Continuing this week's sparkling theme, I wonder whether the name John Burningham means anything to you? He is responsible for many of our children's favourite books including Avocado Baby, Granpa, the Mr Gumpy books and Borka, The Adventures of a Goose with no Feathers.
An illustrator, he has published more than 70 illustrated children's books and has just produced the most delightful book called John Burningham's Champagne. It's nothing like any other book about champagne but is a collection of his drawings, old photographs, posters and generally intriguing images with a champagne theme, laced with quotes and anecdotes. Joanna Lumley, arch champagne enthusiast in Absolutely Fabulous, has written a foreword. The drawing above illustrates the tale of a 1911 Channel swimmer, a naked Yorkshireman fortified by champagne. The drawing below seems to have been overtaken by recent events.
The large – but not too large – book costs £25 and would make a great gift, after you have flicked through it yourself. John Burningham has published the book himself and you can order it via the independent book distributor Compass via this link. The photograph below is of Noel Coward with Giselle Preville, Jean-Claude Pascal and a bottle of Geismann champagne at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre in 1952.
An exhibition of the drawings in this book opens today at the Chris Beetles Gallery in St James's, London and runs until 14 November.