Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books.
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At the heart of Seven Stories is a treasure trove of original artwork and manuscripts which records the creative process involved in making a children's book and provides an insight into the working lives of authors and illustrators.

Seven Stories is the only place in the UK which is actively collecting original artwork by British writers and illustrators for children. Generous donations of work have been received from many leading figures in the world of children's literature.

Our aim is to make the collection accessible to a wide audience - from school children participating in education programmes and families visiting exhibitions through to researchers from around the world.

Venue Type:

Museum, Archive, Gallery

Opening hours

Closed For Refurbishment Until 19th July 2015

Admission charges

Adult Single: £7.00
Adult Annual: £26.00
Child/Concession Single: £6.00
Child/Concession Annual: £21
Family Single: £19
Family Annual: £60

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Nursery Rhyme Ship

Rhyme Around the World

  • 19 July 2015 — 1 February 2017 *on now

This lively & colourful exhibition invites families to step straight into their favourite nursery rhymes and discover new ones from around the world, exploring how stories, song and rhyme are shared across generations and continents. With sensory opportunities and beautiful and varied work by international illustrators, there’s something here for all the family.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Normal admission charges apply.


Michael Foreman Artwork

Painting with Rainbows: A Michael Foreman Exhibition

  • 19 July 2015 — 14 June 2016 *on now

Michael Foreman is one of Britain’s best-loved writer-illustrators of children’s books. Through the exhibition we will use Michael's books to ask readers to consider the consequences of conflict, the fragility of our environment and the importance of friendship, empathy and tolerance through his insightful storytelling and beautiful illustrations.

Families are invited to add to the ‘Tree of Hope’ with messages for the future
explore stories of war and peace through War Boy, War Game, The General and Ali Pasha, build and play in a multi-sensory environment inspired by Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish and One World, and be inspired by Michael’s creative process in his artist’s studio with his own personal artefacts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Normal admission charges apply.


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Pre-publication book cover of "Tim in Danger"

Shipwrecked! Adventures at Sea

  • 30 April — 2 May 2016 *on now

Join us for sea-shanties, seaside stories and adventuring activities. First mates can report to the Studio to make binoculars, chart your progress using the map of the world before heading up to the new exhibition to record your voyage in the Captain’s Log.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


Admission Required.


Original Ardizonne pre-publication art

Edward Ardizzone: 80 Years of Little Tim

  • 30 April — 18 September 2016 *on now

Using original artwork from Tim and Lucy Go to Sea, Tim and Charlotte, Tim in Danger and The Little Train, (the later written by Graham Greene) as well as draft material, single illustrations, printed books and letters, the exhibition will celebrate this iconic British illustrator while introducing his work to a new generation.
Original artwork - some of it on show for the first time - introduces the characters that made Ardizzone’s books so popular. Meet the heroic Little Tim, mischievous Ginger, resourceful Charlotte and the Wise Old Boatman.
Be transported back to the glory days of the classic British seaside town complete with red, white and blue bunting hanging from the lamp-posts and children with whirligigs playing on the beach. Families can dress up as sailors and create their own sea-faring adventure, adding illustrations and stories to our captain’s logbook.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Normal admission required.

Young Adults creating art.

The Late Shows at Seven Stories

  • 13 — 14 May 2016 7-11pm

See our hugely popular Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition before it goes on tour. Build the biggest T-Rex from junk and papier mache. Take part in lively storytelling performances and stumble across the books you loved when you were a child. Expect fancy dress galore and a café full of hot drinks and homemade cake too.

Suitable for

  • Especially for children
  • 18+


David Wood photograph

Goodnight Mister Tom: Seven Stories in conversation with David Wood

  • 19 May 2016 6-7pm

Join David Wood - distinguished producer, director, actor, author and playwright in conversation with Seven Stories’ Collection Director Sarah Lawrance at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

Ahead of his poignant theatre adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom, hear from David Wood as he discusses his creative approach, reveals more about the production of his plays and outlines what he feels makes a successful children’s adaptation and shares highlights from his illustrious career. David has adapted some of the nation’s most-loved children’s classics for theatre including The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Judith Kerr), The BFG (Roald Dahl) and Babe, The Sheep-Pig (Dick King-Smith).

David Wood donated his archive to Seven Stories in 2008 and the collection forms the National Museum’s largest archive. Original material from the archive will be used to explore David’s creative process in this fascinating insight into adaptation and theatre production.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+


Newcastle Theatre Royal
100 Grey Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne & Wear


£5 per person. Book via the Seven Stories website Ticket is for pre-show talk only. To buy tickets to see Goodnight Mister Tom, visit the Theatre Royal website:

Author Michael Foreman

Illustration Masterclass with Michael Foreman

  • 21 May 2016 10am-4pm

Michael Foreman is one of Britain’s best loved and acclaimed illustrators for children. Spend the day with Michael to find out more about his illustrious career and how he works at this exclusive Illustration Masterclass. This creative session will have a particular focus on watercolours and explore the artistic process behind his well-known title Ali Pasha. Delve into rough sketches, dummy books and be inspired to get creative yourself. This event is especially for budding artists, illustrators and everyone with an interest in the art of illustration.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+


£40 per person. No admission required. Includes lunch. Suitable for age 15years+.


