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.

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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

    Make a pop-up poetry notebook

    Bind your own pop-up poetry notebook and follow our fabulous prompts to help you see the world like a poet.

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    Notebooks and poetry

    Find out why superstar poet Joseph Coelho always keeps a notebook handy. Find out how Joseph works poems out in his notebooks, developing their structure and making lots of changes. Plus have a go at one of Joseph’s poetry techniques.

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    A adult's hand holding an open a miniature book

    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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    With pens and art equipment scattered across a desk, in the middle of the frame is an illustration of the Gruffalo.

    Axel Scheffler: How to draw a Gruffalo

    Follow Axel Scheffler’s process from pencil to paint, as he shows you how to draw your very own Gruffalo. We’ll give you a hint… start with the horns! You’ll be perfecting your own characters in no time.

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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 Michael Rosen 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 purple backgroud.

    Interview with Michael Rosen

    How do you dream up new ideas? ‘I try to think back to when I was a child’. Read on for more writing secrets from poet and author Michael Rosen.

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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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    Create your own comic book character

    What sort of characters do you want to see in a comic book? Plan, develop and draw your own characters with this guide.

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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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Themes

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

Interviews

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

Fear

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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