We have been open for one week! We've loved seeing our visitors old and new stream back to the sound of oohs, ahhs and wows. After being closed for three months and beavering away to have our building ready for reopening this summer, it was a great feeling to down tools and celebrate with a flurry of launch events. The dungarees, hammers and sweeping brushes were exchanged for glad rags and VIP visitors as we welcomed illustrators, members of the publishing world, clients, contractors and special Golden Ticket winners back to explore our transformed building.

Launch #1 Thursday 16 July: Painting with Rainbows – a Michael Foreman Exhibition

Michael Foreman is one of the most prolific and respected illustrators in children’s literature whose career is now into its sixth decade. Michael won the 1982 and 1989 Kate Greenaway Medals for British children's book illustration; a prestigious accolade which has been followed by many more awards and acknowledgements over the years.  It was a privilege to welcome Michael back to Seven Stories to launch his fabulous exhibition.


We worked with pupils from local school Byker Primary in the lead up to the launch using Michael Foreman's books to inspire learning.  The pupils attended the launch to share their fabulous project work with Michael Foreman himself. The short films they created as part of the initiative form  an integral part of the Painting With Rainbows exhibition.


Scroll through The Guardian’s gallery to get a taster of Michael Foreman’s stunning illustrations on display in the Painting with Rainbows exhibition. Families are invited to add to the 'Tree of Hope' with messages for the future, explore stories of war and peace through War Boy, War Game, The General and Ali Pasha. A multi-sensory environment inspired by Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish and One World encourages building and play, Michael's creative process is revealed in his artist's studio by his own personal artefacts. Supported by Andersen Press, Templar Publishing and Pavilion Books. With thanks to the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust and Ernest Cook Trust. Exhibition designed by Sheridan Design.

Launch #2 Friday 17 July : Rhyme Around the World

Day two and another exciting launch event, this time for our Rhyme Around the World exhibition.  Designed and installed by Manchester based company 24 Design - we were all excited by the fresh injection of creativity and loved how they had helped bring to life this exhibition.  Rhyme Around the World combines Seven Stories’ Co-Founder Elizabeth Hammill’s stunning treasury of nursery rhymes Over the Hills and Far Away with original material from Harold Jones’ Lavenders Blue from the Seven Stories collection. Elizabeth Hammill and Chief Executive Kate Edwards spoke of their delight and shared how the exhibition grew from Elizabeth’s first ideas to the final exhibition.






This multi-sensory exhibition for our young visitors invites you to step straight into your favourite nursery rhymes, discovering how stories, song and rhyme are shared across generations throughout the world. Supported by Frances Lincoln Children's Books, part of the Quarto Publishing Group UK and the Siobhan Dowd Trust. Exhibition designed by 24 Design.

Launch #3 Saturday 18 July: Exclusive Golden Ticket Day!

It was BRILLIANT to celebrate the relaunch of our revamped Visitor Centre with so many lucky Golden Ticket winners.  From top to toe – the building was full of families exploring every floor, dressing up as Paddington Bear, sharing songs, rhymes and stories together in Rhyme Around the World, adding to the stunning Tree of Hope in Painting with Rainbows, hunting for treasure and making a chest to keep it in down in the Jonny Duddle inspired Studio, rummaging through the fruit and veg of Mulleygrubs shop in Diagon Alley as part of the fabulous installation in The Attic and taking part in the very first of our Shh! We Have A Plan performances as inspired by the fabulous picturebook by Chris Haughton. We have thoroughly enjoyed the buzz on social media – thank you to everyone who shared their excitement, photos and even a short film of how much they enjoyed the day. We love getting your social media updates so keep them coming! #sevenstories

"We enjoyed a fantastic day there yesterday thank you so much, exhibitions are great we loved the nursery rhymes and Paddington and the wishing tree"

"We had an amazing day. It's fabulous and we'll be back."

Hooray! Kate Edwards our Chief Executive cuts the golden ribbon and declares Seven Stories OPEN!

   A certain bear has come to town.

A visitor adds their ribbon to the Wishing Tree in Painting With Rainbows - Michael Foreman Exhibition.

Step into The Attic and you will find yourself in Diagon Alley.

A visitor shares their best bits on Twitter - what will inspire you?


Come see the fun for yourselves. Find your favourite floor, piece of artwork or book at Seven Stories.  We can’t wait to show you round!