their predictions were right. What do they expect Mr Gumpy to say and do when the boat tips up?

Join in
Read the story again (and again!), this time leaving spaces for children to join in with the repeated phrases. It will be fun for them to remember and chant, in order, the animals and their actions that make the boat tip over.

Tell the story
After hearing the story a few times, children will get to know it well. Encourage them tell it to you in their own words, with some words or phrases from the story, turning the pages and using the pictures to help them.


Things to make and do

Children can use animal and people toys for characters to act out the story. It’s a really good way for them to get to know the story well and helps to build their confidence with books.

Make a map
On a sheet of paper children can draw Mr Gumpy’s journey down the river to show each stop he makes to let the characters board his boat, using colouring pencils similar to drawings in the book. Children can use their map to help tell the story.

Act it out
Cut out a boat shape from a piece of cardboard for children to stand on. With a broom handle and a hat, children can pretend to be Mr Gumpy taking his friends for a boat ride. Animal toys can be collected into the boat, in turn.

Make a paper boat
You can use the instructions from a website below and make a paper boat to float in the sink, bath or a puddle. Children can see how many toy animals they can add before the boat tips up!

How to make an origami paper boat

Another way of making a paper boat

Find out more

Read more books by John Burningham, titles include:

Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car

Come away from the water, Shirley

*Avocado Baby
* Granpa

*Oi, Get Off My Train!*

Would You Rather…

The Shopping Basket

* See more lovemybooks ideas