Wensum</h1><h1>English Hub

The British Library

About the project

Explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations with Discovering Children’s Books, a free online resource for children, teachers and book-lovers of all ages. The site explores the history and rich variety of children’s literature, drawing on inspiring material from medieval fables to contemporary picture books.

Over 150 treasures are waiting to be found, from one-of-a-kind manuscripts to original illustrations. Collection highlights include original drafts, artworks, poems and notebooks by beloved authors and illustrators including Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Kenneth Grahame, Judith Kerr, John Agard, Quentin Blake, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child, Zanib Mian and Liz Pichon. The website also provides access to some of the earliest printed works created for a young readership and an array of movable, miniature, noisy and toy books, propaganda stories, comics, poems and fairy tales.

For the writers and artists of the future, there’s a gallery of activities to spark children’s creativity and inspire their own stories, poems, illustrations and more.

The British Library’s annual Step inside your story programme celebrates inclusivity and representation in children’s books, showing that everyone can be an author. This autumn, we’re teaming up with writers and illustrators Patrice Lawrence, Jeffrey Boakye, Robert Tregoning, Viviane Schwarz and Malorie Blackman to invite students to make concertina books all about themselves.


To get started:

  • Check out our brand new film from Malorie Blackman, with tips for writing your own stories, cultivating your voice and celebrating difference.
  • Book your free place for two fabulous livestreamed events:

Teachers’ CPD, exploring representation in children’s books, 5 October 16:00-17.30

Join this inspiring session with Jeffrey Boakye, Robert Tregoning and Viviane Schwarz and more to explore ways of building a culture of reading and writing that reflects your students’ diverse lives. Book now.

‘Authors into schools’ workshop, 10 October 11:00-12:00

Join authors and illustrators Patrice Lawrence, Robert Tregoning and Viviane Schwarz in this playful livestreamed session to inspire your students to step inside their own stories and make zig-zag books. Produced in partnership with Seven Stories. Perfect for children aged 6-11. Take part.