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Read, Watch and Listen

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Dream Time

“The more time you spend in ‘dream time’ living in your head where the story is, imagining how the people involved would feel – then you can lose yourself utterly in the story. That’s what I try to do.” Michael Morpurgo

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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Kensuke's Kingdom

A young visitor to Seven Stories explores Michael’s notebooks for Kensuke’s Kingdom (1999), one of over 150 books Michael has written for children. Michael wrote the story after he received a letter from a fan asking him to write a story about a boy stranded on a desert island.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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Michael and his illustrators

A Storycatcher engages with visitors in the Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime of Stories gallery. The exhibition has a section dedicated to illustrators of Michael's books, where artwork by Sir Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman and Patrick Benson is on display.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children's Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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Michael Morpurgo

Award-winning children’s author Michael Morpurgo visits the exhibition at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. AHRC Knowledge Transfer Partnership Research Associate Dr Jessica Medhurst has been exploring Michael’s archive and supporting Seven Stories’ curators.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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Michael's orange notebooks

Orange school notebooks are an important repository for Michael's first ideas and drafts. On the cover of this Private Peaceful (2003) notebook, Michael notes how many words he's written each day as he develops the story.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children's Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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Original manuscripts

Visitors have the opportunity to view handwritten drafts and typescripts from Listen to the Moon (2014), which tells the story of Lucy, a young girl who is washed up on the Scilly Isles during World War One, unable to speak. The novel explores the power of communication and the threat of silence.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children's Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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War Horse

Michael’s handwritten draft of Chapter 8 of War Horse (1982), on display for the first time in the Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories exhibition. The displays show how the story evolved from first draft to publication of the book, to adaptation for the National Theatre and Steven Spielberg film scripts.

Image: Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, photography by Rich Kenworthy.

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