Thursday, 05 August 2021

Paddington and pals a draw for museum

FANS of children’s fiction are being invited to join Paddington Bear and his friends at the

FANS of children’s fiction are being invited to join Paddington Bear and his friends at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley this summer.

Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics is an interactive exhibition from the British Library that is running until Sunday, September 25, at the museum in Mill Meadows.

From beautiful and rare first editions to original artwork by the likes of Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman, Peggy Fortnum and Lauren Child, the exhibition revisits much-loved stories and characters that have been re-illustrated and reinterpreted for different generations of children.

Picture This focuses on 10 classics: Just So Stories, The Iron Man, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wind in the Willows, Paddington, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Hobbit, The Borrowers, The Secret Garden and The Railway Children.

The exhibition also features five specially filmed interviews with four distinguished illustrators and Paddington Bear author Michael Bond, describing the relationship between story and illustration, author and artist.

Eloise Chapman, the museum’s head of collections and exhibitions, said: “We are excited to be bringing these wonderful classic stories to life for our family visitors and hope that they will enjoy their journey through these timeless stories.”

Dr Matthew Eve, who curated the exhibition for the British Library, added: “If we recall our favourite books from childhood, it’s likely the illustrations will come to mind as readily as the story. Those magical pictures leave an indelible mark and remain with us for life, helping to shape and develop our imagination.

“This exhibition is a nostalgic trip back to our childhoods and a celebration of the often neglected art of the children’s book illustrator — as well as showing the ways in which classic children’s books continue to inspire readers and illustrators.”

The exhibition is open daily from 10am until 5pm. Annual entry to the museum is £9 for children and £11 for adults, with concessions £10.

For more information, visit

• Continuing the museum’s summer of family fun, it will be holiday a “Carnival” family day on Thursday, July 28, when families can make maracas, learn about the wildlife of Brazil and get into the Rio spirit ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

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