Dinosaurs finding rubbish

May Half Term: Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish

  • 28 May — 5 June 2016

Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes are invited to stomp down to the Ouseburn as we think about the natural world with the help of Michael Foreman’s Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish. Add your junk scales to a GIANT T-Rex and build your very own origami dinosaur to take home. Little dinos can experiment with plasticine to create their own fossilised dinosaur prints.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children


Admission Required.


Comic strip

Intergalactic Comic Strip Workshop with Sally Kindberg

  • 18 June 2016 2-3:30pm

Create your own intergalactic comic strip space adventure using all the same techniques as the professionals with the help of talented comic strip artist Sally Kindberg. Learn how to fold a book and design your own storyboard using frames, speech bubbles and plenty of humour.

Sally Kindberg dreamed of being an astronaut but sadly has not quite made it into space yet so Sally spends her time exploring the outer galaxies by drawing them. Sally’s books include The Comic Strip History of Space, The Comic Strip History of the World and The Comic Strip History of the Greatest Greek Myths.

Copies of Sally’s books will be available to purchase in the Bookshop. Take your books along to this event for Sally to sign.

Suitable for ages 8-12

Suitable for

  • Especially for children


Event ticket £4 per child. Admission not required if attending event only. Why not make a day of it and purchase day admission to explore the rest of our building complete with exhibitions, story times and activities? Children ages 8+ can be signed into this event without an adult and be collected promptly at 3.30pm.

Cartoon dinosaur

Draw it! Workshop with Sally Kindberg

  • 18 June 2016 11am-12pm

Practice your most pre-historic ROARs and join talented illustrator and writer Sally Kindberg as she shows us how to hatch a dinosaur egg in a workshop full of creativity.

Sally is the creative force behind popular activity series Draw It! and has illustrated The Comic Strip Book of Dinosaurs by Tracey Turner.

Copies of Sally’s books will be available to purchase in the Bookshop. Take your books along to this event for Sally to sign.

Suitable for ages 5-7 years

Suitable for

  • 5-6


Event ticket £3 per child. Admission not required if attending event only. Why not make a day of it and purchase day admission to explore the rest of our building complete with exhibitions, story times and activities? Reminder: children under 8 years must be accompanied at all times. Accompanying grown-ups are welcome to attend the workshop but to ensure the children get the most from the event, please let all the children be seated first.

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Bookworm Babies

Bookworm Babies meet at Seven Stories to share the best baby books with their grown ups. Together we explore new ways to play with books, singing, moving about and having lots of fun in a relaxed group. Sessions are suitable for babies until they start to walk. Sessions are in blocks of six and two blocks of six make up a full Bookworm Babies course. Choose between booking for one or two blocks of six sessions. Sessions take place on Thursdays 10.15-11.15.

How to obtain

Bookworm Babies (either one or two blocks of six) must be booked and paid for in advance. Six sessions costs £15 per participating baby and £20 for an adult annual pass. Book online at or for more information call 0845 2710777 ext 715.

CPD Opportunites at Seven Stories

We provide training and development for all practitioners working with children, including teachers, librarians, Children’s Centre staff, Private Day Nursery teams and childminders. All our training is suffused with our love of and passion for children’s books, our knowledge of classic and unusual titles and our creative approaches to learning. Our in-house programme provides a variety of options for you.
For more information visit or to discuss your training and development requirements, please contact: Shane Smith, 0845 271 0777 ext. 719

Hooks into Books at Seven Stories

Let Seven Stories lead you directly to the books that will stimulate and animate your teaching and, in doing so, motivate and inspire young readers.
If you would like more information on opening a school account, Hooks Into Books or need help with selecting books for your school, fill in the form at Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the bookshop team by calling 0845 271 0777 Ext 712.

School and Group visits to Seven Stories!

Session times at Seven Stories
Seven Stories school and group visits can be booked Monday - Friday during term time, subject to availability, and last two hours. Sessions are available 10am - 12noon OR 12.30pm - 2.30pm. You can also add a trip to the Bookshop to your visit.
What is involved in a school or group visit?
All visits to Seven Stories are led by a member of the learning team. A facilitated school or group visit lasts for two hours and incorporates a session in one of our galleries; Mr Gumpy and Other Outings - Celebrating 50 Years of John Burningham's Work or There's Nuffin Like a Puffin - Celebrating 70 spectacular years of Puffin Books. Sessions also include a creative workshop

Story Party

Story Party has a different theme every week. With beautiful picture books, songs, rhymes, hands-on activities and making time, sessions encourage children aged 0-5 years and their adults to enjoy stories together in an active, fun way and promote a love of books from an early age. Choose from Tuesday 11.00-12.00 or Wednesday 11.00-12.00 every term time week.

How to obtain

Adults can buy an annual pass for £20 which allows unlimited entry to the whole building for 12 months. Story Party costs £2 per child, per session. Children 4+ will also need an annual pass, £15.

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books
30 Lime Street
Ouseburn Valley
Newcastle & Gateshead
Tyne and Wear



General Enquiries

School Bookings

Collection Infomation

Media Enquiries



0845 271 0777


0191 276 4302

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.