It’s Autumnal Storytime Issue 62

Storytime Issue 62Storytime Issue 62 will be popping into your postboxes this week, giving you the perfect excuse to curl up and indulge in the happiest of autumnal activities – reading! Yes, we’ve all squeezed the last drops out of summer. Now it’s time to wind down, embrace the darker nights and spend some quality time with stories. Music to our ears!

In this issue, we have a friendly mix of characters for you to meet, including a monster, dragon, elf, and mythical spider. Perfect to read with little ones at Halloween and beyond. Find out more about Storytime Issue 62 below.

Inside Storytime Issue 62

Firstly, our fable The Squabbling Siblings opens the issue. It’s a new take on Aesop’s fable, The Bundle of Sticks, and a great lesson in putting your differences aside to work as a team. Laura Proietti has done an excellent job of bringing our naughty puppies to life, which we hope will help children engage better.

Storytime Issue 62

Arachne shows off her weaving skills in Storytime Issue 62. Art by Gabi Tozati.

Long before Spiderman, there was Arachne the Spiderwoman from Greek mythology. In Storytime Issue 62, you can discover her story and find out how she gave her name to spiders. It’s a timely tale for a spidery Halloween, plus it comes with a message about not being boastful. Incidentally, we applaud Gabi Tozati’s art for this. It’s not easy illustrating someone who’s half-woman and half-spider!

Next up, we have an Around the World Tale from Brazil – How the Beetle Got Its Colourful Coat. When you start reading, you’ll think it’s another version of The Hare and the Tortoise. However, prepare for a clever surprise ending. Thank you Júnior Caramez for our bright and beautiful illustrations.

Our cover story is Monster Under the Bed, which has been expertly illustrated by Josh Cleland. If your child worries about the dark or unwelcome creatures hiding in their room, then this is the perfect story to allay their fears. What if the monster under the bed is scared of you – or even your pets? Find out what happens to our friendly monster in Storytime Issue 62. Warning! Reading this story will probably make you crave chocolate muffins.

Storytime Issue 62

A princess meets a jewel thief bunny in Storytime Issue 62’s fairy tale. Art by Vera Zatseya.

Back to the land of classic fairy tales – one of our most popular sections – and a special story from Portugal. The Princess’s Lost Rings is packed with many magical elements. It includes a princess with a precious collection, a jewel thief, a shape-shifting rabbit, a cursed prince, two forgetful storytellers and a donkey with backwards hooves. There’s so much to discuss after reading this story and there are fun things to do while you read it too. Vera Zatseya has created a stunning puzzle picture for you alongside her wonderful illustrations, so don’t miss it!

Continuing the fairy-tale theme, this issue’s Storyland Adventure follows Jack and Jill as they venture a bit further than up the hill. But, alas! They come face to face with a bad-tempered dragon. Giorgia Broseghini’s artwork for Jack and Jill and the Dragon is as lovely as ever and we hope you are enjoying this series.

We’re fully embracing autumn here in the UK. We love nothing better than collecting shiny conkers, splashing in puddles, admiring fiery leaf displays, and sitting around the fire pit with a warming stew. It might just be our favourite time of year, so Rachel Field’s poem Something Told the Wild Geese is the perfect accompaniment. It captures the changing seasons perfectly and is excellent to teach at KS2 level. In fact, you can download our teaching resource and lesson ideas for this poem here. Grab the issue and you can admire Shira Le’s illustrations too.

Finally, you can snuggle up in Storyteller’s Corner for a folk tale from Ireland. Billy and the Little Man is a tale of mischief, magic and marriage. Oh, and a lot of feasting too! Masha Klot has done a grand job of making the Little Man in question every bit as cheeky as he needs to be. Plus there are plenty of moments to make children laugh, question and cheer along with the action.

 

There are lots of activity ideas and free downloads to go with this issue, so check them out here. And, of course, we have our usual Playbox pages at the back of Storytime Issue 62 with puzzles, art challenges and a game. It’s learning to read… the fun way! But isn’t that how all learning should be?

