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Pirates, Pants…

... and Wellyphants. A lovely interactive kids' exhibition featuring Nick Sharratt's iconic illustrations at Henley's River & Rowing Museum.

I happened to be in Henley last week so made a detour to the River & Rowing Museum to check out its Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants – The Illustrated World of Nick Sharratt with the Muddy midgets. 

How much fun is this? I love it! A really bright, colourful, fun exhibition to brighten up the summer holidays for younger children.

Like all the River & Rowing exhibitions it’s small and accessible, ideal for little people to get a feel for art without breaking into yawns, not least because it’s so interactive. Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants features a recreation of Nick’s studio, drawing stations, a touch-screen where kids can create their own digital ‘Sharracter’, instruments, a cosy library kitted out with all his books and bean-bags to read them on, maracas so children can wind up their parents with incessant shaking, and a dress-up box full of whacky costumes, including a mermaid’s tail, fancy pants and a pineapple.

Nick Sharratt is, of course, the man behind the recognisable illustrations for Jacqueline Wilson’s books, and the exhibition explores Nick’s passion for drawing, from childhood to his current status as renowned illustrator and author and his illustrations of Tracy Beaker, Daisy, Hetty Feather and Pirate Pete, as well as the book I loved reading with my children when they were younger, You Choose – you can see it below on the walls of the storytelling room below. Super-interactive and always something different to chat about. Head over on a Friday for stories in this upstairs space, and don’t forget the exhibition ends soon after the summer hols (16 Sept) so get in while you still have time.

Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants: The Illustrated World of Nick Sharratt runs until 16 Sep at River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1BF. Tel: 01491 415600.


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