Oxford’s Story Museum aims to celebrate and promote children’s literature, and is due to open in the city centre in 2015. It should be a great success if its patrons are anything to go by: the fabulous authors Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson. At the moment the museum runs outreach programmes in places like schools, libraries and family centres and also stages exhibitions and events in its atmospheric old buildings, which are due to be redeveloped.
I visited the museum in September, and enjoyed the Tea with Alice: a world of Wonderland illustration exhibition. The Alice books have been translated into over 100 languages and interpreted by many artists. The exhibition included many original illustrations in glass cases but also lots of child friendly touches such as sticky dots to vote for favourite tea party illustrations. I loved the cosy room containing a velvet chaise longue and a selection of Alice books to look at. The tea party room was fun too, with a selection of hats to try while writing a riddle at the long, white table.
I look forward to returning to the museum with (or without) my children when it opens. In the meantime it’s worth checking the website to see what’s scheduled. During the October half term holiday there are various workshops on offer, including a printing workshop where you can have a go on the Bodleian library’s antique printing presses.