 

Wishing you a very happy spooky season,

stories for kids

Storytime Issue 61 – Our 5th Birthday Issue!

Storytime Issue 61, 5th birthday issue, Swan lakePhew! Storytime Issue 61 is out this week, which means five years of Storytime! I think we start every birthday blog with a look of disbelief, so please forgive us if we’re being repetitive when we say we can’t quite believe it. Truthfully, we can’t. Being an independent publisher is challenging. Some might have given up and walked away. But we’re still here. Why? Because we believe in what we’re doing and we thought we’d share those beliefs with you.

Storytime’s Beliefs

 

• We believe kids deserve a wide variety of options to support their reading and we know magazines play an important role in facilitating that.

• We think kids and parents deserve magazines of much better quality than most of those on offer today. Magazines that inspire, excite and educate.

• Our team takes pride in giving kids access to a wide range of stories and poems and literacy-themed activities at an affordable price.

• As story-lovers, we are passionate about keeping stories alive that would otherwise be lost and forgotten.

• Like any responsible company, we believe in the importance of offering a planet-friendly, plastic-free magazine with no toys or tat on the cover.

We strive to deliver quality and beauty. This means nice thick paper so you can keep our magazine forever, gorgeous illustrations, and a lot of love poured into every page.

• Finally, we want to help children fall in love with reading and learn valuable lessons about the world around them through short stories and poetry.

 

This is what fires us up and has kept us going for the last five years. And it will keep us going for many more.

So, yes, it’s been tough at times. But it has also been our privilege to create Storytime for you and we are so grateful for your support. Here’s a big slice of imaginary birthday cake for you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

 

Inside Storytime Issue 61

Storytime Issue 61, Swan Lake, 5th birthday issue

 

Our 5th birthday issue kicks off with a VIP visitor to Storytime’s pages and a funny new story in Paper Round with the Queen. Written by children’s author Eszter Molnar (visit her site) and brought to life by Simone Krüger’s illustrations, it’s a flight of fancy with a helicopter and a cool tandem bike thrown in for good measure.

Next, we travel to Canada and the indigenous Haida nation for our Around the World Tale, Raven Steals the Sun. Guilia Baratella’s bold illustrations show how clever raven brought the sun, the moon, the stars, fresh water and fire to the people when they were most in need.

This month’s Storyland Adventure is set in Beauty’s classroom, where she encounters a mysterious new pupil who refuses to reveal his name. Can Beauty’s brains combined with her magic mirror help her get to the bottom of this riddle? Giorgia Broseghini blew us away, yet again, with her illustrations for this new story.

Storytime Issue 61, Pirate Poodle, Pirate poem

The not-so-nefarious Pirate Poodle. A poem by Carolyn Wells in Storytime Issue 61. Art by Azbeen.

There’s a poem in every issue, and we hope kids will love our choice for Storytime Issue 61. The Pirate Poodle, as you can probably tell by its title, combines canines with adventures on the high seas – but it doesn’t turn out quite as you’d expect. Azbeen’s illustrations hit just the right pirate pooch tone for this poem by Carolyn Wells. We challenge you to learn a verse off by heart for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Thursday 19 September.

Swan Lake is Storytime Issue 61’s cover and fairy tale. Russian composer Tchaikovsky composed the music for this ballet, basing the story on old German folk tales. Now it’s come full circle (you could say pirouetted) into a story again in Storytime. If your child isn’t a ballet fan, never fear, there’s a healthy dose of royal torment, baddies and curses in this classic tale too. And it’s all dressed up in Letizia Rizzo’s fluid and flowing illustrations. If you’re an educator, please visit our Schools site to find out how to get hold of our free resource and activity pack.

In our Famous Fable, The Fox and the Grapes, you can discover where the expression ‘sour grapes’ comes from and what it means. We think you’ll love Martina Rotondo’s striking illustrations too. Such an elegant fox.

Storytime Issue 61, The Three Presents, Ludwig Beckstein, Fairytales for kids

The Three Presents by Ludwig Beckstein in Storytime Issue 61, with art by Barbara Bongini.

