My Curioseum Overnight Adventure

Te Papa curator Stephanie Gibson shows us a cowhide dress by WORLD. But what is that mysterious shadow lurking behind the door? © Te Papa

Te Papa curator Stephanie Gibson shows us a cowhide dress by WORLD. But what is that mysterious shadow lurking behind the door? © Te Papa

In late March, Te Papa hosted 20 young aspiring authors and illustrators for a sleepover.

Held in association with the New Zealand Festival Writers and Readers Week, the sleepover celebrated the launch of The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous edited by Adrienne Jansen and published by Te Papa Press.

Find out more about what happened behind the scenes at the museum in this post by one of the participants, Max Francis.

A report from Max Francis (aged 11)

The Curioseum Overnight Adventure was a blast. Our parents signed us up for this activity that went over two days at Te Papa.

A uniform that once belonged to New Zealand Premier Richard Seddon startles in the textile storeroom. © Te Papa

A uniform that once belonged to New Zealand Premier Richard Seddon startles in the textile storeroom. © Te Papa

This experience was all about exploring the textile and Pacific storerooms of the museum, and writing a fictional story containing something that we saw. The students learnt a load of information about old and ‘only one in the world’ antiques. There was so much to learn about during the activity, and I had so many ideas that my head hurt for a period of time (but in a good way, of course)!

The activity also included the great opportunity of talking to New Zealand authors over dinner, and sleeping overnight in the marae.

The doll with three faces that inspired Max’s story Doll, circa 1900, made by Gebruder Heubach, Germany Gift of the Browne Family, 1982

The doll with three faces that inspired Max’s story Doll, circa 1900, made by Gebruder Heubach, Germany Gift of the Browne Family, 1982

I wrote a scary story about a three-faced doll that I saw in the textile storeroom. Here is an extract from my story:

So there is a factory, a doll-making factory to be exact. To be even more exact, three-faced dolls. Now this wasn’t just a rinky-dink little factory in the middle of the city, but a factory built on an ancient burial ground. If we go back to the dolls, these are called three-faced dolls, meaning literally, three faced. On the top of their head was a crank which you turned. As the crank spun, the head would spin, and the face would change.

I loved this experience and I hope that it continues for other kids to enjoy!

Big thanks to Eirlys Hunter, Johanna Knox, Adrienne Jansen, Roma Potiki, and anyone who helped, for organising this event.

Find out more about The Curioseum, meet the authors, and hear readings from the book

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