Fantasy: Daydreams and Diaries

By Jo Phillips

Integral to children’s books are originality, imagination, fantasies, and dreams. It is not only important that children’s literature writers offer readers narratives, but also experience. One of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, who particularly inspires both young people and adults through their imagination and storytelling is Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Nearly 100 books have been written by the Former Children’s Laureate (2005-2007) and multi-award winning author. Her work has been translated into 34 different languages and over 35 million copies of her work have been sold in the UK alone.

copyright Barry Pells
Jacqueline Wilson (in front of Tracey Beaker display)© Barry Pells, 2011 for Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Book

This April, the V&A Museum of Childhood will host the ‘Daydreams and Diaries, the Story of Jacqueline Wilson’ exhibition celebrating her persistent and prolific contribution to children’s literature. The exhibition explores her work in a wider context, looks at her diverse character and their lives, and the way her stories impact young readers. The exhibition particularly focuses on some of Jacqueline’s own favourite stories, including Tracy Beaker, The Illustrated Mum, The Suitcase Kid, Hetty Feather and Cliffhanger.

Jacqueline Wilson School photograph age 14©Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson School photograph age 14©Jacqueline Wilson

Tour through Jacqueline’s life and work and discover what inspired her to cook up some of the ideas for her most celebrated books. At the entrance of the exhibition, visitors find themselves in a mock-up of the author’s childhood bedroom, where her love for reading blossomed. A replication of her study room today closes the exhibition. Included in the exhibition are Jacqueline’s short stories and diaries as well as Nick Sharratt’s illustrations which are indivisible to her books.

The ‘Daydreams and Diaries, the Story of Jacqueline Wilson’ exhibition opens on 5 April and runs till 2 November 2014 at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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