Storytime Issue 39 Is Out Now!

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Storytime Issue 39 is out now and, in this issue, we’re on a mission to brighten your month. November is a hump month. Halloween is done, it’s not quite Christmas and a few fireworks aren’t quite enough to make up for the gloom… so what you need are beautiful illustrations and a whole heap of magical stories!

In our latest Storytime magazine, you can travel from the jungle to the moon. You can meet fairies, giants, dwarfs, gods and witches. You can even race a slippery snail and hang out with orangutans. And when you’ve done all that, you can complete puzzles, get crafty, draw, colour, play a game and get book recommendations. As ever, we try to pack in as much quality content as we can.

Find out more about Storytime Issue 39 and the brilliant contributors who help us make the magazine what it is…

Inside Storytime Issue 39

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Squirrel and guinea pig chefs in Dwarf Longnose! Art by Paco Sordo

Our cover star this month is Dwarf Longnose, a fantastic fairy tale from 19th century German poet and writer Wilhelm Hauff, who sadly died at the age of 25. Dwarf Longnose isn’t quite what he seems, but you’ll have to read this fairy tale to find out why. We hope you also enjoy the guinea pig and squirrel chefs, the talking goose and the fantastic illustrations by our frequent collaborator, Paco Sordo.

Kicking off our issue is the Indian fable The Lion and the Rabbit with more colourful illustrations by Steve Brown. You might think it’s similar to The Dog and His Bone (from Storytime Issue 3), but dig a bit deeper and you’ll find a different moral message.

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A lovely illustration for our Moon poem by Ilias Sounas

We hope kids will love our poem The Moon by Oliver Herford, which poses the question: how does the moon get smaller? The answers are pure silliness, but to save you the hassle of explaining, we’ve put together a Moon Phases Pack, which you can download from our Free Goodies page. It has extra moon-themed activities too. The lovely illustrations are by Ilias Sounas

The Fairy Dog is a sweet folktale from Wales with illustrations by Florence Guittard. It features a cute puppy and a message of kindness. You never know when the fairies might be watching…

We know our readers love our Around the World Tales and The Great Snail Race from Laos is a great story with fantastic and funny illustrations by Quang Phuc Pham. School subscribers also get a Teaching Resource Pack to go with this tale, as well as a bonus Xiang Mieng story. (Schools subscribe to Storytime here to take advantage of this offer.)

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This giant is the best fun ever. Story by Jennifer Moore, art by Tomislav Zlatic

We’re really excited by the latest addition to our Tales from Today strand, The Jobless Giant. It’s by award-winning writer Jennifer Moore, and is sure to be pure wish fulfilment for many children. Who wouldn’t want to be best friends with a giant? Follow Jenny’s writing career on Twitter and do admire the work of illustrator Tomislav Zlatic.

Alphabet Zoo is more exciting than ever, as we meet animals beginning with the letters N and O. We defy you not to chuckle at the naked mole rats or fall in love with the orangutans – all thanks to the brilliant imagination of Tim Budgen. Download your free Alphabet Zoo Activity Pack here!

Finally, our stories conclude with a rare Norse myth in which the trickster Loki is actually helpful for a change! Loki’s Greatest Trick is set in Asgard and is brilliantly illustrated by Caio Bucaretchi.


So use the rain and the dark nights as an excuse to snuggle up with Storytime Issue 39 and let it transport your imagination. Got any comments on our stories or things you’d like to see in Stoytime? Let us know on any of our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. We love to hear from you!


Happy adventuring!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Illustrator Interview: Lisa Sheehan

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At Storytime, we have a long list of must-have stories and poems. Mr Nobody by Elizabeth Prentiss has been sitting on that list since we launched. It will be new to some readers, but many will remember it from childhood. Mr Nobody is a cheeky character who is to blame for all the mishaps that happen in your home. From broken plates and muddy footprints to shoes lying around and doors left ajar – they’re Mr Nobody’s fault. As you can imagine, kids absolutely love this poem and parents enjoy reading it too.

Lisa Sheehan, Storytime, Nosy Crow, Lionel and the Lion's Share, magazines for kidsWe’re delighted that Mr Nobody finally snuck into Storytime Issue 38 and the perfect creative match for this retro poem was Lisa Sheehan – an illustrator we previously collaborated with on another classic, The Velveteen Rabbit in Storytime Issue 9.

Lisa’s career has gone from strength to strength since we first worked with her and she has a new book out soon too – Lionel and the Lion’s Share (read more about it below) – so we thought it would be fun to catch up and get some insight into her creative process. It involves zombies!


Illustrator Interview: 9 Questions with Lisa Sheehan


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Lisa working on her new book, Lionel and the Lion’s Share, written by Lou Peacock. Out in January 2018

1. You followed your illustration degree with a career in graphic design. How has this benefited your illustration?

Yes, after finishing my BA Illustration at Kingston Uni I took a job as an in-house illustrator for a corporate company. They wanted someone who could draw as well as using a Mac – illustrators using Macs were quite rare then. Slowly I moved towards design and then, three years later, became a senior designer for the Financial Times, so I feel like I drifted towards graphic design. It wasn’t until I had my two daughters that I rekindled my love of illustration and decided to get back to my creative roots. I enrolled on the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art and graduated in 2015. Coming from a graphic design background has been very beneficial, although I used to curse the fact I had ended up a designer and not an illustrator. However, it makes you understand the principles of typography, layout, page design, composition, colour and the page turn. Designing for magazine layouts and covers, and the principles of illustration layouts and covers are basically the same. So I would say that working as a graphic designer for the last 20 years has informed and benefited my illustration career.

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Lisa’s stunning interpretation of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

2. Are there any other creative disciplines you’d like to try?

Over the years I’ve tried my hand at quite a few things – creating 3D wool cushions, bespoke fabric printing, clay figures and models – but I’d love to try pottery and traditional auto-lithography. I also work in 3D digitally at which I love. Working in 3D makes me more spatially aware in my 2D work. I think dabbling in many different disciplines can really enrich each of them. Plus, it gives you a break, and time to think about other new project ideas.

3. Is there any work you’ve done that makes you particularly proud?

I am really pleased with a new book I illustrated called Lionel and the Lion’s Share coming out on 11th January 2018 and published by Nosy Crow. It was a great project and a it’s lovely story that truly reflects children’s behaviour. My two children got involved helping me to design a couple of hats for the book. It was a joy to work with the Nosy Crow team and I feel we created a super book. I feel my style came together during this project and I learnt a lot about picture book making and perfected my illustration process.

