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discover centre's storycloud goes live!

Remember that MONSTERVILLE I mentioned in earlier blog posts, the monster village I designed with Ed Vere, Neal Layton and the Discover Children's Story Centre in Stratford, east London? Well, this time the Discover gang paired me up with very tall writer Philip Ardagh, and we came up with a little interactive web story. And so did lots of other fab writers and illustrators whose work you'll probably recognise! So today was the official launch day of the StoryCloud website; the Discover centre threw a party, and the 'pull me' lever got pulled.



I wasn't quite sure who was coming to the party, other than Mr Ardagh, so I was chuffed to bits when I arrived to see him, Chris Riddell and Adam Stower already there, and I met StoryCloud illustrator Carl Pearce. We were all curious to see how our stories had turned out, and poked and prodded the iPad like excited 3-year-olds.



And here's the new StoryCloud website! You'll only get to read the first story on this visit, but Discover will unlock a new story every Monday for eleven more weeks, as part of the London 2012 Festival. The first story's by former children's laureate and writer Michael Rosen and illustrator Kristyna Litten. You can read a bit more about it in today's Telegraph article by Martin Chilton here. It's fun to look at, but also a great resource to set off kids creating new stories of their own. (Do you know any kids? Why not get them to submit a story! 400 words or less, that's a manageable size.)





Current children's laureate Julia Donaldson (you know, The Gruffalo and all that) gave an opening speech to start us off.



Mr Ardagh read his short story, Down the Plug Hole and I made a little picture of what was supposed to be our character, a small boy named Morris, in the bath, but which turned out to be someone else. Then the audience helped me fill up the bath with an eagle, an snake, an elephant...



Here's Malorie Blackman reading her story, Strange Things Happen while Chris Riddell draws a pegasus.



And Adam Stower did a great presentation, giving us important lessons about things one should and shouldn't stick up one's nose. You can catch a glimpse at the page Adam drew, in the background, put together by Neal Hoskins and his small-but-good team at Winged Chariot press. We had a good laugh about those pink things in the bottles which are, in fact, lungs. It's a lung shop.



One cool thing was that they mixed a few young storytellers in with the pros; here are two of the writers.



It's a great line-up! Here are fab writers Candy Gourlay and Jamila Gavin, who also took part. Their stories were illustrated by Deborah Allwright and Lee Wildish.



The Discover centre had polished up their fancy tea cups specially for us! You can just catch a glimpse behind me of one of the characters in our story.



Nom nom, it wasn't just tea.



Here are story pair Candy and Deborah and, oh look, Candy just noticed that her scone is a holy relic.



Here's Discover's fab director, Sally Goldworthy:



Left to right, here are Elissa Elwick, Candy, Adam, Kristyna and Chris. ...This sort of thing seemed to happen a lot while we were taking photos.




Thanks, Discover, for a lovely day out! If you have kids in London, keep your eye on what Discover gets up to, they always have loads of amazing things going on for them. They're just around the corner from London's main Olympics site.



And, of course, don't miss the stories on the StoryCloud website. Lots of good things lie in wait!

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Sarah McIntyre

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