Tracy Beaker illustrator to open exhibition in Mansfield

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The illustrator who helped bring the popular Tracy Beaker books to life is to personally open a free exhibition at Mansfield Museum.

Nick Sharratt is the subject of a new colourful, humorous and hands-on exhibition and he will cut the ribbon on Saturday.

Nick has written more than 40 children’s books, illustrated close to 250 more and the picture books with which he has been involved have had combined sales of more than nine million.

His long-running partnership with author Jacqueline Wilson began with The Story of Tracy Beaker in 1991.

More than 35 million copies have been bought in Britain.

Nick knew he wanted to be an illustrator at the age of nine and the exhibition includes original artworks he produced at school, family photographs of him as a boy and copies of the childhood books which influenced and inspired his style and use of colour.

Exploring Nick’s passion for drawing from childhood to his current status as an internationally-renowned illustrator, the display also features many of the well-known characters from over the years.

These include Tracy Beaker, Daisy, Hetty Feather and Pirate Pete, as well as a host of animals, and vast quantities of food and clothing.

To give an idea of the range of his work, the exhibition includes a reading area, with specially designed rugs and beanbags, where visitors can sit and enjoy a wealth of the books that Nick has written and illustrated, from board books for toddlers to a selection of Jacqueline Wilson novels aimed at older readers.

The exhibition includes a recreation of Nick’s studio where visitors can have a go at drawing a selection of his characters using a light box, and there’s a touch screen interactive where you can create your own digital ‘Sharracter’.

A wipe-clean wall is available for everyone to have a go at drawing their own Nick Sharratt-inspired picture and can enjoy dressing up in a selection of whacky costumes.

The exhibition will be on display until Saturday, November 12.