Drawn from the Archive, Hidden Histories of Illustration

Discover the creative process of some of our most celebrated illustrators in this stunning new collection from Seven Stories.

“A beautiful book to treasure” Jacqueline Wilson

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books has delved into its own archive to put together a book about children’s illustration, by Collection Director Sarah Lawrance.

Drawn from the Archive: Hidden Histories of Illustration looks at the history of children’s illustration featured in Seven Stories Collection, from the 1930s to the present day. It is published by Seven Stories in association with Walker Books and will be available to buy in paperback from 1 October, £9.99.

Sarah Lawrance, explains: “My job has given me access to some amazing material, but the thing that really inspired me to write the book was the experience of watching so many people’s faces light up with curiosity and wonder on seeing original illustrations for the first time. I wanted to give readers a taste of the treasures in our store and convey the stories behind the title pages. Every book, after all, has its own secrets – the stories that didn’t get told. “

The Seven Stories Collection is a unique national archive of original manuscripts and artwork by leading British writers and illustrators for children. The twenty five stories featured in Drawn from the Archive give readers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at sketches, storyboards, scribbles, drafts and re drafts from the likes of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes (J.M. Dent & Sons, 1936) to Yasmeen Ismail’s Time for Bed, Fred! (Bloomsbury, 2013). The book also features original artwork and preparatory material from celebrated illustrators such as Judith Kerr, Polly Dunbar, Edward Ardizzone, Shirley Hughes and Nick Sharratt.

Sarah added: “I’ve also loved working with the team at Walker Books, especially Deirdre McDermott, who is one of Seven Stories’ Trustees. My original concept was for something much shorter, in a very simple format, but once Deirdre got involved the project just took off. Hopefully the book conveys not just the hard work and professionalism of the illustrators featured, but also something of the joy and wit of picturebook art. It would be great if it could inspire more people to visit and get involved with Seven Stories - and perhaps become the illustrators of the future!”

This book is for anyone with a love of children’s books or illustration, and is the first of its kind from Seven Stories, the UK’s National Centre for Children’s Books. All proceeds from the sales of the book will support the work of Seven Stories. To arrange a visit to the Seven Stories Collection call 0191 495 2707.

The publication was made possible by Arts Council England’s support for a project called Picturebook in Progress which ran in 2013/14.

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