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A gorgeous spread from Lionel and the Lion’s Share, illustrated by Lisa and published by Nosy Crow

I am also proud of my first book I illustrated in 2014: The Find it Book written by Margaret Wise Brown and published in the US and Australia by Parragon. I was asked to illustrate this during my final year on the MA and while working full time. I was proud I managed to pull it together very quickly. The images were also shortlisted for the AOI awards. I am proud that I managed to keep sane and finish that and the MA – and my children still knew who I was!

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Lisa’s magical illustrations for The Find It Book, by Margaret Wise Brown

4. Do you have any top tips for creatives who might be juggling full-time jobs or family with illustration work?

That’s a hard question, if you really want to illustrate, then you will find a way. I now work three days a week as a designer and the rest of the time is spent illustrating, which is a good balance. On the MA, I took one day a week as holiday to attend the course. I illustrated from 8pm to 3am and at weekends, so you have to be prepared to work hard, keep focused and don’t ever think “this is too much, why am I doing this?” I also never looked at the bigger picture – it’s quite daunting to think you have to write essays and a dissertation and produce final projects. If I had sat down and thought about it, I would never have done it. So just live in the moment and create what you can when you can. I think I trained myself to have little sleep and I loved working during the night when all was quite and I could concentrate. I watched a lot of zombie series and movies, which strangely kept me going! Now I can only illustrate at night while watching or listening to box series on Netflix. You also need a very supportive family, as it does consume so much of your time. As for staying on deadline, I am used to deadlines in my graphic design job, but it’s good to print off a schedule, break projects down into sections and allocate days and times when you can work on it. It’s also satisfying to tick off the jobs you have done. Be organised and manage your time efficiently. The other things that got me through the juggling process were pure determination and lots of caffeine!

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No zombies here from Lisa, but an adorable tiger!

5. Do you have any favourite artists or illustrators who have influenced your work and why

I was introduced to the lovely illustrations of 1940s auto-lithography Puffin picturebooks during my MA. This influenced me greatly and I have quite a collection of these vintage books, I love the process of printing in this way. I try to create an element of it in my artwork. One of my favourite illustrators from that time is Kathleen Hale, author and illustrator of the series Orlando the Marmalade Cat . Another inspiration is the work of Edward Ardizzone and the process of printing and texture in his work. I also love artists Alice Pattulo and Jonny Hannah – especially their texture and retro 50s style.

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An exquisite cover for The Secret Garden by Lisa

6. What has been your most enjoyable illustration challenge to date?

I enjoyed creating a cover for the The Secret Garden. I love to doodle foliage and flowers and I find it very therapeutic. Most of my work is created in sections and layered together. With this cover I produced the whole thing in pencil in one go, which I never do! It was a joy to spend a few hours doodling away and to have hardly any digital input.

7. What would be your dream story, book or poem to illustrate and why?

I would love to illustrate The Jungle Book purely for the jungle plants and scenery. The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland are good ones too. I love stories that are dreamlike and full of fantasy.

8. We collaborated with you on The Velveteen Rabbit and now Mr Nobody in our latest Storytime issue. What’s your process? How do you develop such beautifully rich worlds and characters?

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It’s impossible to look at this illustration by Lisa without feeling your heart melt

I absolutely loved creating the images for The Velveteen Rabbit. This was one of my first projects after graduating. My process involves working in traditional media – charcoal, watercolour, gouache, 5B pencil – anything in black that has a nice texture. Working in black and white means I can concentrate on the textures and layers without getting hung up on what colours I should use. This used to stop me in my tracks and I’d do nothing. Working this way allows me to get straight in and create artwork. I then colour digitally, experimenting with different colours until I find the right palette. I could potentially create the same look working solely digitally with brushes in photoshop, but I am determined to retain my use of traditional media for as long as I can. It takes longer and uses up a lot of paper, but I prefer the effect and it often creates happy accidents that I wouldn’t get if I went totally digital. I am a bit of a tweaker and using traditional media on paper stops me tweaking the final result quite so much. I sometimes think having the ability to constantly digitally tweak and use the undo button is a killer of the creative process.

9. Is there any advice you can give to aspiring illustrators?

Attending an illustration course is always a good start. It gives you the opportunity to experiment. Look at other illustrators’ work that inspires you, go to bookshops and look at recent books and get a sense of what you would like to do. Keep sketchbooks, experiment with different materials and draw from life. People often think they have to draw exactly what they see in front of them and get bogged down in detail. I did, but I learnt to keep an open mind. You need to use your imagination to create your own visual language.



You can see more of Lisa’s incredible and distinctive work on her website, and catch glimpses of her latest work over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We hope this has inspired you and, if you enjoyed this interview, why not read our illustrator interviews with Tim Budgen and Luke Flowers too?


Hope Mr Nobody doesn’t strike in your house this week!

stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Storytime Issue 38 is Out Now!

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There’s something really special about our autumn issues and Storytime Issue 38 is no exception. The nights drawing in, the temperatures dropping – they both add up to one wonderful thing: snuggling up and reading stories together. At this time of year, Storytime magazine really comes into its own.

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Our stunning Firebird by Anne-Marie Hugot

But we know that most people don’t have a cosy, crackling fire to snuggle up by, so in Storytime Issue 38, we’ve brought you fire in the form of the famous Russian fairy tale, The Firebird, which is illustrated by one of our favourite illustrators, Anne-Marie Hugot. This fairy tale has it all: a mythical creature, a talking horse, a courageous archer, a clever princess, a wicked tsar and lots of magical moments. A fiery, fantastic fairy tale to warm your heart.

For our fable, we’ve updated Aesop’s The Boy and the Filberts and put a fun, modern spin on it in The Sweetie Jar. Lu Green provides our cute and colourful illustrations.

Alphabet Zoo returns and, this time, Bonnie and Boo want you to meet animals beginning with the letter M: macaws, mara, marmosets and, of course, very funny meerkats! Tim Budgen‘s illustrations are as wonderful as ever, and don’t forget to download our free Alphabet Zoo Activity Pack with Poster!

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A wonderfully witchy tale from Polly Owen, illustrated by Kathryn Durst

As it’s October, we had to sneak in a Halloween story and Three Little Witches by Polly Owen, featuring a troll, a giant and a goblin, is sure to entertain you. Polly hasn’t been feeling well lately and we hope that seeing her story in print will help speed up her recovery. Spooky illustrations are by Kathryn Durst.