The Three Presents is adapted from a story by German author and fairy-tale collector, Ludwig Bechstein. In his day, he was more popular than the Brothers Grimm. It’s an unexpected rags-to-riches tale with an amusing ending. Barbara Bongini’s illustrations are perfect and we’re sure Ludwig would approve.

Storytime Issue 61 closes with a fabulous Irish tale. It’s about a legendary hidden world of fairies and the poet warrior lured there by magical beauty, Niamh of the Golden Hair. What happens when you return from a land where each year is equivalent to one hundred ‘real-world’ years? Find out in this story. Thank you David Navarro Arenas for the illustrations.

Competition Time!

To celebrate our 5th birthday, we close the issue with a special competition. We’re asking you (readers aged 3 to 9) to invent, draw and describe your dream superhero. We’ll pick our favourite and bring that superhero to life in a Storytime story next year! It’s a fantastic opportunity to unleash your creativity and potentially see your ideas in print.

Storytime Issue 61, Storytime Superhero Competition,

Find out more about the competition here and download a fabulous activity pack to help you get started.

Of course, in our opinion, the biggest superheroes of all are our Storytime readers.

 

Now let’s eat cake!

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Storytime Issue 60: Out Now!

Storytime Issue 60Need a mid-holiday pick-me-up to help you through the long summer break? Never fear, Storytime Issue 60 is here to occupy those “run out of stuff” moments or long journeys. Packed with an inspirational mix of stories, poetry, activities, puzzles and a game, it will keep your kids happily immersed and trigger their creativity too.

In this issue, we have a big bad wolf, a mysterious kelpie, rival siblings, a sun god, a daring girl gamer, a singing tortoise, a musical sea shell and Tom Thumb! Intrigued? Find out more about it and our talented contributors below.

Inside Storytime Issue 60

The perfect poem for summer – The Sea Shell by Amy Lowell plunges you into an ocean adventure with pirates, parrots and more! It’s a great and easy poem to learn off by heart. In particular, Coco Zool’s illustrations made our day.

Storytime Issue 60, African fable, Singing Tortoise

A tortoise teaches everyone a lesson in Storytime Issue 60’s African fable. Art by Maria Bazykina.

This issue’s Famous Fable has a timely environmental theme. The Singing Tortoise is a story from Africa with a simple warning about meddling with nature. Maria Bazykina’s illustrations bring it to life beautifully.

In Storytime Issue 60’s Storyland Adventure, Tom Thumb finds out that it’s not easy going on exciting breaks when you’re tiny. However, his best friends, Hansel and Pinocchio step in to surprise him. Giorgia Broseghini provides yet more fantastic illustrations for this series.

Flemish fairy tale Mr Wolf’s Candy House is our centre and cover story in Storytime Issue 60. It features a big bad wolf, a house made of sweets, two daring (and slightly cheeky) children and some rebel ducks! They seemed like perfect story ingredients to us and we hope you agree. What’s more we hope you love Davide Ortu’s illustrations as much as we do!

Storytime Issue 60, Level Up, Jenny Woods, Patrick Corrigan

A girl gamer takes on a monster challenge in Jenny Woods’ new story for Storytime Issue 60. Art by Patrick Corrigan.

We’re excited to bring you a new Tale from Today by a former journalist, experienced children’s fiction writer and sausage dog owner, Jenny Woods. Level Up sees a young girl gamer face a real-life quest to get to the top of a tower. The rewards are great, if only she dares! Many thanks to Patrick Corrigan for the perfect illustrations.

We have another fantastic Greek myth for you too – the story of Helios and Clytie. Helios is the fickle god of the sun and Clytie is the dolphin-riding sea nymph who loves him. Like many myths, the story lacks a happy ending, but it does explain how a particular flower came to be. Fascinating stuff – and it was great to work with Francesca de Luca again, who illustrated this for us. Teachers and home educators can pick up our free resource pack for this story by getting in touch here.

