Calling all teachers – World Book Day Celebration


Our Storyhunters are so excited about World Book Day that we’ve decided one day just isn’t enough to celebrate!

Join us for a week-long of celebration, where The Storyhunters will honour our, and your,
favourite stories. Our extra special half-day sessions are available 10am – 12noon or 12:30pm
– 2:30pm.

For one week only, these special celebration sessions are available for only £200! Before you arrive – make sure you choose a story that your WHOLE class loves to read and bring it
along with you.

Want to book or have a question? – Send us an email to or give us a ring on 0151 729 2227.

Prinovis UK gift The Storybarn’s literary adventure to schoolchildren in Garston

Christmas came early for the pupils of Banks Road Primary Schools this week as The Reader’s Storyhunters brought the magic of The Storybarn into the classroom thanks to the sponsorship of Speke-based printing specialists, Prinovis UK.

As ongoing partners of The Reader and signatories to the National Literacy Trust’s Vision for Literacy Business Pledge, Prinovis UK funded a full day of Storybarn on the Road at the Garston Primary School meaning that every pupil had the opportunity to experience the thrilling interactive adventure with The Storyhunters in their own classroom.

Combining immersive storytelling with games, songs and creative play, The Storyhunters took up residence at The Reader’s interactive children’s story centre The Storybarn at Calderstones Park in March 2017. On Thursday 16 November, Storyhunters Hilly and Tilly brought bring seasonal part-storytelling, part interactive theatre experience to Bank Roads Primary as part of the new Storybarn on the Road initiative.

The Storybarn’s Annie Lord said:

“We’re thrilled to bring Storybarn on the Road to the pupils of Banks Road. Our Storyhunters bring stories to life and can find the magic to delight and inspire children wherever they go, thanks to Prinovis we can bring the adventure right into the classroom at Banks Road Primary!”

As signatories to the Vision for Literary Business Pledge, Prinovis UK are committed to raising literacy levels and boosting social mobility in Liverpool. Every year the team undertake a number of activities in partnership with The Reader to promote literacy and reading for pleasure among their staff and throughout the local community.

Matthew Cox of Prinovis UK said:

“We’re delighted to be working with The Reader to bring this incredible opportunity to children in the local area. We’re committed to our Vision for Literacy Pledge and see raising literacy levels and reading for pleasure as a way to change lives.”

Download the full press release.

National Literacy Trust introduces Read North East campaign to get kids reading

Our friends at the National Literacy Trust have launched read north east to get the region reading with thousands of free books and storytelling for families.

Just under 2000 free Puffin and Ladybird books were given away to families at intu Metrocentre in Gateshead this week as part of the Read North East campaign. With appearances from children’s favourite Peppa Pig and local artists Chris Callaghan and Chris Bostock, the event was the first in a series of book giveaways that will take place across the North East over the next year to inspire children to fall in love with reading.

Reading for just ten minutes a day is enough to male a difference to children’s literacy skills – with the help of Peppa Pig we’re looking forward to showing families how fun this time can be.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of National Literacy Trust

The free books, donated by Penguin Random House Children’s will encourage parents to talk and read to their babies and children every day, supporting their literacy and give them the best start in life.

The programme has been designed to help raise the region’s literacy levels which are among the lowest in the country. It was found that 60% of wards in the North East are at risk of serious literacy problems, making it the second most vulnerable region in the country.

We  want every child to have the opportunity to experience the magical world of stories. as a proud partner of Read North East we were delighted to give away books for local families to take home and enjoy reading together.”

Francesca Dow, Managing Director of Penguin Random House Children’s

Families can enjoy future storytelling and book giveaways at the following events:

Thursday 2 November – Bookworm Babies @ Seven Stories, Newcastle

Sunday 5 November – Read North East Book Giveaway @ middlesborough v sunderland, riverside stadium

saturday 18 november – northern children’s book festival gala @ the word, national centre for written word in south shields

thursday 30 november – read north east book giveaway @ the stockton sparkles christmas lights switch on event

saturday 30 and sunday 31 december – around the world new years eve part for under 5s @ seven stories, newcastle


FREE family fun at The Storybarn

 The Reader’s Courtyard Fair

10am – 5pm, Saturday 9 September

Join us this Saturday for free family-friendly fun at The Reader’s Courtyard Fair at Calderstones Park!