Still on a Halloween theme, we’ve got a special Mexican myth, which explains the origins of the Day of the Dead flower in a surprisingly sweet story, The Flower and the Hummingbird. Bright and cheerful illustrations are by Barbara Brun.

Our fabulous folktale in Storyteller’s Corner is hundreds of years old. King of the Cats has a great twist in its feline tail and is illustrated in a gorgeous retro style by Maria Laura Brenlla.

It’s been a while since people’s hero Robin Hood featured in our magazine, so in Storytime Issue 38 we tell the tale of the day Robin Hood and Friar Tuck met each other. It ends with a splash! We were delighted to work with illustrator John Joven again on this.

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Find out how Friar Tuck joined Robin Hood’s Merry Men. Illustrated by John Joven

Finally, we’ve got the classic poem Mr Nobody by Elizabeth Prentiss. You might remember this from your own childhood. Kids love this poem as it provides the perfect excuse for all the mess and chaos they often leave in their wake! The gorgeous illustration for this poem come courtesy of Lisa Sheehan. Make sure you drop by again next week, as Lisa will be answering questions for our regular Illustrator Interview.

We work hard every month to find the perfect mix of stories for you, and we hope we’ve got Storytime Issue 38 just right. Let us know your favourite stories or anything you’d like to see more of on our social media channels. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!


Keep snuggling and keep reading! See you next time,


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Storytime Illustrator Discount

storytime magazine subscriptions, kids magazines subscriptions, storytime illustrator discount, One of our favourite things about creating Storytime is getting to work with so many incredibly talented children’s illustrators from all over the world. Every month, we’re able to dive into the portfolios of many and varied children’s illustration styles looking for the right fit for each upcoming story. It is a privilege and a pleasure – and the collaboration process to date has been a joy too. We know… we might just have the best jobs in the world.

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The varied illustration styles typical of Storytime magazine

We love working with illustrators so much, to say thanks to the children’s illustration world at large, we’ve set up a special and permanent code so that any illustrators who wish to subscribe to Storytime magazine can get a 10% discount off the usual full price. It’s a great opportunity to see what Storytime is all about, admire the work of your contemporaries and see what’s happening in the illustration world.

If you’d like to subscribe, all you have to do is click on this link and the discount will be applied automatically!

Do pass it on to the rest of the children’s illustration community and, if you’re looking for more inspiration, we have in-depth interviews with two incredible illustrators who we’ve had the pleasure to work with since launching Storytime.

Tim Budgen illustrates our monthly poem, Alphabet Zoo with his trademark good humour, and Luke Flowers is the creative mind behind several of our favourite story illustrations, including the crazy Triantiwontigongolope, which appears in Storytime Issue 37. Both interviews are packed with top tips and interesting insights, so don’t miss them.

If you’re interested in submitting your portfolio to Storytime, you can find out more here.

We hope you take advantage of our Storytime illustrator discount and also hope our magazine gives you lots of creative inspiration!


Happy doodling from the Storytime team,


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Foxy Fairy Tales!

magazine subscriptions for kids, foxy fairytales, fox stories, fictional foxes, best bedtime stories, kids magazine subscriptionsIt’s well established that wolves got a bum deal in the fairy-tale world (we’re looking at you, Big Bad Wolf), but if there’s one stereotyped anthropomorphic animal I always feel a little sorry for it’s the wolf’s close relative, the fox.

Cunning, sly, wily, sometimes cruel, sometimes charming (but ultimately to satisfy its own needs), the fox hasn’t got much love in the world of stories. Even Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox is a trickster but, admittedly, one whom we all root for.

We’ve featured many fox stories in Storytime and we have The Sly Fox as the star of our latest cover (with illustrations by the brilliant Louis D Wiyono). In this classic fairy tale, the fox becomes obsessed by the thought of the tasty little chicken who keeps outwitting him, so he sets out to catch her and eat her once and for all. There are variants of this story all over the world.

What we particularly love about it is the energetic manner in which the fox catches the chicken (high-speed tail whirling no less) and the smart way in which the hen gets her revenge – always carry scissors, thread and a needle, folks!

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The Sly Fox puts his victim in a spin in Storytime Issue 37’s Favourite Fairy Tale, with art by Louis D Wiyono

It’s likely that the wily fox figure so dominant in Western children’s literature has its roots not just in the fables of Aesop, but another foxy trickster called Reynard who first appeared in the Middle Ages, and starred in stories in France, Holland, Germany and England. Further east, there are numerous fox tricksters, including Kuma Lisa in Russia and Bulgaria and the wonderful Kitsune fox spirits of Japan.

We thought it would be fun have a look at some of our favourite foxy fairy tales and fables to see just how many similarities there are. Schools or teachers who are looking at fox stories should find this round-up interesting (and subscribing schools can download our free Sly Fox resource pack – find out more here.)

Fabulous Foxy Fairy Tales


1. Greedy Foxes

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A gorgeous Greedy Fox from Storytime Issue 15, illustrated by Axelle Vanhoof

Like foxes in real life, scavenging for survival, the greedy or hungry fox features heavily in the literary world. Perhaps the first greedy fox that most children meet is the one who finishes off that edible rebel, The Gingerbread Man, who featured in Storytime Issue 2. Having charmed the little fellow into crossing the river on his back, the fox proceeds to scoff him bit by soggy bit. Another fantastic charmer appears in the fable The Fox and the Crow in Storytime Issue 5. This time, he flatters an attention-starved crow into dropping a tasty morsel of cheese. Finally, in our Storytime Issue 15 fable, The Greedy Fox, a fox’s eyes are bigger than its belly. This fox pays for its greed, but lives to feast another day.


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A cunning fox for The Fox and the Goat fable in Storytime Issue 30. Art by Bruno Nunes.

2. Sly Foxes
As well as The Sly Fox in our latest edition of Storytime, there’s also the opportunistic fox that appears at the end of Henny Penny in Storytime Issue 19. (This story is also known as Chicken Licken and Chicken Little.) The fox craftily lures Henny and her trail of feathered friends into its den, promising that it’s a shortcut to the Queen’s house! In many versions of the story, fox and family gobble most of them up. In our version, he wasn’t successful and the bird brains get away. The fox in our Storytime Issue 30 fable, The Goat and the Fox, is another cunning creature, tricking an unwitting goat into jumping down a well with him, so he can use the goat as a means of escape.


3. Outfoxed Foxes

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The Fox gets outwitted by a cat in Storytime Issue 25. Illustrations by Francesco Zito.

