Drawing Words

An exhibition curated by Lauren Child

Celebrating illustration as an art form for all ages

The Drawing Words exhibition brings together some of the most exciting children's book illustration to come out of the UK in recent years.

While Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh are universally recognised and demonstrate the rich history of children’s book illustration in the UK, Drawing Words looks to the future.

The ten illustrators showcased here have been selected for their distinctly personal and unique work, to offer a snapshot of the vibrant work being produced today.  

Alongside finished work from the illustrators, additional archive material selected by Seven Stories is also on display to explore the creative process and practice leading to the final illustrations, including favourite items drawn from the Seven Stories archive by Lauren Child.  

Elsewhere in the exhibition children will enjoy discovering a play space commissioned by Seven Stories and designed by Cumbria-based artist Hannah Fox. Inspired by the work featured in the exhibition the space is reminiscent of a pop-up book, where children can roam from one page (or world) to the next whether that’s a treehouse, out under the night sky or under the bed.  These are places that children might go to imagine or daydream with each space full of drawing activities and carefully designed to spark imaginations.  Expect interaction, playfulness and opportunities for dreamlike creativity! 

Drawing Words also features work created by local young people at workshops hosted by Seven Stories and Hannah Fox at Byker Community Trust. Nine participating children were asked to explore their imaginary world based on Laura Carlin’s collage techniques in A World of Your Own and their finished designs are on display in the gallery.

The exhibition is curated by award-winning artist, writer and Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, and designed by the innovative Etcetera Studio with graphic design by Regular Practice.

Drawing Words is a British Council exhibition of contemporary UK children's book illustration, curated by award-winning artist and writer Lauren Child.  It is being shown in cities across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and South America throughout 2019-2021. 

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  

Meet the artists


Jill Calder, Robert the Bruce (Birlinn)
Lauren Carlin, A World of Your Own (Phaidon)
Rebecca Cobb, Aunt Amelia (Macmillian Children’s Books)
William Grill, The Wolves of Currumpaw (Flying Eye Books)
Emily Hughes, Wild (Flying Eye Books)
Yasmeen Ismail, Time for Bed, Fred! (Bloomsbury)
Neal Layton, Emily Brown and the Thing (Hodder Children’s Books)
David Mackintosh, Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School (HarperCollins)
Emily Rand, A Dog Day (Tate Publishing)
David Roberts, Tinder (Hachette)
Lauren Child, Charlie and Lola, Mary Poppins (HarperCollins)