Seven Stories, The 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 Morpurgo with orange notebook

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories

  • 2 July 2016 — 1 July 2017 *on now

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best loved story makers. Our exclusive exhibition will showcase for the first time, the notebooks and manuscripts that have become the classics we know today including War Horse, Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful.
With content rich in historical research, creativity and poignant prose, this exhibition will showcase the processes behind some of the most loved titles in modern children's books. Visitors can step into a replica of Michael’s creative caravan where he imagines his stories, experience atmospheric soundscapes and come face to face with the beloved Joey.
Supported by HarperCollins, Egmont Publishing, Walker Books, Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Newcastle University and Arts & Humanities Research Council.
Admission Required.
Seven Stories Visitor Centre will be closed to the public on Friday 1st July to launch the Michael Morpurgo exhibition.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 16-17
  • Any age
  • 14-15
  • 18+


Normal admission applies.


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.
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.

Boy being creative in the Studio

Summer Story

  • 23 July — 4 September 2016 *on now

Drop into our Studio and illustrate poignant soldiers’ letters, create a kite to spread your message of peace and get close to nature with farmyard fun.

Pick up a scrapbook on arrival ready to create your Summer Story. Be inspired by Michael Morpurgo's best-selling books as you explore Seven Stories and unlock your imagination to sketch, doodle and write your own story. Head down to the Studio to put the final touches to your scrapbook.

Take your scrapbooks away and continue your summer story by posting photos, poems, short stories and sketches to our social media #summerstory7S. Be inspired, get creative and capture the sounds, smells and adventures from your summer.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 14-15


Admission required.


Team Creative logo

Team Creative: Writers of the Next Generation

  • 25 — 29 July 2016 *on now

Suitable for children aged 8-12 years.

Join our Story Catchers, spend time with award-winning author Andy Seed AND current Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and get access to some of the best scribbles and drafts from the Seven Stories collection.

Explore different styles of writing from poetry to adaptation, prose to screen writing and get ideas on how to nurture your own distinctive style.

During the week, Team Creative will:

- Meet Seven Stories Archivist and handle original material from the Tony Mitton, Beverley Naidoo and Michael Morpurgo archives.
- Try their hand at poetry, writing a screen play or turning a children’s book into a performance.
- See first-hand how a story can be used in performance and to create an exhibition.
- Spend the morning with author Andy Seed - winner of the 2015 Blue Peter Book Award.
- And much more creative fun!

With opportunities for creative writing, top tips and advice this is a course not to be missed – could you be a writer of the next generation?

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13


Course fee £120 per child. Annual Pass holder course fee £100 (must be verified on arrival with proof of valid annual pass). Participants need to bring their own packed lunches each day to fuel their creative juices. No additional admission is required. Participants must be signed in each day at Reception.


Andy Seed's Book Jacket

*Author Event* Seriously Silly Stuff with Andy Seed

  • 28 July 2016 From 2pm

Suitable for ages 7+

Join Blue Peter Book Award winner Andy Seed for an hour of sensational stories, funny facts, wacky jokes and entertaining challenges. Andy is the author of The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff (Bloomsbury) and several other fun non-fiction books full of amazing information, juicy word games and cheeky giggles.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+


Free event, booking essential. Admission Required.


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



General Enquiries

School Bookings

Collection Infomation

Media Enquiries



0300 3301095


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.