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Bears take centre stage

The River & Rowing Museum is teeming with bears this summer. Discover!, the museum’s interactive family area, has been transformed into a wonderful world of bears. Go on your own bear hunt through the bears’ glade, curl up with your favourite story in the bear cave and enjoy dressing up as your favourite characters. Bears! is now open at the museum – perfect timing for the school holidays. 
Following on from the success of its Peter Rabbit and Nick Sharratt exhibitions, and in advance of the forthcoming The Snowman and The Snowdog and Elmer & Friends exhibitions, the museum continues to promote children’s literature and illustrations with this delightful exhibition. 
Bears! features original artworks and manuscripts, including Hugless Douglas, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Otto the Book Bear will guide visitors around the exhibition, introducing them to children’s book bears old and new. Bears! is an opportunity to see beautiful, inspiring illustrations and preparatory artwork from the creators of many favourite bear books and to gain an insight into the process of illustration with many artists using a combination of traditional and digital techniques.  
Exhibition highlights include original artwork by Robert Ingpen of the Hundred Acre Wood,from the well-known series Winnie the Poohby A.A. Milne, and original artwork by Jane Hissey for Old Bear. See the annotated typescript draft of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (1989, Walker). 
The exhibition comes to the museum from Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. Gill Rennie, senior curator at Seven Stories, said: “Almost everyone has a teddy bear and over the last hundred years bears have become increasingly popular subjects for children’s authors and illustrators. 
“What is it about bears that we love so much? and what adventures are bears getting up to in books today? Visit the exhibition to find out.” 
To support this exhibition, the museum will be running a series of bear-related family days and children’s workshops over the summer holidays to bring the displays to life. 
For more details on events visit their website 

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