Come meet a monster

(Copyright Ben Cort, from Monsters Love Underpants)

From the Gruffalo to the Little Ogre – monsters are taking over the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath this winter!

Myths and Monsters, a follow-up to 2017’s blockbuster Here be Dragons exhibition, which broke attendance records at the Gallery, will open on 27 November 2021 and run until 27 February 2022.

The colourful celebration of children’s book illustration will appeal to children of all ages, from pre-schoolers to young adults. Visitors will meet a motley crew of characters, from the Gruffalo to the Iron Man, fearsome dragons to the Little Ogre, and even monsters in underpants! They will also come face-to-face with several larger-than-life 3D exhibits.

Star contributors include:

  • Axel Scheffler – The Gruffalo and other Julia Donaldson books
  • Michael Foreman – War BoyStubby and The Littlest Dinosaur
  • Cressida Cowell – How to Train Your Dragon
  • Victoria Topping – Mythologica: An encyclopedia of gods, monsters and mortals from ancient Greece
  • Chris Mould – The Iron Man

Exhibition organiser Gill McLay, from Events of Wonder, said: “We are so delighted to be working with the team at Victoria Art Gallery. After the success of Here be Dragons we are excited to launch Myths and Monsters this November. With over 20 of the biggest names in book illustration it’s both a joy and a privilege to bring the art of everyone’s favourite books to the city. Creating a family friendly space for children to discover art and the magic of a gallery is very close to our heart. We can’t wait for the doors to open and to see everyone there…”

Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture at Bath & North East Somerset Council, added: “We’re really looking forward to hosting Myths and Monsters at the Gallery. The exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity for local families to see illustrations from well-known children’s books and take part in fun activities themed around the show. As always, admission will be free for local residents.”

Alongside the exhibition, there will be a chance for young visitors to get involved by making their own ‘monster in a jar’, which will be displayed as part of the show.

There will be a cosy reading corner where visitors can peruse books by many of the artists and authors represented in the exhibition.

Other family activities at the Gallery will include:

  • Monster Match – Create a spikey, furry or spooky monster (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November, 11am to 1pm)
  • Monster Mobile – Make a flying monster mobile using card and string (Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, 11am to 1pm)
  • Monster Marine – Create a sea-going monster using tissue paper and pens (Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December, 11am to 1pm)
  • Monster Metal – Make a moving monster using metallic card (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 December, 11am to 1pm)
  • Monster Mission – Join our monster of a trail to spot different kinds of monsters (Monday 20 December to Saturday 1 January)

Look out, some monsters have escaped into the city! In addition to the exhibition, visitors will be invited to search for monsters on a free immersive trail around Bath.

Find the Myths and Monsters posters around the city centre and point your phone at them to reveal a variety of monsters. And beware: you may meet the most troublesome monster of them all!

The city trail has been developed by Dr Matthew Freeman of Immersive Promotion, based at Bath Spa University.

To complement the exhibition, the Victoria Art Gallery Shop will be well stocked with monster merchandise including books, cute monster and unicorn socks and lots more.

For advance tickets please visit

Family activities are included in the ticket price, and pre-booking guarantees access to the activities.