One of the first books my son was given was The Gruffalo and since then Julia Donaldson has been a firm favourite in this house! So, when I saw that A Squash and a Squeeze was coming to the Historic Dockyards in Chatham I was very excited.
We’d been to something similar for Anthony Brown at The Beaney in Canterbury in 2013 so I had high expectations. These were exceeded as soon as we entered No 1 Smithery today. The buzz of excited children and impressed parents was lovely!
As we explored the different sections of the exhibition we were transported into some of Julia’s best known story worlds and some that were new to us. The woolly mammoth’s cave complete with crayon drawings from all the children who had already been there, was a particularly interactive one.
But it wasn’t the only interactive part – the exhibition is packed with them. From touching the Gruffalo’s poisonous wart, to cuddling the monster himself, to dressing up as characters and acting out your favourite scene, to lifting flaps, and even trying to squeeze everything into the Little Old Lady’s house, are just a number of things you can do!
But what I particularly liked was that everywhere you looked, there were parents and grandparents reading the stories to their children and grandchildren. Every available corner was filled with people huddled together either re-reading a loved book or experiencing a new one. I had to read Room on the Broom three times before we were allowed to move on to the next book!
The Historic Dockyards have used the space available at No. 1 Smithery brilliantly. And the best part is; the exhibition is there until 1st June – so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy it!
We also had time to explore the rest of the Dockyard and took these lovely photos in the sunshine…so had to share as well!
Thank you to the Historic Dockyards for inviting us along today!