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Julia Donaldson visits ‘A Squash and A Squeeze’ at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Julia Donaldson visits ‘A Squash and A Squeeze’ at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

11th October 2013

On Monday 7 October, Julia Donaldson showed pupils from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School around ‘A Squash and A Squeeze’ the exhibition which has been wowing audiences in Birmingham throughout the summer bringing the author’s captivating stories to life.

Since opening in July, over 20,000 people, of all ages, have entered Julia’s world of stories, rhythm and rhyme at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG). The exhibition runs until 3 November giving audiences plenty of time to come and explore the exhibition for themselves.

On 7 October, Julia spent time with the pupils from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School exploring her stories, singing songs accompanied by her husband Malcolm Donaldson on his guitar, and answering questions. From 2pm – 3.30pm, as part of Julia’s special visit, over 150 people queued to meet Julia herself at a public book signing bringing along their favourite book for Julia to sign.

Visitors to ‘A Squash and a Squeeze – Sharing Stories with Julia Donaldson’ can find out how Julia wrote modern classics such as The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard and The Troll. Sing-a-long to her songs on Julia’s Jukebox and step inside the A Squash and a Squeeze house. Visitors can also see original artwork by many of Julia’s illustrators and read behind-the-scenes letters between Julia and her most famous illustrator, Axel Scheffler, showing how characters such as The Gruffalo’s Child was developed.

Julia Donaldson said: “This is a fantastic exhibition and I am tremendously excited to have seen this even bigger version in Birmingham. I am delighted that the worlds I have created, along with my illustrators, have come to life over the summer. Children and families are able to participate, play, sing and let their imaginations run wild with help from the theatre and the juke box that form part of the exhibition”.

Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust said: “We’re delighted that families from Birmingham and beyond have been immersing themselves in Julia Donaldson’s much-loved and lauded stories at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery this summer, there is still chance for families to enjoy the world of A Squash and A Squeeze as the exhibition continues throughout the Autumn.”

‘Our programming focus is on providing the best quality arts and cultural experiences for all audiences and A Squash and a Squeeze is the perfect experience for children and adults alike’.

‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ is a touring exhibition from Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. It is supported by Scholastic, Macmillan and Alison Green books. This will be a charged exhibition, please see the website for details: www.bmag.org.uk. The exhibition runs until 3 November 2013.

This Christmas, Julia Donaldson’s What the Ladybird Heard will be brought to life at Town Hall Birmingham in a new stage show from Kenny Wax, from Friday 20 December – Friday 10 January.  Based on the award-winning picture book, illustrated by Lydia Monks, expect live music, plenty of audience participation and one or two surprises!  Catch a short snippet of the show in one of two ‘sneak peek’ performances, in Symphony Hall’s Café Bar (11am) and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s exhibition A Squash and a Squeeze (1pm),  on Sunday 27th October. For more information visit www.thsh.co.uk.

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