In order to collect feedback on our Bedtime Stories exhibition we invited visitors to share their memories about childhood bedtimes on postcards. Visitors of various ages and from all walks of life responded in a myriad of ways; the postcards have been decorated with drawings, descriptions, or simply book titles. And they keep coming!
It’s heartening to see that the exhibition prompted such a creative response in adults and children alike. Our displayed collection items drew inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry collection A Child’s Garden of Verses, and of course many of the squares that made up the patchwork quilt depicted beloved children’s stories. As the exhibition was literary-themed, many visitors regaled us with their favourite children’s books. Popular titles included Jeff Kinney’s The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Harry Potter series, Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, and David Walliams’ books.
The global popularity of J. K. Rowling’s fantasy world was apparent, as children from around the world drew her bespectacled protagonist.
National treasure Roald Dahl was a persistent favourite, as we received many drawing of The Twits, which were clearly influenced by Quentin Blake’s familiar illustrations.
Some books were lesser known, such as the Astrosaurs series, which follows a band of space-travelling dinosaurs, written by Steve Cole.
Then again, other visitors expressed more abstract responses to the exhibition on their postcards. Someone simply responded with a sketch of a dreamy landscape, dotted with sheep and trees.
Some grown-up visitors preferred to go into more detail about their memories, and provided longer accounts of their childhood experiences. 25 year-old Oliver told us about the young adult books which were important for him.
58 year-old Jayashree listed Indian mythology tales alongside Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers.
Accounts of home-made stories were prevalent in the postcards. We received these from adults in the form of memoirs:
… as well as from imaginative young people:
We look forward to receiving even more wonderful responses to the Bedtime Stories exhibition!