Thursday, 24 November 2016

All About: #autoarchives

We've held onto this month's All About Transport blog post to bring you a selection of the Collection and Exhibition Team's favorite modes of transport for #autoarchives.  It is #ExploreArchives week afterall.  Don't forget to let us know your favorite mode of transport in children's books. 

Original artwork by Helen Craig for 'Angelina's Birthday'. HCr/01/04/04 Artwork © Helen Craig. Photography © Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books

I love the red bike that Angelina gets for her birthday, the excitement of getting a shiny new bike is phenomenal, Helen Craig conveys that so well through her beautiful illustrations.  We gave our daughter a bike basket just like Angelina’s when she was 7 and decorated our garden in much the same way that Angelina did with streamers and balloons.
Sarah McGlynn – Touring Coordinator

Section about materials in the Ladybird Book 'How to Make: Flying Models Photography © Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books

Spotting the difference between Ladybird books has become a habit of mine. There are just so many editions, so many similar titles and just so many books.  I had started to count editions of Ladybirds about motorcars to make this point.  I counted ten and then got distracted by a huge pile of ‘Tootles the Taxi’, before I finally realised how arbitrary such a count would be because I couldn’t decide when to draw the line.  Then I decided I wanted to write about Hovercrafts in Ladybird books before stumbling on this gem: ‘How to Make: Flying Models’. Ladybird have written about everything.  This book teaches us not only how to make the PERFECT paper aeroplane but how to make planes from wood – really committed crafting.  What this little task has made me realise is that people survived without the internet because they had Ladybird books.  The internet?  Please ask me about the Ladybird title ‘How to Internet Shop’ for #autoarchives
Danielle McAloon – Collections and 
Exhibition Assistant

Original artwork with annotations, by Barabara Jones for Timothy Tramcar, c. 1950. These illustrations show the campaign in favour of the trams, and a bus leaving poor Timothy in his wake. Photography © Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books


I love the artwork by Barbara Jones for Timothy Tramcar. It was actually one of the first ever artworks I saw when starting work at Seven Stories, and it stuck with me ever since. The artwork in places is quite psychedelic, and I was really excited to get to work in a place that uncovered such intriguing books! Recently I researched it further for a blog post, and the history of it I still find quite fascinating, particularly the illustrator’s involvement in documenting the dramatic changes in post war life around the UK, and how this feeds in to the story.
Alison Fisher – Exhibition Curator

Draft material by Elisabeth Beresford for her series of Wombles Titles. Photography © Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books. 

The Wombles are the perfect urban citizen. They keep to themselves, clean up rubbish, and have a strong sense of community. I love the fact that they form their lives around recycled material and objects, and are always having creative, if far-fetched, inventive ideas. In a story draft called ‘The Conservation Car’, the author Elisabeth Beresford describes how the Wombles come across a giant magnet and want to put it to use. It happens that fuel prices are too high for them to drive their car (a hotchpotch of castaway human objects) – so they attach the magnet to the front of it and get pulled along by an unwitting lorry. I’m sure they were the furriest hitchers the driver has ever had.
Charlie Shovlar – Career Development 
Module work placement student


Photographs from translated editions of 'The Little Train' illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. Editions include Japanese, Spanish and Afrikaans.  Photography © Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books.


I’m fascinated by the foreign editions of The Little Train book, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone in the 1973 which we’ve recently acquired.  Excuse the pun but there’s an intriguing story attached to the publication of The Little Train, which was written by Graham Greene and originally illustrated by Dorothy Craigie in 1946.  Seven Stories holds the original illustrations by both Craigie and Ardizzone and it is really interesting to see how they each chose to illustrate the same story, in their own different styles and media.  What I love about the foreign editions of the books is that not only has the text of the main story been translated as one would expect, but Ardizzone’s hand written text which is overlaid within his illustrations has also been translated e.g. in the labels on the map of the Little Train’s journey and in text written within speech bubbles.  Sometimes this has caused a practical problem for the translator / publisher so that in the Japanese, Spanish, Afrikaans, Norwegian, and Swedish editions of the book, you can clearly see where Ardizzone’s original text has been overwritten and hasn’t quite been disguised!  I also love comparing the text in all the different languages to see how the translator has coped with some of the more unusual words.  It’s particularly fun looking at the black ‘Stop – Boomp – Woosh…. Bump – Clang – Whee - Bang’ page and the very last ‘Puff, puff, puff’ page of the book.
Paula Wride – Collection Officer

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