We’ll be holding free Storybarn sessions between 10am and 5pm – just come along on the day to sign up.

You can also join in the Big Children’s Book Swap – feel free to bring along a book you’re ready to part with and swap it for another in our wide selection.

You and your little ones can also enjoy the bouncy castle, face painting, free sessions with Little Sunshine Yoga, Heritage Tours and Independent Liverpool Makers Market stalls. The Reader’s Knit & Natter group will also be holding demonstrations for families between 10am and 2pm with bunting decoration, knitting, crochet, embroidery and pop pom making workshops – come along and join in the fun! Find out more.

What’s On

10am – 5pm   – Independent Liverpool Stalls
Hourly Storyhunter Sessions
Hourly Heritage Tours
Bouncy Castle / Face painting
10am – 11am – Bunting Decorating Workshops
11am – 2pm   – Knitting, Crochet, Embroidery & Pom Pom Making Workshops
11am – 4pm   – Regular Shared Reading Taster Sessions
12pm – 3pm   – The Big Children’s Book Swap

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY – New adventure sets sail in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park

To celebrate the start of the school summer holidays, and fresh from the success of their last two seasons, The Storybarn’s Storyhunters are setting sail on a brand-new adventure in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park.

Part-storytelling experience, part-interactive theatre show, The Storyhunters – All At Sea is a brand-new indoor / outdoor adventure from The Reader’s Storybarn, the team that brought Michael Rosen’s Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things to the North West earlier this year.

As one recent visitor said, it’s “a fantastic day out, [I went] with two friends on Saturday and our six children! The children had a brilliant time and it was made more magical by the wonderful engaging staff! A truly wonderful day out, not one to be missed.”

Beginning this Saturday, July 22, and running until Sunday, September 10, Storyhunters – All At Sea sessions are specially developed for children aged three to eight and their families. Including a mix of stories, songs and crafting activities, voyages begin in The Storybarn and venture out across the park on the hunt for The Story Captain’s Story Clues. Discover stories of all shapes and sizes including Edward Leer’s The Owl and The Pussycat, Quentin Blake’s The Green Ship and Marcus Pfister’s The Rainbow Fish.

The Story Captain said: “YO HO HO! Avast ye landlubbers, me tales have gone missing, the seadog storyhunting crew need yer help to follow the story clues and find them before they end up in Davy Jones’ locker. So batten down the hatches and join in the adventure in Calderstones Park.”

Tickets for The Storyhunters – All At Sea are only £4 per person and are available online now or in-person at The Reader Ice Cream Parlour.

Around the World in 80 Days with Off the Ground Theatre

Around the world in 80 days with off the ground theatre

Off The Ground Theatre bring their adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days to Calderstones Park on July 27 but before the curtains open on the performance, the team are holding two special workshops inspired by the play at The Storybarn.

On July 15, families will have two opportunities to take part in the action and meet the cast in a special workshop full of fun, silliness and adventure.

Tickets are free but only a limited number are available so book now to avoid disappointment!

saturday 15 july, 10:00 – 11:15am

saturday 15 july, 12:00 – 1.15pm



The Short Story Prize 2017: Could you recreate a classic fairy tale?

Our friends at National Literacy Trust have teamed up with Bloomsbury Publishing (J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Louis Sachar) to search for aspiring children’s writers.

The Short Story Prize 2017 is calling on budding children’s fiction writers to recreate a classic fairy tale – with the chance of having their work published!

The competition challenges unpublished authors to put a modern twist on a well-known fairy tale that will capture children’s imaginations.

Entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words and the writing should be aimed at children aged 8 – 12.

The top 10 stories will be published in an eBook anthology by Bloomsbury and each winner will receive £200.