Brer Fox traditionally plays the antagonist in the Brer Rabbit stories and, though he tries to be smart, he invariably gets outwitted by the cantankerous bunny. He certainly does in our Storytime Issue 19 story, when Brer Rabbit decimates his vegetable garden. In Storytime Issue 25, our fable The Fox and the Cat also demonstrates that foxes don’t always win. On this occasion, the fox who boasts about his intelligence is made to look a fool by a cat. And in another fable, The Fox and the Grapes (which we’ve yet to feature), after much effort, a fox is forced to give up on a tasty snack of grapes, claiming that he didn’t want them anyway. Cognitive dissonance replaces cunning.


Okay, so that’s a lot of sly or greedy foxes. A skulk you could say (probably my favourite of the collective nouns for foxes). We tried to redress the balance a bit with the gorgeous fairy tale The Fantastic Fox in Storytime Issue 23, in which the fox is actually the wise sidekick and facilitator of the main protagonist’s success, but it’s probably about time we included a story where the fox character fits none of the usual stereotypes, isn’t it? We’ll see what we can do about that.

What are your favourite foxes in literature? Picture books and novels too? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We always love to hear from you.


Wishing you a wily week!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Illustrator Interview: Luke Flowers

Illustrator Interview: Luke Flowers, storytime, magazines for kids, kids magazine, magazine subscriptions for kids, gift subscriptions for kids, gift ideas for kids, christmas gifts for kids Storytime Issue 37 has been out for a week now and we’re still celebrating – it’s our 3rd Anniversary Issue, after all! If that’s not an excuse for cake and party poppers, we’re not sure what is…

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Luke Flowers – our first port of call for brining the Trianti to life!

Plus, we’ve already had loads of fantastic entries for our Children’s Art Competition! (Have your creative kiddos entered yet? All they have to do is draw their own imaginary creature. Find out more here!)

When we were planning the competition, we decided to make it inspired by the weird creature in the wacky poem The Triantiwontigongolope by CJ Dennis. For the art, US-based illustrator Luke Flowers was the first person who sprang to mind.

We’ve collaborated with Luke on a couple of stories already (The Wind and the Sun in Storytime Issue 12 and Henny Penny in Storytime Issue 19) and he always brings something super-special to his work.

In fact, everything Luke turns his hand to is bursting with life, energy, careful thought, gorgeous detail, vibrant colour and a healthy measure of off-the-wall craziness. Luke was the perfect fit for The Triantiwontigongolope, so we were over the moon when he came on board.

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Download our Awesome Art Pack and enter our competition today!

Even more so when he agreed to not only judge our art competition (kids, Luke Flowers will see your work!), but to put together a fantastic step-by-step guide to creating a Triantiwontigongolope in his style.

It’s part of our Awesome Art Pack, which is full of top tips and fun exercises for kids who love art and illustration – and it includes our competition entry form. Make sure you download it here!

As Luke is such an integral (and welcome) part of our 3rd Anniversary Issue, we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate his work and find out what wild magic he’s using to make him so very good at what he does…

We think you’ll be inspired!


Illustrator Interview: 12 Questions with Luke Flowers


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Awesome illustrator and Storytime art competition judge, Luke Flowers

1. We know you’ve always been arty, but what drew you to illustrating for kids? How did you get started?

I’ve always been drawn to whimsical, playful stories. The first book I can remember loving was The Monster at the End of This Book (a Little Golden Book with Grover) and being so intrigued by the way a story kept you wondering what would happen next with each page you turned. I remember in 2nd grade really wishing I could illustrate books because I loved how the words and images worked together to pull you into the story.

I first got started in illustrating for kids when I started doing editorial illustrations for several kids’ magazines back in 2010, but I didn’t actually start illustrating children’s books until 2013. So it was a long journey to finally get to be able to do what I’ve dreamt of since I was a 2nd grader.


2. Do you have any favourite creatives who have influenced your work?

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A selection of Luke’s amazing creative work

Shel Silverstein, Jim Henson, Walt Disney and Roald Dahl were HUGE influences growing up (and still are today), because I loved the way they brought a message of hope in the midst of the wacky worlds they crafted. Whether it was through a poem, story, film, or a television show. I wanted to be part of inspiring kids to see the fun and joy of the world through a variety of creative expressions. Jim Henson was probably the biggest influence because I was so inspired by the way he used so many forms of art to tell his stories and he truly seemed to live out what he was telling in his stories. His message of dreaming big and following those dreams and loving others on that adventure has always stuck with me on my own creative journey.


3. How do you keep the mojo going when you’re busy? Do you have any top tips for creatives who are juggling full-time work with illustration jobs?

Having a list of dream personal projects or types of work I want to pursue always helps me stay motivated knowing that there is some new avenue of creativity to explore and expand into. That list is longer than my life may ever allow for, but it’s always inspiring to reach those milestones and see how new doors are opened along the way.

I find so much of my daily inspiration by connecting with fellow creatives, whether through social media, email or phone conversations. Because I work alone in my creative cave, I feel like this allows me to have ‘co-workers’ because we all are striving for the same goals and facing the same challenges, so we cheer one another on.

Music is also one of the main ways I keep myself focused and inspired. I collect all kinds of film soundtracks that I go through to set the mood for a certain type of work. I really love Synthwave bands, and found sound type bands (The Books, Pogo, Wax Tailor) to set a mood of creativity for the day. I also really enjoy listening to audio books, mainly biographies. The Jim Henson Biography (by Brian Jay Jones) is constantly on repeat.

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Luke’s work for Storytime’s fairy tale, Henny Penny (Issue 19) left our readers grinning from ear to ear

4. What has been your biggest illustration challenge to date?

Illustrating over 36 children’s books in just under four years has been a marathon of creativity that has gone far beyond all my expectations. I’m so grateful for each opportunity to work with such a wide range of talented creatives and publishers that have inspired me each step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and fellow creative friends cheering me on and inspiring me with their work too.


5. What would be your favourite fairy tale to illustrate?

I have always loved Alice in Wonderland because it is so full of wildly imaginative characters and there are so many wonderful interpretations of that story. I’d love to give my own twist to it. Though one of my all time favorite stories is The Musicians of Bremen (Brothers Grimm) because, growing up on a farm, I always imagined the animals having adventures like that. One of my all-time favourite illustrators J.P. Miller did what I believe is the best take on that tale, so I’d have big shoes to fill if I ever took a stab at illustrating it myself.