Have you heard of Scotland’s mysterious and troublesome kelpies? You can find out all about these watery wonders in our Storyteller’s Corner folk tale, illustrated by Forrest Burdett. This particular tale has magic and drama and, who knows… it might just be true! By the way, if you’re going to Scotland this summer, let us know if you spot a kelpie.

Finally, Giada Gatti has wonderfully illustrated a moral tale from Bangladesh called Clever Sister, Foolish Sister. This might just be the perfect story to whip out if you encounter sibling rivalry this summer as it’s all about sharing.

 

School’s out, but that doesn’t mean enjoying stories should be out too! Reading is something to be nurtured all year round – and reading together is a memory your kids will treasure forever. Also there’s something extra-special about reading together in the great outdoors – from the beach to the park – so get out there and enjoy it while you can! You might even come across a candy house in the woods or a singing tortoise in a quiet copse. Incidentally, you can get more suggestions for great places to read outdoors here.

 

Make it a Storytime summer!

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New Storytime Issue 59!

Storytime Issue 59, Kids magazine subscriptions, Androcles and the Lion

The sun is shining (at last) and Storytime Issue 59 is here to help keep your kids occupied on those long plane, train or car journeys. And if you’re enjoying a staycation instead, then you can let your imagination take a holiday by diving into our stories.

As ever, Storytime Issue 59 comes with seven fantastic stories – old and new – and a playful poem to introduce your child to verse. In them, you can travel to Ancient Rome, Armenia, Ireland, Denmark, the fairy-tale world of Storyland, and the depths of the ocean.

So pack your bags – we’re off on an adventure!

Inside Storytime Issue 59

Our cover story, which also leads the issue, is The Friendly Lion – a legend set in Ancient Rome, also known as Androcles and the Lion. We love Michel Verdu’s powerful but approachable lion illustrations. Do you remember wishing you could be best buddies with a big cat when you were a kid? This story should satisfy that need. (Incidentally, it comes with a great resource pack for teachers too – find out more here.)

Foxes play a big role in folklore all over the world and The Fox’s Tail is a funny tale from Armenia. With lots of cunning, charm and repetition, this is sure to become a new family favourite. Check out Natalia Vetrova’s colourful illustrations too.

Storytime Issue 59, magazine subscriptions for kids, Frog Prince

Can the sports-hating Frog Prince be persuaded to take part in Storyland Sports Day? Find out in Storytime Issue 59. Art by Giorgia Brosghini

In this issue’s Storyland Adventure, the residents are holding their first ever sports day. Unfortunately, frog-turned-prince Frederick isn’t keen to take part. Can he be persuaded? Princess Elinor gives it her best shot. Giorgia Broseghini gets a high-five for illustrating Cinderella running in high heels.

Another animal favourite makes an appearance in Storytime Issue 59’s poem. Watch out kids – it’s The Shark! Lord Alfred Douglas’s poem is funny, fearsome and features Mike Petrik’s bold and brilliant illustrations. However, don’t let it put you off going for a paddle in the sea!

Our Favourite Fairy Tale is Jack Makes the Princess Laugh, which originates from Ireland. It starts off like Jack and the Beanstalk and then whisks you away on an extraordinary adventure involving a waltzing mouse, a bopping beetle and a harp-playing bee. We hope it makes you want to dance. Thanks to Mona Meslier Menuau for the illustrations.

Storytime Issue 59’s fable is a lesson in not judging others by their appearance and the fierce and loyal love a parent has for its child. We should all stand up and be more like The Monkey Mother – and the wombat and robin who back her up. Patrycja Fabicka returns to Storytime to provide the insanely cute baby animals for this story. Baby animals!

We gave illustrator Henk Van Der Gugten a real challenge for Storytime Issue 59’s folktale when we asked him to draw invisible trolls! Rounds of applause because he has done a brilliant job for our story The Troll Hat from Denmark. It’s a tale of mischief, feasting and magic. You will love it!

Storytime Issue 50, superhero stories, magazine subscriptions, Pizza story

There’s mayhem in the playground when superhero Pizza Boy doesn’t get his daily fix of… pizza! Read his adventure in Storytime Issue 59. Art by Alice Risi.

