Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Weaving a Story at the Story Museum

Last week I went with Anita Loughrey and three eleven year-olds to the Story Museum in Oxford. I had heard about it at the London Book Fair a couple of years ago. Then I saw an article in the Sunday papers. My holiday in England was half-way through, so I grabbed the chance to go.  

I could spend hours telling you about everything in there: the helpful staff, the "26 Characters" whose names we had to guess and stamps we had to collect, the laughter and the "Oh this is sooo cool!"s of our three young friends.  But I don't want to spoil it if you are going there yourself.

So here's a round-up of our tour. And I should say it's equally fun for adults as for kids. No need to feel odd if you're not accompanied by young'uns. Though having Joe, Jack and Tanaka there made it even more fun.

1 The Changing Room.  Dress up in any way you choose, create your name, and sit on a throne while a voice magically announces you.  
-  Love the fur coat. Anyone for a sausage?

2  Check out the amazing Story Loom, invented by an imaginative Victorian, or not?  

[The boys were too busy dressing up. I was entranced by this contraption, though.]

3  Wander, wonder and explore... each room houses one or more stories.
Can you guess what they are?  And what sort of door we came through? 
Fake snow was a hit! 

4  Create your own story on the Story Spinner - a character, a place and a theme - then write and draw your picture.  Or just keep spinning for the fun of it.

5  Now for a portrait. Put yourself in the frame.  And check out all the real portraits. 

6  Choose your favourite place. Needless to say, Narnia was a real hit. 
For me it's hard to decide, but I did love Just William's Shed, and The Borrowers' drawer.

7 And finally ... once we'd filled up on panini, we climbed St Mary's Tower to gaze at the city.  Goodbye, and thank you so much, Oxford Story Museum. We had a fantastic morning.  

And a quick postscript - I loved the atmosphere inside the building, and the fact that it was in the back half of the Post Office. Not hard to imagine the telephone exchange and the canteen. The whole place gave me a sense of being 'back stage' so many different stories. 

The Story Museum: Home

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