6. We’ve been so lucky to work with you on several stories now, including The Triantiwontigongolope. How do you create such vibrant characters?

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A glorious illustration by Luke for Storytime Issue 12’s Wind and the Sun fable

I’ve been SO LUCKY to have the opportunity to work with you all, and bring such fun stories to life. So thank you for those creative adventures to share with the readers.

I always start with research, looking through my library of new and old children’s books just to get the creative wheels spinning. This is also a great way to start thinking about the colors that will fit the story and characters of the assigment. Then I go right to sketching out various ways of crafting the characters with shape exploration and details like wardrobe or props. I do colour explorations and, because I work fully digital, I can quickly change up the colours to see what works best. From there it is just diving fully into the illustration with shapes, adding texture with brushes, and then lighting the scene and adding the final details.


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The second book in Luke’s Moby Shinobi brilliant series for Scholastic.

7. Are there any favourite projects you’re working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

Creating my first author/illustrator book series with Scholastic. I remember absolutely treasuring that stack of books, which would arrive each month when I was able to order them as a kid. So to have the opportunity to not only illustrate a book for Scholastic but a series has been a lifelong dream come true for me.

The book series is called Moby Shinobi, about a helpful ninja kid who visits various job sites to offer his helpful ninja skills. He realises (after making several mistakes) that ninja skills don’t always fit every job. But in the end an emergency occurs that truly requires a certain ninja skill and he is able to help out in his own unique way.

Ninja on the Farm was the debut book, and has sold over 150,000 copies since its release in December 2016. Ninja in the Kitchen (book 2) was just released in July and Ninja in the Pet Shop comes out in December 2017. We have two more books scheduled for this series, and hopefully many more! You can read the full story of how this series started and came together on my blog here.

(Buy these titles direct from Scholastic or download Kindle editions from Amazon UK ~ Ed.)


8. Is there any work you’re particularly proud of that you’d like to point to?

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Luke’s Labyrinth A to Z, which now hangs proudly in the Jim Henson Company offices!

Other than the Moby Shinobi book series, I’m also proud of the personal work I get to do for gallery shows each year. Gallery shows are a fun way to explore my own personal work style, while paying tribute to some of my favorite films, shows and book characters.

I do one or two gallery shows each month with several galleries in Los Angeles. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with several studios and companies through them, like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and, best of all, The Jim Henson Company!

I created an alphabet poster to pay tribute to Jim Henson’s Labyrinth on its 30th anniversary, and that piece was a big hit, which connected me with the team at Boom! Comics, who were putting together a book of tribute art. That opportunity also led me to connect with Lisa Henson (Jim Henson’s daughter, and CEO of the Jim Henson Co.), and now a print of that piece hangs at the studio!


9. What’s your preferred creative medium and why?

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More dynamic Moby Shinobi scribblings from Luke!

I prefer digital for several reasons. I love the variety of brushes you can quickly explore and implement, and the unique challenge of trying to create work that the viewer can’t figure out if it’s traditional or digital. I also love the way it allows for a more streamlined process with clients – making changes and giving them a variety of digital assets to use for promotion and publication. And, of course, the undo key is quite nice for a fella who makes a lot of mistakes in the creative process!


10. If you could work in any location in the world, where would it be?

I’d love to work with a studio in California on a film or show at some point. Working for the Jim Henson Company or Walt Disney Animation Studio has been a lifelong dream so if that ever happened that would be a big milestone. I really enjoy visiting New York and all the incredible publishers and fellow creatives there. Every time I visit I feel deeply inspired and would love to spend a whole month just working there and visiting with fellow creative friends.

Of course I’d LOVE to visit London so I could come visit the Storytime team. I’ve dreamt of spending a whole season there, just creating and soaking in the inspiration of all the history of great art that has and is being created there!

(You are welcome at the Storytime Studio any time, Luke! ~ Ed.)


11. What would be your dream project or are there any different areas you’d like to explore?

I’ve recently started working on a Little Golden Book series with Nickelodeon for their television show, Rusty Rivets. I’ve always wanted to work with Little Golden Books, but I would also like to work with other properties like Walt Disney or Jim Henson Co. doing Little Golden Book variations of their stories.

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Luke’s series of Rusty Rivets titles for Little Golden Books

I also want to do more puppeteering work. I recently had the opportunity to work on a pitch video for a show with my friend Joey Ellis. Joey created a world called Leaky Timbers, about a little monster named Wolfie, and his crazy adventures. I played the part of Roy, Wolfie’s older brother. It was such a great experience to learn from Joey about puppeteering and help him bring that world to life. You can see the video and more of the story here. I hope we can do more with that in the future.

One of my main goals for the next few years is to create more of my own author/illustrator children’s book. I’m working on developing and pitching those in 2018. I have several stories I’m really excited about and one that I may even develop into a graphic novel or television show pitch.

The one I’m most excited about though is a chapter book series that my daughter, Lydia (11 years old) and I are writing together. We hope to pitch that book series sometime in the next year and I would be so thrilled to be able to pursue that dream with her more in the years ahead.


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Full of life and colour – a classic Luke Flowers illustration

12. Is there any advice you can give to children (or aspiring illustrators) who want to get into illustration?

I always say you should reach out to someone who is five miles down the road you want to travel, but be sure you are always reaching back to help someone who is five miles behind you on that same road.

Basically be connecting with someone who is doing what you want to do and inspiring you through their work, but be sure you are sharing your work and helping to inspire someone who may be on that same path and looking for some guidance, encouragement and inspiration.

I would not have been able to reach any of the milestones on my creative journey had I not had friends helping me along the way and sharing their experience, encouragement and work that inspired me.


Well, that’s an utterly lovely note to end on and what a great motto for life!

Luke’s words have really inspired our creative process and we’re sure you feel the same. You can follow Luke on both Twitter and Instagram for more inspiration and good vibes. Remember, if you have creative kiddos, don’t miss the chance to enter our Art Competition – they could see their work in print in Storytime!


Stay inspired and keep reading stories!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

3rd Anniversary Art Competition!

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Wow! Where did that three years go? Yes, our latest Issue 37 marks the 3rd anniversary of launching Storytime. It was an act of love, madness and bravery, and we’re so grateful that you – our loyal and lovely readers – took it to heart and embraced it with such enthusiasm. Thanks to you, we’re still here today – and thriving against the odds in a plastic toy and ad-saturated children’s magazine market. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We promise many more wonderful stories, poems and gorgeous illustrations to come (plus all those lovely extras like free downloads, puzzles, crafts and games). Speaking of illustrations, to celebrate our 3rd anniversary, we’ve got a wonderful children’s art competition. Read more about it below!

