Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations with Discovering Children's Books. For children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages. A partnership with Seven Stories.


  • Illustration of Paddington, a small brown bear wearing a red hat, blue duffle coat and carrying a brown suitcase marked with his initials P B.

    Pack your suitcase with Paddington™

    Paddington leaves his home in Peru to make a new life in London. If you were going on a journey like Paddington, what would you pack to remind you of home? Follow our steps to make your own suitcase… and reveal what’s inside.

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    Make a miniature book

    What’s the smallest book you can think of? Who would you read it with? Learn how to make your own tiny book!

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    Scribbled notes from the draft notebook of Skellig

    Things don't start finished!

    Our website is brimming with messy drafts, notebooks and sketches by much-loved authors. This set of activities shows you fun ways of using them to plan, draft and edit your own work.

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    Craft materials and small animal figurines arranged on a white surface. The animals 'watch' A pair of adult hands is drawing in a card

    Videos for Creativity

    Make and create your very own books

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  • Pastels arranged in a circle

    Viviane Schwarz: Making a story

    Once you’ve got your characters, you can get started on your story. In this clip Viviane Schwarz shows us how she creates an illustration, with lots of colour and collage. Why not grab some scraps of paper and a paintbrush, and see where your imagination takes you?

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    Pop-up Book technique: Theatre book

    Imagine you’re eagerly sitting in the audience of a glamorous theatre. When the curtains are pulled back, who do you want to see on the stage? With this activity you can make your very own 3D pop up theatre and set the scene!

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    Photograph portrait of Zanib Mian inside an illustrated picture frame. To the right of the picture frame are illustrations of pencils, painbrushes, a pencil sharpener with shavings, paint palettes and an eraser. These are on a white background

    Interview with Zanib Mian

    ‘Tell the stories that you have lived. People want to read them!’ Discover more insights and writing advice from Zanib Mian, author of Planet Omar.

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    Various small illustrations, a person playing a saxophone, a scubadiver sitting at a desk, an alien, a UFO, a castle, a wicth on a broomstick

    Create an imaginary school

    Dream up ideas and write a story about an imaginary school. It could be a fantastical place: a school in a castle, one on another planet, one that bounces or disappears or that floats in a bubble.

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    Go deeper: Food in children’s books

    What would it be like to swim in a river of chocolate? What would you do if you stumbled upon a sumptuous feast, only to find it was pretend? Explore the temptation and magic of food in books.

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    Star in your own fairy tale

    Transform yourself into a character to star in a fairy tale or folktale. You could create a new tale of your own, or enter the world of a story you already know.

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    A toy superhero made out of card

    What makes a hero super?

    Decide what makes your hero super and make your own superhero using just pens, paper, glue and scissors.

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    Illustration of a large person holding a small bottle. A pink cloud is coming out of the bottle which contains the words 'big and small'

    Big and small

    Write a story about being miniature in a massive world, or a story in which you’re tall enough to reach the clouds.

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All activities

Get creative with activities for children of all ages. Invent your own superhero, make a pop-up book and much more.

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Illustration of Tracy Beaker pulling the hair of another child

Behaving and misbehaving

From strict behaviour manuals to rebellious rule-breakers, explore the morals and mischief at the heart of children’s books.

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Purple background with illustrations of pencils, paintbrushes, earasers, pencil sharpeners and pencil sharpenings


Learn the secrets of writers and artists from Jacqueline Wilson to Zanib Mian, with these exclusive interviews and tips for budding authors.

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A child in pyjamas sits on a bed looking out of a window at the snow

Home and belonging

How do children’s books explore questions of home, family and belonging? Delve into books by Jacqueline Wilson, Errol Lloyd and many more.

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A showdowy figure picking up two people


Face your fears by exploring the most spine-tingling stories, from dark and enchanting fairy tales to Coraline and Haunted House.

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Trees, a tiger, a fox and a face on a red background

Fairy tales and folktales

From Red Riding Hood to Hua Mulan, from Anancy to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, read ancient stories and playful new tales from around the world.

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