Emma Cox, winner of the New Children’s Author Prize 2015 said:

“This is a magical opportunity to grasp with both hands – how fabulous to write a twisted, wicked modern take on a fairy tale…. I’d say don’t doubt yourself: enter this competition. Have faith in the talent that you have, throw in a bit of luck, some powerful magic and support the wonderful work of the National Literacy Trust. Set yourself achievable targets, start scribbling ideas down now, carry your story in your head wherever you go … it’s a wonderful experience, and if you’re one of the 10 winning writers you will have created your own happy ever after. Just think of that.”

The competition closes on June 25. For full details on how to enter visit National Literacy Trust.


More dates added to The Storyhunters!

More dates added to the storyhunters at The Storybarn (and we’re open bank holiday monday!)


Hilda Von Schmunter, Expert Storyhunter here.

My Storyhunter team and I have been super busy here at The Storybarn over the past few weeks. We’ve met so many fantastic new Storyhunters! And my goodness there are so many wonderful stories to be found here in the magical surroundings of Calderstones Park. I’ve included some footage of our storytelling adventures so far…

But we’re not done yet! We’ve decided that there must be oodles and oddles more stories out there to be hunted down and certainly more families who will make excellent Storyhunters. So we’ve decided to stay a little longer so we can continue our storytelling adventures and share our expert story-hunting techniques with The Storyhunters of tomorrow!

Over and out!

Due to the popularity of The storyhunters experience at The Storybarn, we’re delighted to announce new dates have been added, including bank holiday monday.


The Storybarn presents The Storyhunters!


Following Storm Doris damage The Reader’s Storybarn announces new interactive family experience

Last month The Reader was devastated to confirm that the damage Storm Doris inflicted on Michael Rosen’s Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things exhibition at Liverpool ONE was too extensive to allow the experience to continue.

Today, the team are thrilled to announce that The Storyhunters, a new family adventure is set to launch in time for the Easter School Holidays.

Part interactive theatre show, part literature-based experience, families will become Storyhunters as they set off on an indoor / outdoor storytelling adventure in the heart of Liverpool’s Calderstones Park.

Beginning on Friday 7 April , these sessions are specially developed for children aged two to eight and their families. Sessions, which include a mix of stories, songs and crafting activities, will begin in The Storybarn but will also see families setting out across the park on the hunt for the “story clues”.

Jane Davis, The Reader’s founder and director said:

“We want to say a huge thank you everyone who got in touch following the devastation Doris caused. We received hundreds of messages of support from people across the Liverpool City Region and beyond and a number of generous donations including one from a Reader in New York! We are thrilled to be able to offer an alternative literature-based event at our headquarters in Calderstones – we can’t wait to see families become The Storyhunters!

“It’s been a busy week for The Reader, we announced our plans to refurbish and transform Calderstones Mansion House into The International Centre for Shared Reading and The Storybarn is key to the project’s ambitions. Over the last year we welcomed more than 16,500 people through our big barn doors – kick-starting a life-long love of reading for pleasure for little readers and future leaders.”

The Storybarn presents

The Storyhunters

An Interactive Family Adventure

Tickets £4 per person, Spring Stories start Friday 7 April.

Sessions take place weekly on Friday – Sunday (Tuesday – Sunday during school holidays).

Session times, details and tickets available on The Storyhunters page.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at The Storybarn

the tiger who came to tea weekend

saturday 18 – sunday 19 March

Tiger 1

To celebrate the Olivier Award nominated production of The Tiger Who Came to Tea taking to the Liverpool Epstein stage on March 30, we’re having our own Tiger tea-party at The Storybarn this weekend. And we’ll be giving away a Family Ticket for four people to go and see the show at The Epstein on Saturday 1 April.

Join us this weekend for tea and tigers and get crafty with us for the chance to win a visit to the theatre.


Tiger 2

*Please note that the Family Tickets covers four people. Tickets are for the 2pm showing on Saturday 1 April and are non-transferable and non-refundable.