First, we’d like to honour Storytime Issue 37’s contributors, who help make our magazine what it is (and give a sneak peek to anyone who is thinking of subscribing).

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A sneak peek at the stories in Storytime Magazine Issue 37!

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The Triantiwontigongolope, as imagined by Luke Flowers!

We’re delighted to have the brilliant Luke Flowers back in Storytime’s anniversary issue, this time with his off-the-wall crazy illustration of that most elusive of beasts – The Triantiwontigongolope – a funny poem by CJ Dennis. We are also very honoured to have Luke as the judge of our imaginary creature art competition – again, more on that below!

Brother Pig is the ideal story to read to kids who are, ahem, reluctant to use soap and water. Parents will appreciate this funny tale and the whole family will enjoy the illustrations by Charlotte Cooke. She’s captured scruffy Dougal perfectly.

For this issue’s myth, we revisit King Midas. The Midas Touch appeared in Storytime Issue 8 (which you can buy from our Back Issue Shop), but did you know that his story continued? The King with Donkey Ears is as funny as it sounds and Mathieu Strale‘s pictures are sure to raise a laugh or two.

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Anna Gensler’s fabulous illustration for Miss Beck’s Spectacular Spec, a story by author Amanda Brandon.

Our brand new story, Miss Beck’s Spectacular Specs, is by children’s author Amanda Brandon. Amanda has been writing stories since childhood, and has published three fabulous books about a sheep who loves knitting. The story is illustrated by Anna Gensler, who has done a fantastic job of imagining Miss Beck’s world and the schoolchildren who help her.

This month’s cover and Favourite Fairy Tale is The Sly Fox – a really enjoyable baddie who gets what he deserves. Kids will take pleasure in booing him and cheering on the little red hen who outwits him. Rich, colourful and characterful illustrations are courtesy of Louis D. Wiyono.

Our fable, The Moving Mountain, brings to life the old saying “don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill” in an amusing way and it has lovely illustrations by Michaela Schuett

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An eagle causes trouble in a tale from Portugal. Art by Giulia Baratella.

We have an interesting Around the World Tale from Portugal, called The Best Kind of Trouble. In it, a princess has to make a simple decision – would she prefer trouble when she’s young or trouble when she’s old? Her answer throws her life into chaos, thanks to a cantankerous golden eagle. The story has a fairy-tale feel to it and we think you’ll love Giulia Baratella‘s gorgeous illustrations.

Finally, our on-going animal poetry series Alphabet Zoo is back with more amazing artwork by Tim Budgen. This month’s visit to see Boo and Bonnie at Grandad’s zoo focuses on animals beginning with the letter L – the lemur, the loris and, of course, lions. Roar! Don’t forget to download your free Animal Factsheet and Poster to go with this issue here.

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Download our Awesome Art Pack for tips, techniques and our entry form!

That brings us to our special 3rd anniversary illustration competition. We’re asking our readers, aged 3 to 9, to invent and draw an imaginary creature, inspired by Luke Flowers’ Triantiwontigongolope! The winner will have their work published in Storytime, get a print of their illustration, a certificate AND a bundle of illustrated books!

To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve put together an Awesome Art Pack for you to download – it’s packed with fun exercises, top tips and even a step-by-step drawing guide from Luke Flowers! In the pack, you’ll also find an entry form (or you can use the one in our magazine). Download it here!


Our rules are simple:

• You must be aged 3 to 9.
• Your imaginary animal must be original.
• Your drawing must be coloured in.
• Email your entry to by Friday 10 November 2017.


That’s it! We hope you have a lot of fun doodling and drawing your creature. We can’t wait to see your entries and hope you enjoy our anniversary issue. Get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram if you have any thoughts or suggestions.


Happy reading and drawing!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

Illustrator Interview: Tim Budgen

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Animal Fair – Tim’s first illustration for Storytime, back in Issue 11.

Back in January 2017, we launched something new in Storytime Issue 29 – a continuing series of poems called Alphabet Zoo. Every month, Storytime readers get a VIP pass to meet animals beginning with different letters of the alphabet.

When we started developing the series, we had one illustrator in mind: Tim Budgen. Tim had previously illustrated a poem called Animal Fair for us (in Storytime Issue 11) and had wowed us with a lion in hair curlers and a sky-diving flamingo (right), so we knew he was the man for the job. We were delighted when he agreed to collaborate with us.

We’ve been toying with the idea of doing an illustrator interview for some time, and who better to start with than a man who can cockatoo and kangaroo with the best of them? Without further ado, escaped from the zoo… get ready to be enlightened and inspired.

Illustrator Interview: 15 Questions with Tim Budgen


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Illustrator/Alphabet Zoo Keeper, Tim Budgen

1. As well as illustrating for children, you’ve also worked as an art teacher. How has your teaching practice informed your illustration work?

That’s right, up until this summer I have been teaching art from Year 3 (8 year olds) all the way up to Year 11 (16 yr olds). After 18 years of teaching, I finally decided to take a different career path and be a full-time professional illustrator, but more of that later. Spending time with children of all ages has certainly given me a good understanding of their humour and silliness, and an opportunity to put this into my drawings. The younger children were also useful as a test audience. Many times I have shown them illustrations and have asked them what they thought!


2. How did kids at school react to having an illustrator as their teacher?

They loved the idea that their teacher had created books they were able to buy. They were also always keen to see sneak peeks of work that hadn’t been published yet! This had a knock-on effect and many took up drawing and began to illustrate their own stories. It also showed them that people can make a living from art and that they could pursue a career in that field if they chose to do so.


3. What drew you to illustrating for kids? How did you get started?

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A very awesome Annie by Tim Budgen

I’m very lucky that illustrating runs in the family. My great grandfather used to illustrate for the Daily Express and was an artist in his own right. Fortunately, he was able to pass some of that talent down to me! Although I’ve always enjoyed drawing and illustrating, teaching took up a lot of time – I was always teaching others rather than actually doing art for myself. It wasn’t until I came across an online children’s book illustration course that I thought I could do it as a hobby in between terms. So, in the summer of 2012, I started the course. Believe it or not I completed it using ProMarker felt pens! When I finished the course, I continued to build my portfolio and decided that this was something I wanted to eventually do full time. The first book I bought was the Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook – a brilliant book that guides you through everything you need to know about the children’s book industry.