For the grand finale, you can enjoy a big slice of silliness in our new story Pizza Boy. He claims that pizza gives him superpowers but his mum and dad aren’t convinced – and they cut off his supply. Will the alley cats take over? Will chaos reign in the playground? What will happen to his rodent sidekicks Pepe Roni and Margarita? You’ll have to read it and find out. Alice Risi did a super-powered job of the illustrations, so don’t miss them.

 

We’ve put lots of effort into making Storytime Issue 59 a real page-turner (and upcoming Storytime Issue 60 too) to ensure that kids stay engaged with reading while school’s out. Evidence shows that there is often a significant decline in reading levels, known as the ‘summer slump’ or ‘summer slide’, when kids return to school for the Autumn term.
We’d love to support parents and teachers in making sure that doesn’t happen. Just one Storytime story a day can make a huge difference! Give it a go this summer.

 

Let’s dump the slump,

stories for kids

P.S. If you didn’t subscribe in time to get Storytime Issue 59, you can pick up the back issue from our shop.

Storytime Issue 58 – Out Now!

Storytime Issue 58Storytime Issue 58 is out now and it’s an extra-magical edition! But first, our cover star is fairy-tale favourite, Little Billy Goat Gruff, who sets out to prove his heroism by discovering what’s inside Storyland’s spooky mystery shack. As in all good adventures, Little Billy uncovers more than he expected and learns a valuable lesson about bravery along the way. Regular illustrator Giorgia Broseghini created our cover and the artwork for this and all of our Storyland Adventures so far. They’re a real treat for fairy-tale fans.

What other magical treats are hiding inside Storytime Issue 58? Find out more here.

Inside Storytime Issue 58

 

Storytime Issue 58, Toy Story

Ekaterina Ledatko’s illustration for Too Many Toys – a modern toy story for Storytime Issue 58.

In our new story Too Many Toys (a Tale from Today), Mum wants to have a toy clear out, but Alice has other ideas… and it looks like the toys do too. Most parents will relate to this story and might even shed a tear. Ekaterina Ladatko’s illustrations melted our hearts a little bit and will probably do the same to you.

We’re excited to have Lucy Semple illustrating for Storytime again. This time, she has turned her hand to Edward Lear’s wonderful nonsense poem, Calico Pie. A combination of imagination and repetition, this is a fun poem to learn off by heart together. Give it a go.

In our Around the World Tale, The Kangaroo’s Pouch, children can enjoy an Aboriginal story about how this much-loved marsupial got its pouch. It’s a story about magic and kindness, made all the more special by Aurica Safiulina’s humorous illustrations.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Storytime Issue 58, kids magazine subscriptions

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for kids in Storytime Issue 58. Illustration by Alessandra Fusi.

There’s more magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the great William Shakespeare. We’ve taken his original play and turned it into a child-friendly fairy tale. Who can resist Bottom and Puck? We think Alessandra Fusi’s dreamy illustrations are the perfect match for this story and we hope you can read it on midsummer’s night. Who knows what might happen?

Teachers! If your school subscribes to Storytime, you can get a free bumper Midsummer Night’s Dream lesson resource pack to use with this story, which is packed with Shakespeare facts, puzzles, literacy activities and mini art projects. Visit our Storytime for Schools website to find out more.

Children can enjoy another animal story in our funny fable The Owl and the Echo, which reveals what happens when an owl gets carried a little away by its own vanity. Thank you to Alex Willmore for the illustrations.

If you’ve never heard of The Pooka, then our folk tale from Ireland is the perfect introduction to this mysterious creature. Begoña Fernandez Corbálan has imagined it brilliantly, but as nobody knows what they truly look like, her guess is as good as anybody’s! Why not have a go at drawing your own version of a pooka?

Our Persian tale Zal and the Magic Bird delivers Storytime Issue 58’s final dose of magic – and you won’t be disappointed. This wonderful bird, known as the Simurgh, lives atop a jewelled mountain in a castle surrounded by stars. Allegedly, it has golden feathers and all the wisdom in the world. It’s a gem of a story and Alessia Trunfio’s art truly does it justice.

