Born in 1936, John Burningham attended the alternative education establishment, Summerhill, in Suffolk, where lessons are not compulsory. At 17, he became a conscientious objector, and avoided military service by joining the Friends Ambulance Unit. After this he did forestry work, farming, slum clearance, school building in Southern Italy and demolition work in Israel. He went to the Central School of Art in London in 1956, graduating in 1959 with a National Diploma in Design, as well as the School’s own Diploma. Unsure of his future, he returned to Israel where he worked on models and puppets for a film company until his return to England in the autumn of 1960 when his life as an illustrator began. He created posters for London Transport, drew cartoons for magazines and made Christmas card designs until the publication of his first book in 1963. One of the UK’s most distinguished illustrators, John Burningham’s appeal is recognised the world over. He has won the Kate Greenaway medal twice.