Friday, 13 June 2014

A Wonderful Day at Seven Stories

Last Sunday, Jessica and I visited Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, located in Newcastle. This not only gave us the opportunity to spend the day singing the Byker Grove theme song, but also to see what this inspirational charity has been able to accomplish.

There really are seven floors!

Seven Stories runs exhibitions, events and learning programmes all with the aim of making children passionate about reading. They have original artwork and manuscripts on show from many of Britain’s favourite authors and illustrators.While we were there we were lucky enough to handle some of Philip Pullman’s original manuscripts of Northern Lights and Nick Sharatt’s original drawings for Tracy Beaker, only while wearing white gloves of course.




The centre encourages active participation, children can make art inspired by their favourite stories and can even dress up as their favourite characters.

Story time is held throughout the day on the beautiful top floor which features original beams and books hanging from the ceiling. I could have easily spent hours in this room, it has such a cosy atmosphere.

When there's a giant chair, you just have to sit in it!

The current exhibition is Moving Stories: Children’s books from page to screen, and although we were a little disappointed Harry Potter wasn’t featured it was great to see all the rare and intriguing objects on display. These included Roald Dahl’s original annotated notebooks from Fantastic Mr Fox, original manuscripts and illustrations from The Borrowers and a Disney sketch of Snow White taken from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

What's that Jacqueline Wilson? What are my favourite children's books?

Why all of them, of course!

I would highly recommend a visit to Seven Stories if you are visiting the North East. The staff were all extremely helpful and informative, and the cream tea wasn't bad either!

Seven Stories is a wonderful champion of children’s books and we left feeling thoroughly inspired that one day, we too, could create a space to promote a love of reading to as many young people as possible.

Rebecca x

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