We've tried 2016 on for size and feel that - so far - it fits just right.  There is plenty to look forward to at Seven Stories, including a second bash at a New Year celebration with local artist Jayamini De Silva.

New to the Seven Stories team - Programme and Marketing Assistant, Helen tells us about what is coming up and why she is looking forward to a new year...

"Born in 1982, the Chinese year of the dog, I am characterised as “determined”.  I want to be able to master a new subject.  This is exactly how I feel as I start a new job at Seven Stories with the Programming team. Determined, but a little nervous going into the job, I was put at ease straight away by the warm welcome and friendliness of all the staff.  They have made me feel right at home and I am sure you will too when you visit Seven Stories. I am really excited to get started with what looks to be an inspiring programme of events and activities this year.  Everyone I have met at Seven Stories is passionate about celebrating the richness and diversity of children’s books with as many people as possible.  This shows through in the work that they do – in the culturally diverse, creative and fun exhibitions and events.    



Seven Stories is certainly a place for encountering new experiences.  For my first event here, I will be learning all about Swahili culture through a performance of Handa’s Hen by Little Angel Theatre on Saturday 6 February.    Based on the book by Eileen Browne, Handa’s Hen is a beautiful story that weaves puppetry, music and dance to take you on an exciting adventure through Handa's Kenyan home.  On this safari you can learn the names of different animals and to count to ten in Swahili.  Next up, talented local artist Jayamini De Silva will be taking over our Studio to celebrate Chinese New Year on Sunday 7 February.   In the studio you can try your hand at creating your own origami people, elaborate mythical Chinese dragons and a monkey mask to take home.  Jayamini De Silva studied Chinese traditional paintings and Calligraphy at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China.  Jayamini will be sharing her talent at Seven Stories, leading workshops on the ancient art of Chinese brush painting for ages 8+.  You can experiment with basic strokes to create masterful designs full of symbolism in this elegant, traditional style.  I certainly have an exciting new year ahead of me. I hope that you can join me in all the fun at Seven Stories this year."


Did you know: 

  • Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival in China, is China’s most important traditional festival?
  • Each Chinese New Year is represented by one of 12 animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac.
  • This year is the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the cycle.
  • If you were born in the Year of the Monkey apparently you would be characterised as quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous.  Does this sound familiar to anyone born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016?! Do you know which animal you were born under?

Tickets are still available for Handa's Hen, Saturday 6 February at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm. Find out more here about activities on Sunday 7 February with Jayamini.