 

With stories from Ancient Persia, Australia, Ireland, Aesop, Shakespeare, Lear and today, we’ve worked really heard to bring you a world of imagination and creativity in just 52 pages. As with every issue, we hope Storytime succeeds in sparking a life-long love of reading for your child and creates some happy memories too!

Have a magical midsummer,

stories for kids

Smart, Brave and Strong Fictional Role Models

fictional role models

Robin Hood – a smart, brave and strong fictional role model in Storytime Issue 57. Art by Mathieu Strale.

What kind of fictional role models do kids look for in stories? And do their parents look for the same thing? A recent survey by Scholastic (Our Diverse World) found that a huge amount of kids (36%) want to read about characters they want to be like because they are smart, brave or strong. Characters that face and overcome challenges came in a close second at 30%.

Fictional characters that are smart, brave or strong were even more popular with parents. 50% of those questioned wanted more characters like this in stories. Meanwhile, 47% desired characters that face and overcome a challenge.

So kids and parents are looking for the same fictional role models. They want characters that are tested and come out on top thanks to their own intelligence, courage and strength (inner or outer).

It sounds like our kind of stories. However, the truly exciting finding is that fiction like this isn’t just fun to read in the moment – the effect of reading about inspirational fictional characters is lasting. In the survey, 40% of children revealed they have learned a lesson from a fictional character. Incidentally, this is something we’ve known for a long time from talking to our readers.

So you could say that reading about inspirational, confident, problem-solving kids breeds a generation of… inspirational, confident, problem-solving kids. At the risk of sounding like a self-help manual, it turns out you can read yourself smart, brave and strong. That’s the undisputable power of stories!

 

Read Yourself Smart, Brave and Strong

With that in mind, we’ve selected some of our favourite Storytime stories with smart, brave or strong characters. These are the kind of fictional role models that can help you inspire your kids!

 

SMART OPERATORS

  1. There are a large number of fairy tales and stories from all over the world in which an underdog uses intelligence to outwit a baddie. Three Little Pigs (Storytime Issue 6) and Hansel and Gretel (Storytime Issue 13) are both classic examples. From further afield, the African tale How the Jackal Fooled the Lion (Storytime Issue 18), Wolf Lullaby (Storytime Issue 25) from the Caribbean and Romania’s Stan and the Dragon (Storytime Issue 55) all feature savvy characters overcoming the impossible.
  2. Being smart isn’t just about beating bad guys – it can improve your life too. As the Indian rags-to-riches story The Mouse Merchant (Storytime Issue 8) demonstrates. Or, in Puss in Boots (Storytime issue 18), a cat’s cunning transforms his owner from a pauper into a prince. Meanwhile, The Crow and the Pitcher (Storytime Issue 19) deploys its intelligence to save its own life.
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    Clever Amaradevi in Storytime Issue 44. Art by Lenny Wen.

  4. Then there are those clever characters who use their smarts to prove themselves and assert their place in the world. For example, in the Cambodian tale Clever Amaradevi (Storytime Issue 44), a princess proves her worth to her father with the help of some skilful engineering. In the Greek story, The Clever Queen, a queen does the same to her king. Finally, in Harry the Narwhal (Storytime Issue 48), Harry shows his bullying cousins just how quick-thinking and clever he is.

 

BRAVE HEARTS

  1. Is there any better example of bravery (and kindness) than the classic fable The Lion and the Mouse (Storytime Issue 2)? There’s a reason this fable has endured – it speaks to children who have their own lions to face, and it brings hope.
  2. fictional role models

    Hero Momotaro the Peach Boy with art by Quang Phung Nguyen. Storytime Issue 26.

