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Animal – a safari through stories

Friday 4th December

Animal – a safari through stories

2016 is The Year of the Animal at The Story Museum – a year-long celebration of animals in traditional tales, books and films that will encourage visitors young and old to explore their wild side.  The centrepiece is ‘Animal’, an immersive exhibition that investigates the special appeal of animal stories for children, and what these teach us about ourselves and the natural world.

With contributions from an impressive array of writers and artists, including Michael Morpurgo, Piers Torday, S F Said and Oxford authors Philip Pullman, Geraldine McCaughrean, Tom Moorhouse and Katherine Rundell the exhibition traces the roles that animals play in some our best-loved tales from Aesop’s Fables to The Wind in the Willows, War Horse to The Last Wild.

‘Animal’ builds on the success of The Story Museum’s critically acclaimed ’26 Characters’ exhibition, described by Intelligent Life as “full of wit and wonder.” Once again visitors will find themselves stepping into story worlds but these will be the habitats of fictional animals, a moonlit forest full of wolves, the jungle home of a wise bear, city streets patrolled by cats skilled in martial arts, rolling downlands where rabbits search for a new home.

Kim Pickin, curator and co-director says:
“‘Animal’ is a safari that guarantees some unforgettable encounters with fictional animals – both fierce and friendly.  Visitors will have to use all their senses to experience their stories and learn how these animals are faring in the real world.”

To complement these immersive and interactive spaces, The Story Museum has commissioned a series of spectacular fabric hangings presenting seven animal stories from seven different story traditions (Britain, Europe, Africa, the Americas, India, China, Oceania). Collected by prize winning author Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by textile artist Ally Baker, with help from Oxfordshire primary school children these stories show the timeless and universal appeal of animal characters.

Other highlights to enjoy at The Story Museum include:

Time For Bed
A starlit world of lullabies and nursery rhymes where visitors can enjoy their favourite animal bedtime story curled up on the enormous (but very cosy) bed, complete with giant patchwork quilt.

The Talking Throne
Dress up as your favourite animal character and be announced by the amazing talking throne to find out if you’re king of the jungle or bottom of the food chain!

About The Story Museum

The Story Museum celebrates the power of stories to inspire learning, especially for the young. A charity and non-profit company, the museum runs outreach programmes in schools and communities and is gradually transforming its central Oxford site into a magical new centre dedicated to children’s story. The museum completed the first phase of this transformation in 2014, with the launch of a shop and café and the interactive ‘26 Characters’ exhibition. It is currently fundraising to complete the rest of its development. The museum’s patrons include authors Kevin Crossley-Holland, Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.

To request a photo, further details or to attend a performance please contact:
David Gibb, Marketing and Communications Officer at The Story Museum: 01865 790050.

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