Our Kent Family daydream at BFG in Pictures in Canterbury's The Beaney

by Lauren Abbott

'We is in dream country' the BFG said. 'This is where all dreams is beginning.'

Now, if you're four, or six, seven or 10 then this appears to start with wishing for more time for drawing, for superhero powers or for the latest computer game or new book.

And having been surrounded by lots of books in the last month with World Book Day, an extreme reading photo competition, school's Awesome Authors Day, some wonderful trips to the library and book shop and fresh from a drawing masterclass with comic book illustrator Jason Ford - The BFG in Pictures exhibition at Canterbury's The Beaney was an obvious next stop for us.

BFG in Pictures was put together by Quentin Blake and The House of Illustration
BFG in Pictures was put together by Quentin Blake and The House of Illustration

There are more than 40 original Quentin Blake illustrations on display within the exhibition space, including some unpublished work.

Now I'll be honest - the children skipped through the exhibition pretty rapidly.

They admired the drawings, picked out the ones they most liked or recognised from the book and were swiftly onto the next.

They went through the framed pictures on display quicker than Willy Wonker's glass elevator can shoot through a chocolate factory.

Probably fairly typical behaviour for children of their age.

But as if some enormous BFG dream catcher net had scooped them up - they were caught at the very end by a range of art and craft activities based around The BFG.

Phoebe, Amber, Oscar and Liv loved the craft activities
Phoebe, Amber, Oscar and Liv loved the craft activities

We drew dreams in dream jars - and outside them when they spilled over.

And we had a go at drawing our own Quentin Blake style giants.

The BFG in the children's own pictures
The BFG in the children's own pictures

There was also the opportunity to take part in The Beaney's Share Your Dream competition where describing a dream in pictures or words can win you a range of prizes depending on your age.

There are plenty of BFG-themed creative activities to choose from
There are plenty of BFG-themed creative activities to choose from

But the activity we perhaps all most enjoyed was crafting our own dream catcher baubles. Kits available from The Beaney, at £2.50 each, include a plastic bauble with which to encase your dream, various decorations and some slips of paper for penning your wishes.

The children took an awful lot of care and attention in building their own baubles - taking inspiration from the gorgeous and colourful selection already strung and hanging from the gallery's ceiling.

BFG baubles
BFG baubles

I think it was this part of the exhibition that made it worthwhile for us - without the craft activities I think our time in the exhibition would have been extremely short lived.

And judging by the amount of youngsters crowding round for a seat - it was probably the same for many other families too - and something which organisers might need to consider during school holidays when perhaps their craft corner just won't be big enough for all the budding Quentin Blakes.

The BFG in Pictures is a fantastic exhibition and a super chance to see Quentin Blake's original artwork up close.

But The BFG in pens, pencils, drawings, baubles, feathers, glitter, artwork and crafts was a far more magical thing.

The BFG in Pictures is running at The Beaney until May.

For further details click here.

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