We've been busy over the Winter making sure there are nice new books that reflect our theme for this year; "On holiday with Beatrix Potter."
We have a Maisy Goes on Holiday Story Sack - aimed at our younger visitors. If you don't know what a 'Story Sack' is - it's literally a story book in a sack (or in this case a lovely 'Herdy' Bag). The idea is that an adult reads the main story to the child and then they use the 'props' in the bag to re-enact or talk about the story. There is usually a more factual book included and a game to play also.
For younger children we also have a beautiful Beatrix Potter themed frieze with magnetic characters and objects on - creating stories in this way certainly fires the children's imaginations.
As our theme is 'Holidays' this year - we also have a wee suitcase that the children can pack and unpack with the kind of things they'd take on a seaside holiday!
One of our very special new exhibits this year in the Beatrix Potter Gallery, is the Natural History Cabinet; full of specimens that Beatrix and her brother, Bertram, collected. You can see butterflies, moths, beetles, dragonflies, but also shells, rocks and fossils. This cabinet has been very kindly loaned to us by the Beatrix Potter Society.
We've taken the theme of Natural History for the older children's books, including the wonderful true story of Mary Anning, a little girl who found a very important fossil.
Beatrix loved to scramble about looking for fossils while on holiday and she wrote in her journal about a conversation with an elderly gentleman that she met - which shows her magpie like collecting manner!
"He seems to think it positively improper to collect fossils from all over the country, but I do not feel under obligation to confine my attention to a particular formation [...]. I beg to state I intend to pick up everything I find which is not too heavy."And of course, after all, we are the Beatrix Potter Gallery and we shall have Storytellers in the Gallery reading Beatrix's lovely stories to both children and adults alike! So if you'd love to hear The Tale of Peter Rabbit read aloud - please check with us when our storytellers will be in.