Harry Potter-style props bring magic to Sunderland children’s story time

Artist Penny Payne with the new storychair at Sandhill City Library, Grindon Lane, Sunderland. The chair was specially designed using ideas from local schoolchildren from Diamond Hall school, Mill Hill Primary School, East Herrington Primary School, Sunningdale School and Sandhill View visually impaired reading group.
Artist Penny Payne with the new storychair at Sandhill City Library, Grindon Lane, Sunderland. The chair was specially designed using ideas from local schoolchildren from Diamond Hall school, Mill Hill Primary School, East Herrington Primary School, Sunningdale School and Sandhill View visually impaired reading group.
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HARRY Potter’s invisibility cloak and the witch’s hat from Room on the Broom are set to make story times at a Sunderland library more exciting.

These are just some of the designs that feature on the latest storychair in Sunderland libraries.

Children from Diamond Hall, Mill Hill and East Herrington Primary Schools worked with artist Penny Payne to come up with designs to brighten up an old chair for storytimes at Sandhill Library.

Youngsters from Sunningdale School and toddlers from Grindon United Reform Church also took part in the project.

In addition to the witches hat and long plait, the chair also features a shoal of fish, the bandstand from Barnes Park and a golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It is the third of five story chairs taking pride of place in the city’s five hub libraries over the next few months. Artist Penny said: “Every chair is completely different. The children come up with ideas and help chose the fabrics, then I go away and finish the design.

“It was lovely working with the children, they had some fantastic ideas and their drawings were really good.”

Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, culture and wellness, said: “Story chairs are a brilliant idea and the two we’ve installed already at the city library and Bunny Hill have been really popular so I’m sure this one will be too.”