  3. Then there’s the straightforward brand of bravery – or is it bravado? In these tales a hero or heroine takes on and overcomes a monster. See giant-slaying Jack and the Beanstalk (Storytime Issue 5) and also Odysseus and the Cyclops (Storytime Issue 18). Plus there’s the unusual Japanese hero Momotaro the Peach Boy (Storytime Issue 26) and demon-battling Indian hero Rama in Rama and Sita (Storytime Issue 50). Oh, and look out for Little Billy Goat Brave in upcoming Storytime Issue 58. (And the original Billy Goats Gruff in Storyime Issue 10.)
  4. Let’s bring on the girls. Courageous and devoted friend Gerda saves her best friend in The Snow Queen (Storytime Issue 4). Molly Whuppie (Storytime Issue 54) whups a giant and the Ecuadorian heroine in The Magic Lake (Storytime Issue 55) saves a prince and her brothers after facing fierce animals.
  5. Lastly, we love the quietly, brilliantly brave character in Eszter Molnar’s story I Want to Be a Pencil Sharpener (Storytime Issue 35). She proves that not all acts of bravery involve wielding swords. Sometimes bravery is found in daring to be different.

 

STRONG SOULS

    fictional role models

    Hercules slays the lion in Storytime Issue 24. Art by Ricardo Fernandez.

  1. Strong characters can sometimes feel a little one-dimensional. They need a good dose of bravery or a decent back story to make them interesting. Greek hero Hercules in Hercules and the Lion (Storytime Issue 24) has immense strength, but it’s what got him there that makes him engaging. Theseus was powerful enough to defeat the Minotaur, but it’s Princess Ariadne’s smarts that led him to success (Storytime Issue 12).
  2. Yes, St George and the Dragon (Storytime Issue 2) is a story of strength, but it’s also one of bravery and chivalry. Likewise Robin Hood, who has three appearances in Storytime (Issues 8, 38 and upcoming 58) is strong and skilled with a bow, but he’s also defiantly brave.
  3. In the Polynesian tale Maui Tames the Sun (Storytime Issue 48), Maui uses sheer force to stop the sun in its tracks. However, it’s bravery that got him there in the first place.
  4. kids magazine subscriptions, fictional role model

    Nana Miriam has smarts, bravery and strength in Storytime Issue 34. Art by Bruno Liance

  5. For a great combination of wit, bravery and strength, you can’t beat Nana Miriam and the Hippo (Storytime Issue 34). She actually flings a hippo into space!
  6. And let’s not forget inner strength. Cap o’ Rushes (Storytime Issue 57) demonstrates mental fortitude when her father forces her out of her home and she is forced to become a servant. Cinderella (Storytime Issue 2) also shows great resilience when she is bullied. There are many more fairy tales with similar themes of staying positive and hopeful in the face of adversity. A true display of strength.

 

That’s just a small selection of great fictional role models featured in Storytime. There are many more smart, brave and strong characters in our issues and we always hope to inspire our readers. You can pick up any of the issues mentioned above in our Storytime Back Issue Shop.

What kind of character speaks to you most? Smart, brave or strong? Most importantly, what kind of characters do you want your child to be inspired by in Storytime? We’re always ready to take on board your feedback, so let us know on any of our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram).

Until next time… be smart, brave and strong.

stories for kids

Hello Storytime Issue 57!

Storytime Issue 57

If you could have one magical object, what would it be? This question inspired Storytime Issue 57’s cover story Benji’s Magic Boots, where the main character is attracted to a pair of ordinary-looking boots that can take him anywhere. Fans of fairy tales will know them as seven league boots – with each step you take, you travel seven leagues (about 5.5km). Benji, of course, has no idea what lies in store when he slips on the boots for the first time.

You can follow his adventure in Storytime Issue 57 and we hope you enjoy Michelle Ouellette’s glorious artwork.

There are lots more stories to enjoy, of course, so find out about them here.

Inside Storytime Issue 57

 

There’s always something exciting happening in Storyland. In Storytime Issue 57, this fairy-tale world’s residents get two surprise visitors from another fictional land. The unexpected guests have a problem and it’s up to Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and one of the three Little Pigs to help fix it. Giorgia Broseghini‘s illustrations – especially Rapunzel’s colourful plait – make us grin every time.

Storytime Issue 57, kids magazine subscriptions

Bouki the Hyena, an African story illustrated by Sid Mereiles.

