Children’s literature exhibition coming to Ipswich

Pages from Nadia Shireen's children's novel Billy and the Beast

The exhibition showcases popular children’s books, including Billy and the Beast - Credit: Nadia Shireen, 2019 – Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House Children’s

Fans of children’s literature will be in their element at Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature’s Young Rebels – this year’s summer exhibition at The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront.

Opening on Friday, July 15, the interactive, family-friendly exhibition from the British Library showcases favourite rebellious characters from children’s books. It features more than 50 books, manuscripts and original artwork, including characters such as Tracy Beaker, Pippi Longstocking, Jane Eyre, Dirty Bertie and Matilda. 

Visitors can discover original artworks by much-loved illustrators including Sir Quentin Blake (Matilda), Nick Sharratt (Tracy Beaker) and Judith Kerr (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit). 

The exhibition highlights how rebels in children’s literature are presented in different ways: characters who stand up for what they believe in, break away from convention, have a cause they are striving for, are extremely resilient, survive difficult situations, or are just slightly mischievous. 

“We are excited to bring the British Museum’s Marvellous and Mischievous touring exhibition to Suffolk,” said Cllr Bobby Bennett, cabinet member for equality and communities at Suffolk County Council. “By combining the exhibition with a fun events programme, we are giving people of all ages and backgrounds even more reason to experience our culture, archives and heritage centre for themselves.” 

The Hold in Ipswich

The Marvellous and Mischievous: Literature’s Young Rebels exhibition will be at The Hold on Ipswich Waterfront from July 15 - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Emily Shepperson, exhibition and interpretation officer at Suffolk Archives, explained: “The exhibition programme offers light-hearted, creative activities for families and adults. We hope that everyone enjoys the display of characters and stories which hold a special place in their hearts.  

“We encourage over 18s to try our monthly ‘Lates’, which are perfect for groups, couples and culture vultures!” 

Events include storytelling for adults and children, and children’s crafty sessions in August. Children’s lunchboxes can be pre-ordered to save money when booking a child’s event place. 

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The programme also includes a new anthology of stories by University of Suffolk MA Creative Writing students, ‘Suffolk Rebels With a Very Good Cause’. 

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the exhibition runs until Sunday, September 25. The Hold is also a great place to meet friends, hire for private events or exhibitions, and more. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit