Moving Stories - Children's Books from Page to Screen

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books has launched an exciting new exhibition, Moving Stories – Children’s Books from Page to Screen. Co-curated with the National Media Museum in Bradford, Seven Stories’ latest show stopping exhibition explores the creative minds behind adaptations of some of the best loved children’s books and stories into well-known film and television programmes including The Borrowers, Alice in Wonderland and The Gruffalo.

Seven Stories’ Chief Executive, Kate Edwards said, “This exhibition is a unique and exciting opportunity for two National organisations to work together to create a ground-breaking and innovative experience for families. Britain’s children’s books are a rich source of inspiration for Britain’s creative industries – especially film and television. They are known throughout the world for their inventiveness and contribute £ms to our globally acclaimed creative economy. Moving Stories showcases how some of our best loved and imaginative stories step off the page and on to the screen.”

This exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to see manuscripts, illustrations, storyboards, costumes and film footage from Snow White, Cinderella, Shrek, Peter Pan and Lost and Found, among many more. Exhibition highlights include:

• Roald Dahl’s original annotated notebooks from Fantastic Mr Fox – displayed alongside puppet’s from Wes Anderson’s 2009 film.
• Original manuscripts and illustrations from The Borrowers and Mr Stink, which were both adapted by the BBC
• A Disney sketch of Snow White taken from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the ground breaking first ever feature film created by Walt Disney Productions in 1937.

Kate adds “We often think that film and television is replacing the book, and lead to children reading less, but actually research show book buying and library checks outs increase with the release of children’s book inspired films. This might be because these adaptations familiarise young people with the plot, helping them to predict what will happen next, which is reassuring for less confident readers. A young person who first discovers a story on the screen is more likely to go on to discover other works by the same author.”

Moving Stories shows that there are numerous ways that adaptations can develop. Shaun Tan was heavily involved in the creative process that took the text and illustrations in his stunning picture book The Lost Thing to the Oscar winning animated short film in 2011. By contrast, Diana Wynne Jones had no involvement with Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of her award winning book, Howl’s Moving Castle.

Speaking about working with Martin Scorsese, who directed the feature length film of Hugo, author Brian Selznick said, “Scorsese is the best. When I went on set everybody had a copy of the book, Scorsese always kept a few on hand, so he could give them to people so they’d understand what he wanted in the shot!”. Selznick was told by Dante Firth, the Production Designer; “I just did everything you drew.”

Like all Seven Stories exhibitions, Moving Stories is playful and interactive, inviting visitors to step into the worlds of film and story on show –Cinderella’s carriage, Mirror Mirror on the wall from Snow White, Gruffalo’s forest and the “other world” of Coraline. For a multi sensory experience, families can grab a Sensory Explorer Bag to explore with sounds, smells and textures.

Claire Hampton, Curator of Broadcast Culture at the National Media Museum added “Moving Stories is an exciting exhibition for all the family about how and why books inspire so many great films and television programmes. It is interactive and bursting with wonderful stories, intriguing objects and fun. ”

Moving Stories also features a new theatre show featuring popular characters from the exhibition - with traditional characters doing some distinctly un-traditional things, bringing the exhibition to life with fun for all the family.

Seven Stories is collecting reader’s favourite film adaptations and would like to hear from you! Email and be entered into a prize draw to win a family ticket to visit Moving Stories – Children’s Books from Page to Screen.

Moving Stories, Children’s Books from Page to Screen will be on display at Seven Stories from Saturday 5 April – 1 April 2015.

Advanced Media slots are available from 9am – 3.30pm on Friday 4 April. 

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Media Contact

Lauren Regan
Acting Marketing and Communications Manager
T: 0845 271 0777 ext 212

Seven Stories – National Centre for Children’s Books
Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle, NE1 2PQ

For more information relating to National Media Museum please contact:

Phil Oates,
Press Officer
T: 01274 203317

Notes to Editor

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books

Seven Stories is the only place in Britain dedicated to the art of children’s books and the joy of reading, and one of just a few such places in the world. Our work is enjoyed by over 150,000 people every year.

Everything we do aims to inspire children and gown-ups to be curious, imaginative and creative. We strive to ensure that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part to enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure.

Our home is a carefully converted Victorian warehouse in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. We opened in 2005 and our seven floors house galleries for exhibitions, performances and creative spaces, a specialist children’s bookshop and a café.

Seven Stories is widely recognised for our abilities and achievements. We have established an important collection of artwork, manuscripts and archives of Britain’s most acclaimed writers and illustrators for children from 1930s to the present day. We bring this unique treasure trove to life through playful and immersive exhibitions, an entertaining and informative public events programme and research opportunities.

Seven Stories was awarded National status by Arts Council England in 2012 in recognition of the significance of our Collection and its high standard of care, and the excellent way that we engage with our visitors and users. We were also awarded with a National Lottery Award in September 2013 after being voted the UK’s favourite education project.

National Media Museum

The National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983 and explores the science, technology and art of the still and moving image and its impact on our lives

It draws from more than 3.5 million objects in its National Photography, Television, and Cinematography Collections to create special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults.

It also organises two major film festivals each year – Bradford International Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival and is home to Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen. Entry to the museum is free.


Alice in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the first children’s books to be set in a fantasy world, the most re-illustrated children’s book and the most adapted children’s book of all time. Visitors are invited to wander into Wonderland with Alice and the White Rabbit and discover many versions of Lewis Carroll’s classic story, which has never been out of print and can boast that its fans include Oscar Wilde and Queen Victoria. In 1998 Lewis Carroll’s own copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was sold at auction for $1.54 million to an anonymous American buyer, making it the most expensive children’s book ever sold at the time. This was beaten by one of seven known handmade copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, handwritten and illustrated by J. K. Rowling, realised £3.98m at Sotheby’s in November 2007.
Carroll originally titled the book Alice’s Adventures Underground and, as a homage, Tim Burton’s characters refer to Wonderland as ‘Underland’.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White is one of the most recognisable characters in movie history with lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow. Walt Disney adapted the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale in 1937 and the ground-breaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has gone on to delight millions of fans and spawn many different book and film adaptations ever since. The production vastly overspent its budget and cost an astonishing $1.5 million to produce and was also the first film to ever release a soundtrack. 19 year old Adriana Caselotti voiced Snow White and Walt Disney wanted to keep her voice so special that he held Adriana to a very strict contract that she was never allowed to perform on stage or film again.


This 2001 Dreamworks blockbuster was inspired by William Steig’s picture book of the same name. William Steig sold his first cartoon to the New Yorker in 1930 and went on to contribute over 1500 cartoons during his careers. He is the author of more than 30 children’s books including Shrek! which was published in 1990. He won the Caldecott Medal in 1970 and the American Book Award in 1982 and was nominated for the Hans Christian Anderson Award twice.

Mr Stink

Pudsey, the four-legged winner of Britain’s Got Talent starred as Mr Stink’s dog Dutchess in the BBC1 adaptation of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book Mr Stink. David also stars in the adaptation as the Prime Minister. The 60-minute film of Mr Stink aired at 6:30pm on 23 December 2012 on BBC One; The film was the most watched in its slot, watched by 6.34 million viewers.