Monday, 30 April 2018

Julia Donaldson Exhibition for Children at Discover in East London

Back in 2016 I shared a post about Discover in Stratford, East London. Discover Children's Story Centre is a great place to go with young children to have fun and explore books. There is a lovely playground outside and it’s a perfect place to spend a rainy day too. The Dr Seuss exhibit was replaced last year by an amazing new one called A World Inside A Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures. Available until September 2018 the new exhibit is based on the stories of Julia Donaldson and the illustrations of Axel Scheffler. It is a must visit for any Julia Donaldson fans.

A model of the Gruffalo surrounded by trees and a painted stream and grass


When you first enter the exhibit you walk into Charlie Cooks sitting room, complete with the yellow chair that he reads his story on. Instead of Charlie you are greated by a member of the Discover team who talks about how books can create new worlds before reading one of Julia Donaldson’s stories.

A yellow room with a yellow patterned chair and me sitting reading Charlie Cook's Favourite Book

Once the story has been read the world of Julia Donaldson magically opens up and the children are free to explore the exhibit for about half an hour. There are immersive scenes from some of her best loved books including: Zog, The Gruffalo, Stickman, Room on The Broom, The Highway Rat , The Snail and The Whale, A Squash and a Squeeze, Monkey Puzzle, Tiddler and the Smartest Giant in Town. If children don’t know the stories they will find it entertaining, it they do it is pure magic. The attention to detail is impressive and even as an adult you will keep discovering new things.

A room with a small bed and table as well as a large cow, pig and goat

The number of people in each session are strictly limited so it is recommended you book in advance, and it’s an absolute necessity in school holidays.

A whale model in a painted sea next to a rock with some writing on

Before and after A World Inside A Book there is plenty more to do: there are 2 floors of Story World play space which include fancy dress, craft, a slide and a spaceship as well as a good selection of books. There are also smaller story telling sessions aimed at babies and toddlers and a cafe. To read more about Discover in Stratford read my previous post  or checkout their website. 

A bridge leading to a tree with stickman in in the foreground and a boat and little houses in the background

Discover is an easy walk from Stratford station making it easy to get to from both London and Essex. I strongly recommend visiting before the exhibition changes.

A painting on the wall showing the characters from Room on the Broom and actual chairs attached to a broom

If your child is a fan of Julia Donaldson I also recommend visiting the Gruffalo Trail (or Gruffalo's Child Trail)
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