Our week long summer courses offer the chance to work with professional artists! Choose between Summer Story Makers and Picture This.

Animal – a safari through stories

Animal exhibition artwork

Major new exhibition for all ages

Why are there so many children’s stories about animals? What do they tell us about ourselves and the natural world? And if you were a story animal, which would you be?

Find out by travelling our immersive story trail. Explore snowy forests and jungle clearings, city streets and sunlit meadows in search of fictional animals both fierce and friendly. From fantastic foxes to clever cockroaches, wise bears to cats skilled in martial arts, this animal safari promises unforgettable encounters with many prize specimens.

Use all your senses to experience favourite tales, books and films and learn how their animal heroes are faring in the real world.

Howl like a hunter. Dive beneath the sea. Discover your daemon.

Explore your wild side…

Animals-Story Museum-AWalmsley-lowres-029


  • 12 new immersive spaces plus 5 established favourites including Narnia and Wonderland. Click here for a list of the featured stories.
  • Specially commissioned interviews with Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman, Piers Torday and Katherine Rundell about the special connection between children, animals and stories.
  • Allegoric -Animal: A display for older readers about two powerful political fables of the 20th Century: Animal Farm by George Orwell, brought to life through Ralph Steadman’s searing illustrations, and Maus, Art Spiegelman’s poignant graphic novel about the Holocaust.
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon: A new exhibition of world stories collected by pupils at St Ebbe’s Primary School, Oxford. Hear funny and fearsome traditional tales – from Africa, India, China & Japan, Britain, Europe, Oceania and The Americas – as you admire fabric illustrations of these story creatures of land, sea and sky.
  • The Imaginary Menagerie: make a paper cut-out of your favourite fictional animal to display in our carnival of creatures great and small.

Other favourites include:

  • The Talking Throne: Dress up as your favourite animal character and be announced by the amazing talking throne. Are you King of the Jungle or bottom of the food chain?
  • Time for Bed: Enter a starlit world of picture books, nursery rhymes and lullabies, a twilight zoo of animals of every stripe. Curl up on our enormous – but very cosy – patchwork bed to enjoy a snuggly story with your favourite cuddly toy.