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

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.

Seven Stories Closed for Refurbishment : Reopening Sunday 19 July 2015

  • 19 April — 19 July 2015 *on now

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books will close while we undergo major refurbishment work and will reopen on Sunday 19th July 2015 - just in time for the Summer Holidays!
Seven Stories has been open every day and after 10 years in in need of investment. The refurbishment will make your visitor experience even more magical for children of all ages, improve functionality and make the building more energy efficient.
Seven Stories will open with 3 brand new exhibitions, Painting with Rainbows –A Michael Foreman Exhibition, Rhyme Around the World and A Bear Called Paddington.
While our visitor centre is closed we are still bringing the magic of children's books to life across the North East. Visit to find out more.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Paws and Claws

  • 3 July 2015 9:15-10am, 11:45am-12:30pm, 12:45-1:15pm, 2:45-3:30pm, 5-5:30pm
  • 4 July 2015 9-9:45am, 11:15-11:45am, 1:15-2pm

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger!

Join in an interactive storytelling session and create your own tiger masks to take home as we celebrate one of our favourite picture books, The Tiger Who Came to Tea which will be brought to life at Theatre Royal.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Theatre Royal
100 Grey Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne


Free additional event. Tickets must be purchased from Theatre Royal for performances of The Tiger Who Came To Tea . A Relaxed screening can be booked at 4pm on Friday 3 July. Those attending showings of the production must make sure to be in their seats with enough time before the performance starts.

Seven Stories’ Grand Re-Opening

  • 19 July 2015 10am-5pm

Join in with interactive craft activities, explore our new exhibitions Painting with Rainbows – A Michael Foreman Exhibition, Rhyme Around the World and A Bear Called Paddington and create your own art in our revamped Creation Station.

Tiptoe, tiptoe, shhhh…. creep up to the Artists Attic and enjoy an interactive performances throughout the day, inspired by Chris Haughton’s stunning picture book Shhh, We Have a Plan.

We can’t wait to see you!

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free event, no booking required. Admission fee for the building applies


The Starlight Goodwill Ambassadors Storytelling Roadshow

  • 9 August 2015 2:30-3:30pm

The children will even be giving away souvenirs straight from their stories and bringing along authentic edibles for the audience to sample.

The Starlight Goodwill Ambassadors are part of a cultural exchange from Taiwan and will also be performing at Edinburgh Festival.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free event, booking recommended. Admission fee to the centre applies. Entry to Seven Stories is free after 2pm with an event ticket. Recommended for ages 5+.


Face Painting

  • 15 — 16 August 2015 10:30am-3:30pm

Transform yourself into a pirate, a butterfly, a werewolf or maybe even a Gruffalo with our expert facepainters.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£2 per child. Entry to the Bookshop is FREE.

Seven Stories Turns 10!

  • 15 — 16 August 2015 10am-5pm

“Go to Newcastle and visit Seven Stories, see the amazing work that is done there, see their great exhibitions of writing and illustration, see the vibrancy and health of children’s culture. Be amazed by the creativity and inventiveness of their educational programmes.’ David Almond
To: You
From: Seven Stories
Help us to celebrate the last 10 years in style with a slice of cake, party games, birthday crafts and storytelling. Join in with birthday crown making and come dressed as your favourite children’s book character for the chance to win prizes all weekend.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free event, no booking required. Admission fee to the centre applies.

*Author Event* Pirate Crunchers and Ghostly Galleons with Jonny Duddle.

  • 18 August 2015 1-2pm

Join in with live drawing and help Jonny to draw the perfect pirate in this interactive event. Did you know, Jonny helped design the characters for Aardman’s stop-motion movie The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! which was released in 2012.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Booking essential. £6 per child, includes a copy of The Jolley-Rogers (Cave of Doom OR Ghostly Galleon) one free adult per child. Additional adults £3 each. Admission charges to the centre apply. Suitable for all the family.


Illustration Master Class with Jonny Duddle

  • 19 August 2015 9:30am-4pm

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to work alongside Jonny Duddle and find out more about how he began his varied illustration career and the steps of his creative process before developing your own skills. Come along and learn how to use different artistic techniques, inspired by Jonny’s vibrant style, to create your own artwork.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17


Booking essential. £45 per person, no additional admission fee required. Includes lunch. Suitable for ages 15 and over.


FREE Book Signing with Nick Sharratt

  • 29 August 2015 3:15-4:15pm

...and get a copy of your favourite book signed. Maximum of two books per child.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free event, no booking required. Entry to Seven Stories Bookshop is free.

*Author Event* Shark in the Park on a Windy Day with Nick Sharratt

  • 29 August 2015 2-3pm

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the park . . .

Shark in the Park is a Seven Stories favourite so we were very excited for the release of Shark in the Park on a Windy Day and What the Jackdaw Saw, Nick’s new collaboration with Julia Donaldson.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Booking essential. £5 per person in addition to admission fee. Show your ticket in the Bookshop to redeem £5 off any of Nick’s picture books.


*Author Event* How to Draw Animals with Nick Sharratt

  • 29 August 2015 11am-12:30pm

Watch Nick draw and learn how to illustrate your favourite animals in a fun-filled workshop for young artists and animal lovers alike - inspired by Paws and Whiskers by Nick Sharratt and Jacqueline Wilson.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15


Booking essential. £10 per child, includes a copy of Paws and Claws. No additional admission fee required. Ages 8+
Please note: Children must be dropped off and collected from the event due to limited capacity. Adults are invited to explore Seven Stories or grab a coffee and a snack in our new Bookshop Coffeeshop


*Author Event* Trolls with Adam Stower

  • 1 September 2015 1-2pm

Oliver and his best friend Troll run a cafe in the woods. They make the BEST cakes - their troll customers would much rather eat cakes than children! One particularly busy day in the cafe, Oliver's sister Dolly disappears, so Oliver and Troll set off to find her. Their search takes them up Munch Mountain, where the biggest, meanest and grumpiest troll in the world lives.

Oliver doesn't believe all the scary rumours, but Troll's not so sure ...

Join Adam (author of Silly Doggy and Naughty Kitty) as he reads Grumbug – the latest tale from Trolliver’s Café, tricks your eyes with a fun guess-the-drawing game, and creates a completely new troll with your help…

Supported by Templar Publishing

Suitable for

  • Any age


Booking essential. £7 per child includes a copy of Grumbug and a mini cupcake. One free adult per child. Additional adults £3. Admission to the centre applies.


An Evening with Sarah Crossan and Jenny McLachlan

  • 17 September 2015 6-7:30pm

Hear how teaching has influenced their writing styles, their career routes into becoming YA authors and why having the right agent is so important. Fans of Sarah and Jenny can ask questions about their work and favourite characters while aspiring authors can find out more about a career in writing for young adults.


£5 per person, no additional admission fee required. Show your ticket in the Bookshop to redeem £5 off any of Sarah or Jenny’s back catalogue.


An Evening with Patrick Ness

  • 11 November 2015 6-8pm

Hear Patrick talk candidly about his writing process, where he finds inspiration for his dystopian novels and what he thinks the future for the genre holds.
Find out even more about one of the outstanding YA author of this generation at Seven Stories this November. This event will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 11-13
  • 16-17


Booking essential. £15 per person includes a copy of The Rest of Us Just Live Here, posted out to you on the date of publication. Young Adult and Adult .


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.