Our latest exhibition Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories has been open for a month.  If you haven't visited yet, or even if you have been 10 times, there is always something new to discover. We asked Seven Stories Exhibitions Curator David Wright to tell us the top 5 things to watch out for in the exhibition...


In 2015, Michael Morpurgo donated his archive to Seven Stories, a treasure trove of his entire creative life containing draft manuscripts, photographs and notebooks from his first publication to his current works.

Ever since, plans have been coming together to share the archive with the world in a new exhibition titled, Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories.

Here are my top 5 things to watch out for in the exhibition…


 1. Michael’s Shepherd’s Hut  

 At the end of Michael’s garden, at his home in Devon, sits this shepherd’s hut. When the weather is fine this is  where Michael can be found writing his latest story.                                                                                       

 In the exhibition, we’ve rebuilt the hut for visitors to step inside and listen to Michael talk, before putting on a  ‘dreamtime’ cape to find inspiration to write your own story.





 2. Joey 

 Joey, the hero of War Horse is possibly Michael’s most famous character, starring in not only the book, but also  smash hit stage and screen adaptations.

 Design company 24 Design have produced their own sculpture of Joey, printed with Michael’s hand-written  drafts of the book for display in the exhibition.


 3. Fun on the Farm 

 Before his career as a writer took off, Michael worked as a farmer and founded the charity Farms for City  Children with his wife Clare. Since 1976, the charity has offered children from cities around the country the chance to experience rural life by living on a farm for a week and helping with all of the daily chores.

 We’ve built our very own farm for the exhibition, celebrating some of Michael’s most popular books with a  rural setting, including It’s a Dog’s Life, Where My Wellies Take Me and Mudpuddle Farm. Under 5s will love  the chance to dress as farmers and wheel around vegetables, before pulling on a sheepdog costume and  snuggling up in a basket for storytime.




4. Storyweaving 

All of Michael’s books start with a grain of truth; a person, event or object that sparks his imagination and sets him off on his next great story.

Visit the exhibition to discover how Private Peaceful was inspired by a gravestone on a World War One battlefield; how I Believe in Unicorns started with a cartoon by the creator of the Addams Family and learn the true story of Michael’s father, who really was a polar bear.


 5. Morpurgo’s animals

You might have noticed an animal theme running throughout this blog, which is in keeping with the animal heroes that fill Michael’s books.                                                          

There will be plenty of animals to spot in the exhibition, from dogs to ducks and whales to Wombats; perhaps  even a unicorn…..    

You might even get a chance to cuddle this cutie, if she ever leaves my desk!


Thanks David!

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories is on display at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books until Sunday 2 July 2017

Find out more on our Exhibitions page

What’s your summer story?

Be inspired to create your own summer story and pick up a scrapbook from our Reception for a £1 additional charge. Explore Seven Stories, find out how Michael Morpurgo creates his stories and unlock your imagination to sketch, doodle and write.  Head down to the Studio to put the final touches to your scrapbook.  Share your summer stories on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #Summerstory7S Don't forget to follow us on social media for all the latest updates and events.

Find out what Michael Morpurgo inspired activities we have at Seven Stories over the summer here.

Meet the expert team who brought Michael’s original manuscripts, notebooks and drafts to life and curated our Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories exhibition in an event this September Find out more.