4. Do you have any favourite artists or illustrators who have influenced your work? What or who is your biggest inspiration?

I was fortunate to have parents who realised the importance of reading from an early age. I also had my grandfather’s books, which I would spend hours reading. My favourite artists are Richard Scarry, Axel Scheffler and, of course, Quentin Blake – three artists with very different styles, but have always stuck with me.


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Some lovely recent work by Tim – we love the Ice Ice Baby number plate!

5. Juggling teaching with illustration work must have been tough. How did you fit it all in and do you have any top tips for creatives in the same position?

I juggled teaching and illustrating for four years. At times it got quite stressful. I spent the evenings and weekends on commissioned work, which I gained through my agent, and continued to build my portfolio. I owe my wife a lot for her continued patience and support! In the summer of 2016, I decided I had enough illustration work to go part time at school. This way, I got my evenings back. This summer, I decided to make the jump to full-time freelance work. I’ve always had great passion and enthusiasm for illustration – it’s something I love and it’s fortunate that I have been able to develop that passion into a career. I cross my fingers that I have made the right decision! There are times, of course, when things become difficult. I guess there are in any profession, but I try and have a healthy balance. I don’t always get it right, I can spend far too many hours working! As for top tips… don’t snack when working!


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Cinderella cover for Pat-a-Cake Books

6. Your illustrations for Hachette’s new Pat-a-Cake fairy-tale books are adorable. Breathing new life into these much-loved classics can be hard. How did you go about doing it for Cinderella and Goldilocks?

Thank you, I absolutely loved working on both of those titles and hope I get the opportunity to do more with Pat-a-Cake. I always wanted to do something a little different with those books, especially Cinderella. Originally, I had an idea to have a Bollywood theme. Although this didn’t materialise, it was felt that the characters should have different ethnicities to reflect the world of the modern reader. I’m really pleased with how it turned out! (See our competition below!)

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A new take on Cinderella for Hachette’s Pat-a-Cake books series.


7. What’s your favourite fairy tale and is there one you’d love to illustrate?

My favourite fairy tale is Three Little Pigs, although I was always on the side of the wolf and disappointed by how he met his grizzly end! I would love to illustrate my version of that tale, so if there are any publishers reading this please do get in touch (hint, hint)!


8. We’ve been so lucky to work with you on our Alphabet Zoo poetry series. How do you go about creating such vibrant animal characters?

I think I’ve been the lucky one! I have loved working on Alphabet Zoo. To develop illustrations for each letter of the alphabet must be a dream for any illustrator. I always try and think like a reader. What would they like to see? I try and create characters that are fun, but also have some warmth about them that connects with the audience. I’m lucky enough to have an art director who pretty much allows me to do what I want, so I try and give the best illustrations I can.


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Pink-bottomed baboons in Storytime Issue 30 – Tim’s favourite so far!

9. What’s been your favourite animal to illustrate so far and is there any particular animal we need to get in before we run out of letters?

I think it has to be the yellow baboons in Issue 30. It’s always fun to draw pink bottoms! I have my fingers crossed that there might be an opportunity to illustrate an orang-utan, or maybe a penguin or a polar bear? (We can confirm that all three will be appearing in Alphabet Zoo – Ed.)


10. Is there any piece of work you’re particularly proud of?

I think completing my first picture book As Nice as Pie (from Maverick) was a particularly proud moment. If you haven’t read it, it’s about a bunch of hungry but naughty birds and it’s written by the very talented Gary Sheppard. I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing my name in print!


11. Are there any favourite projects you’re working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

I am working on a couple of projects, but I’m remaining quiet about those just for now. I am also developing a couple of my own stories and I’m keen to see if can further develop the Dr Dolittle character I’ve been working on. See more of Tim’s work on his website.

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Doctor Dolittle examines his patients – a personal project by Tim Budgen.

12. What’s your preferred creative medium and why?

When I first started illustrating, all of my work was done with ProMarker felt pens. Since then I have progressed to using Photoshop on a Cintiq. Often publishers like a quick turn around and working digitally means I can correct or change things almost instantly.


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Tim’s groovy gorillas rocked Alphabet Zoo in Storytime Issue 34

13. If you could work in any location in the world, where would it be?

Two of my favourite cities are San Francisco and New York in the US. I love the buzz and excitement they both offer, but there is nothing like being at home and, at the moment, that’s on Hayling Island. It’s very beautiful part of the UK and, fortunately for us, often overlooked.


14. What would be your dream project?

I would love to write and illustrate my own picture book one day and be able to buy it in any bookshop anywhere in the world. That’s the dream and I hope, one day, I will be able to achieve that. I have a few ideas flowing around in my head – I just need to find the time to put them to paper.


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Bringing the joy and wonder to children’s illustration – Tim Budgen.

15. Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?

If you want to achieve anything in life, you have to work hard. With illustration, it’s all about practising and making sure you draw every day or as much as you can. Social media offers great opportunities to get involved with a variety of drawing opportunities. Challenges such as Colour Collective, Sketch Daily and Inktober are great ways to develop your art and share it with others. Equally, never be afraid to ask for help. The joy of social media platforms is that there is always someone willing to help. I get a lot of helpful feedback and support on my Twitter and Instagram pages. Above all, enjoy what you’re doing!


Thanks Tim! Great answers from a great illustrator (did you know you can buy his prints here?). We wish Tim every success in his full-time career.

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears for the Pat-A-Cake series from Hachette Children’s Books

To celebrate Tim’s work, we have a gorgeous bundle of Pat-a-Cake books to give away from the kind people at Hachette Children’s Books, including the two titles illustrated by Tim, plus classics including Ugly Duckling and Jack and the Beanstalk.

To be in with a chance to add these wonderful books to your collection, email us at and tell us the name of the poetry series Tim illustrates for Storytime magazine.*

One last thing before we go… we’ve been turning Tim Budgen’s fantastic Alphabet Zoo illustrations into free animal factsheets, activity packs and posters, which you can download with every issue. Get your latest letter J and K factsheets here!

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See you next time!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

*We will choose a winner at random from our entries. Closing date for entries: September 8 2017 at midnight. Terms and conditions apply.

Storytime Issue 36 Is Out Now!

kids magazine subscriptions, magazine subscriptions for kids, Storytime Issue 36 is out now, As I write this, it’s pouring with rain – all the more reason to celebrate the fact that Storytime Issue 36 is out now, because it is positively sparkling with sunshine and the perfect antidote to the gloomy British summer we’re enduring.

