Bears! Current Exhibition

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, embarks on a bear-illiant teddy bear adventure with an exhibition inspired by the clawsome world of Bears! in children’s literature.


Visitors are invited to bring in their teddy bears from home and take them on a journey through the exhibition. With Otto, the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson as your guide, visitors will be able to introduce their bears to children’s book bears old and new, encouraging an innovative way of looking at artwork and manuscripts in a museum.

A whole host of your favourite picture book bears are featured in a series of ‘bear-y’ habitats. Remind yourself of literature’s most famous bears including Rupert and Winnie-the-Pooh, before discovering new stories filled with polar bears, panda bears, talking bears, scary bears and toy bears.  Explore artwork and manuscripts from books such as Hugless Douglas, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

The Bears! exhibition includes a bear trail to help you on your adventure to find out more about bears in books. There will be plenty of opportunities for you and your bear to cosy up with a great bear-y book, as well as photo opportunities for you and your bear.

Are you brave enough to open the cupboard door in The Bear under the Stairs by Helen Cooper (1993) or will you step into the cave inspired by Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth (1988).

This exhibition is an opportunity to see beautiful, inspiring illustrations and preparatory artwork from the creators of many of your favourite bear books, including Jon Klassen, Anthony Browne, Lucy Letherland, Jackie Morris, Petr Horacek, Dave Shelton, Jim Field, David Litchfield, Helen Cooper, David Melling, Rebecca Cobb, Sav Akyuz, Jane Hissey, Joel Stewart, Emily Gravett and Chris Riddell.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to gain an insight into the process of digital illustration through the work of Jon Klassen, Emily Gravett, Jim Field, Joel Stewart, David Litchfield, Dave Shelton, Sav Akyuz and Lucy Letherland. These artists work using a combination of traditional and digital techniques.

Gill Rennie, Senior Curator at Seven Stories said:

“Almost everyone has a teddy bear!  And over the last one hundred years bears have become increasingly popular subjects for children’s authors and illustrators.  What is it about bears that we love so much?  And what adventures are bears getting up to in books today? Come to Seven Stories to find out!”

Bears! will be on display at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books from Saturday 18 February 2017 –  Sunday 11 March 2018.

Exhibition supported by Quarto Publishing.


For images, interviews and press opportunities please contact:

Stuart Ellis, Marketing and Digital Co-ordinator.

E:   T: 0300 330 1095.