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Cuddly, friendly bears have featured in numerous books for children since the ‘invention’ of the Teddy Bear in the early 1900s and many of these stories introduced us to beloved characters that became staples of our childhoods.

Starting on Saturday 16 February 2019, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG) invites you to come face-to-face with your favourite bears in their new exhibition – Bears!

On your journey through the exhibition, you will meet some of the most loveable and cuddly bears like Winnie the Pooh and Paddington bear among others. But it’s important to remember that not all bears are nice as you discover the scary bear under the stairs which is sure to keep you on your toes.

An image of a boy in the bear cave reading a children's book with a big smile on his face. Visit Bears at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery from February to April 2019.

During your visit you will also get to hunt for bears in the bear forest and enjoy original manuscripts and illustrations from Phillip Pullman, Michael Rosen, Martin Waddell, Julia Donaldson and many more.

You can bring your own special bear to the Museum and read a bedtime story in the cosy bear cave.

This exhibition is suitable for bear fanatics of all ages.

Things to do for children and families

As you walk around the gallery, children will be guided by Otto, the Book Bear (from the book of the same name by Katie Cleminson). Otto speaks to us in easy to read sentences, mounted at a child’s level.

Otto has left us a trail of his paw prints all over the floor of the gallery, which visitors can follow from one section to another. His messages are found at least once in each section of the exhibition.

During Bears! stay at SM&AG, there will be a series of workshops and events perfect for families and children. Take part in a ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘Bear, Sing and Share’!

Bears is open until Sunday 28 April 2019.

This is an exhibition developed by Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books.

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