So save the puddle-jumping for autumn and join us on armchair adventures far and wide, as our summery issue travels to the beach, Hawaii and even to a dragon’s lair! Here’s what’s inside and more about our brilliant contributors.

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Doris hits the big time! Art by Sebastiaan Van Doninck.

Our cover star is Doris the Singing Cow – a funny new story written by Philippa Rae and illustrated by Sebastiaan Van Doninck, which will bring a smile to the faces of talent show fans everywhere. Readers can follow Doris’s rise to stardom from barnyard to the big time. Writer Philippa Rae has written many children’s stories and poems for BBC Radio, and her stories have been published in anthologies and magazines. Look out this winter for two new illustrated chapter books by Philippa.

For this issue’s fairy tale, The Dragon Queen, we welcome back illustrator Alessandra Fusi, who has previously illustrated Sleeping Beauty (in Storytime Issue 20) and a Norse myth (Sif’s Golden Hair in Storytime Issue 23). This time, Alessandra has tackled rainbow dragons, a flower princess, a daring prince and fantastic foxes.

We hope The Mare’s Egg will make our readers chuckle. It’s a funny folk tale about a family who are fooled into buying a pumpkin in the belief that a foal will hatch out of it. The ending is great and should cause a giggle or two. This story is wonderfully illustrated by Sara Toretta.

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Pele’s in a bad mood! Art by Hanh Dung Ho in Storytime Issue 36

For more summery fun, then pack your bags because we’re off to Hawaii in our latest legend, The Volcano Goddess – and Pele is a fantastic, fiery character. The gorgeous illustrations by Hanh Dung Ho bring to mind Boys Own and Girls Own annuals from years gone by – and a touch of Disney’s Moana.

In our fable, The Golden Galleon, we’re off to the seaside and… is that a pirate ship we spy out at sea? We can’t say much more than that or we’ll ruin the surprise. Art is by illustrator and comic book artist, Martina Naldi.

Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson is a perfect poem for a rainy summer’s day – and it should inspire you to get out the Lego or building blocks and create something fantastic of your own. Our imaginative illustrations are by Guilia Lombardo.

In Tales from the Around the World, we have a stunning story from Estonia, about the origins of the Milky Way.

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How the Milky Way Came to Be – an Estonian legend in Storytime 36, wih art by Elena Iarussi

It involves birds, gods, a goddess and lots of gorgeous chariots, and it is beautifully illustrated by Elena Iarussi.

And, of course, we have the latest instalment of our Alphabet Zoo poetry series. This month, join Bonnie and Boo at Grandad’s zoo as they visit animals beginning with letters J and K, including a fierce jaguar, an even fiercer komodo dragon, a cute koala and a multi-talented kangaroo. Tim Budgen, who we’ll be interviewing here soon, provides the illustrations.

As ever, there are loads of ideas for extending the story fun throughout the issue, including makes, colouring, puzzles, a game and book recommendations. Storytime Issue 36 is a little slice of summer fun and we hope you enjoy every page!

If there’s anything you’d like to see in Storytime, do let us know Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We hope you enjoy this issue and treasure it too.


Happy reading!


stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

250 Stories for Kids!

Though we have a big celebration coming up in our September issue (3rd anniversary – woo hoo!), as a small and busy business, we don’t often get the chance to step back and review what we’ve done. And our latest Storytime Issue 35 marks the fact that, to date, we have published a mind-boggling 250 stories for kids! Actually, that’s 250 stories and poems, and many more amazing illustrations by some of the most talented illustrators in the world.

We hope you enjoy the celebratory video we’ve made with the help of our fantastic intern, Anaelle Despaux. The illustrations are by Josh Cleland for the poem, The Budgie Likes to Boogie by legendary children’s poet, Brian Moses. It was the cover of last year’s 2nd anniversary issue (which you can pick up here).

Previously, we celebrated reaching 150 stories by picking out some of our favourite stories and illustrations, so we thought we’d do the same for the last 100 stories and poems we’ve published. Here are some of our top picks… for today anyway. It might change tomorrow!

Storytime Magazine’s 250 Stories for Kids – Our Top Picks


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The Selfish Giant in Storytime 28, illustrations by Sebastia Serra.

• From Lu, our art director: “I loved Paco Sordo’s bright and graphic illustrations for The Enormous Turnip in Storyime Issue 29. He added a lot of fun and made it feel modern. How not to like that colourful ending? Plus, I also liked Sebastia Serra‘s illustrations for The Selfish Giant, for similar reasons (in Storytime Issue 28). I was pleased with how the layout and colours embraced the copy. The giant and the kids make me smile and I loved the foliage in the garden too.”

• From Les, our marketing director: “I love the idea of taking an old tale and making it feisty and relevant, so I like what Little Golden Hood represents (from Storytime Issue 32), and I think the message of I Want to be a Pencil Sharpener (written by Eszter Molnar in Storytime Issue 35) is one that many readers will relate to. I certainly relate to it from childhood.

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Pegasus starred on the cover of Storytime Issue 32, with illustrations by El Gunto.

And I was delighted that we finally had a myth on the cover, so Pegasus with illustrations by El Gunto is my third choice (in Storytime Issue 32).”

• And me… I have so many soft spots, but for characterful illustrations and a gorgeous colour palette (oh, and a fun story) I loved The Reluctant Dragon in Storytime Issue 25. (Illustrations were by Mel Matthews.) I also adored Giorgia Broseghini‘s illustrations for Storytime Issue 34’s White Buffalo Calf Woman, and the precision and imagination in Marko Renko‘s illustrations for Stanley and the Rampaging Robot – a fantastic tale in Storytime Issue 32 from Stan Byford. Working with new writers has been a delight this year.

So robots, Sioux legends, giants, school children, a flying horse, turnips, dragons and fairy tale heroines… a nice selection here and a great taster of what Storytime is all about.

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One of Mel Matthews’ illustrations for Storytime Issue 25’s The Reluctant Dragon.

We’ll keep mixing things up, and we’ll keep striving to deliver excellent stories, poems and illustrations. We can’t believe we’re at 250 stories for kids already!

We’d love to hear what your favourites are – and why – and what you’d like to see more of in Storytime. Get in contact on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and let us know.


Have a great story-filled week!

stories for kids

(Storytime Ed.)

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A colourful scene by Paco Sordo for Storytime 29’s The Enormous Turnip.