The Magnificent World of Miniature Books with Axel Scheffler and Joseph Coelho

Joseph Coelho and Axel Scheffler

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Explore the history of miniature books

This is an online event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers are sent a link in advance giving access and can watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

From the library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, to Charlotte Brontë's very first work, miniature books have always aroused the interest of British society. To coincide with the Miniature Books display in the Library's Treasures Gallery, we join author Axel Scheffler in conversation with Joseph Coehlo as they take a peek at some of the teeniest, weeniest books out there, both old and contemporary. Grab your magnifiying glasses, reading specs, or whatever you need, and join us for this conversation on the very large world of miniature books. Also featuring will be Library curator Catherine Angerson, who will expand on the themes of the display, including the project with schools to make their own miniature books, and a selection of miniature books and manuscripts from the Library’s collection. Chaired by writer, broadcaster, and children’s books expert Julia Eccleshare.

Find out more about the Miniature Books display here

Axel Scheffler was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1957. He studied history of art in Hamburg, before moving to the United Kingdom to study illustration at Bath Academy of Art in 1982. Since then he has worked as a freelance illustrator and is best known for the children's books he has illustrated with author, Julia Donaldson. Together they created The Gruffalo, which has sold over 14 million copies, in 85 countries throughout the world. He lives in London.

Joseph Coelho is a multi-award winning children’s author and poet. His debut children's collection “Werewolf Club Rules” is published by Frances Lincoln and was the winner of the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award. His Story Told In Poems – The Girl Who Became A Tree for older readers was Short-listed for the 2021 Carnegie Medal and received a special mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2021. Fairytales Gone Bad – Zombierella was his debut middle grade novel and has been shortlisted for the 2021 Alligators Mouth Award and the 2022 Lollies Award. His picture book If All The World Were… illustrated by Allison Colpoys won the Independent Bookshop Week, Book Award. He wrote and presented Teach Poetry a 10 part BBC online series that aims to make the writing of poetry fun and accessible to all.

Catherine Angerson is a Curator of Modern Archives and Manuscripts at the British Library, where she works with literary and historical papers from the 17th to the 20th centuries. She is one of the curators of a display of Miniature Books in the Treasures Gallery in summer 2021. Her doctoral research, at Birkbeck, University of London, focuses on the reception of German literature and ideas in Britain.

Julia Eccleshare MBE is Director of Hay Children’s Festival and a writer, broadcaster and lecturer on children’s books. She was a publisher from 1978-84, and served as Children’s Books Editor of the Guardian, 2000-2017 and Co-director of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, 2005-2012. She has chaired many prizes including the Guardian Children’s Book Prize, and herself won the Eleanor Farjeon Award 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children’s books. In 2014 she was appointed an MBE for services to children’s books. In addition to numerous anthologies her books include, Treasure Islands: The Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Reading (BBC Books, 1987), A Guide to the Harry Potter Novels (Continuum, 2002), and many more.

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Name: The Magnificent World of Miniature Books with Axel Scheffler and Joseph Coelho
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

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