Bouki the Hyena is a story from Africa, starring one of the continent’s best-known tricksters. You’ve probably worked out that we love trickster tales here at Storytime. This one is no exception – Sid Mereiles‘ animals are incredible.

Our fable, Mr Luck and Mrs Pluck, explores whether it’s better to be fortunate or fearless. What do you think? Find out our conclusion in the issue. Dilara Karakas‘s illustrations should make you smile.

The legendary hero Robin Hood returns to Storytime Issue 57. This time, you can discover how he met his best friend and sidekick Little John. It involves a fight! Mathieu Strale’s illustrations are heaps of fun. If you’re a teacher, you can also look forward to our free Robin Hood Teaching Resource Pack for school subscribers. Get it here. And don’t miss our Robin Hood game at the back of the issue too.

Our poem, The Transformation, offers you more great content for the classroom or home. It’s about the life cycle of a caterpillar and its change into a butterfly. A great companion to primary science lessons and Sara Ugolotti’s illustration should give you lots of inspiration for art classes.

As silly stories go, The Story With No End, is great. Rebels at heart, we can’t resist a tale where an ordinary Joe (or Joanne) outwits a mollycoddled king. Speaking of Jo, Joanna Klos helped us bring this unique story to life.

kids magazine subscriptions, Storytime Issue 57

Cap o’ Rushes – a fairy tale with Cinderella themes – in Storytime Issue 57. Art by Daniela Dogliani.

Finally, we’re delighted to welcome back illustrator Daniela Dogliani. She has illustrated the fairy tale Cap o’ Rushes. This beautiful story will delight Cinderella fans as it has some similar themes, but it’s far from being a copy. We’d love to know what you think about the ending.

 

All in all, it’s another packed issue.

So, where would you go if you had magic boots? We’d probably end up in a book shop. This one will do nicely.

If you haven’t subscribed in time to receive Storytime Issue 57, no problem, you can pick it up from our Back-Issue Shop. And if you’re thinking of subscribing, you can do so here. We’d love to have you join the Storytime family!

Hope you have some wonderful armchair adventures this month,

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Storytime Issue 56 Is Out!

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Spring has sprung and, with it, a spring in our step because Storytime Issue 56 is out! This issue stars an Easter cutie, Funny Bunny, and it’s packed with characters to suit every interest and taste! Read on…

Inside Storytime Issue 56

storytime issue 56

A fabulous fox and cockerel in Storytime Issue 56, by Jane Lukas.

We open the issue with the wonderful fable The Fox and the Cockerel, in which these two frequent rivals undertake a subtle battle of wits. It’s a great story made greater by Jane Lukas‘s truly stunning illustrations. What a way to open an issue!

In this issue’s new Storyland Adventure, we meet Beast who has a worrying mystery to solve – something is destroying the plants in Storyland, including the Wicked Witch’s herb garden. His wonderful bloom shop is also at risk unless he can track down the culprit quickly. As always, Giorgia Broseghini provides the art.

We’re delighted to bring you a beautifully illustrated version of Ducks’ Ditty – Ratty’s wonderful tune from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. It’s a fantastic and educational rhyme, and many thanks to Anna Gensler for the artwork. This poem also inspired our monthly Teaching Resource Pack, free to all school subscribers. Find out more about it here.

Storytime Issue 56

An image from the Hungarian folk tale, That’s Not True! Art by Jesús López.

Our Around the World Tale is a funny folk tale from Hungary, featuring a pig that lays eggs. Or does it? The title of the story, That’s Not True!, and gives you a clue about how the story unfolds. It’s a great read with a satisfying ending, only enhanced by Jesús López’s illustrations.

Action-lovers will enjoy our myth, Voyage to Easter Island, which tells how Polynesian adventurers braved a long and perilous journey to find a new home. It also explains the origin of Easter Island’s incredible statues. Felipe Rodriguez Rodriguez did an excellent job of the illustrations and gave us a hammerhead shark to remember.

Funny Bunny, with illustrations by Lucy Fleming, is Storytime Issue 56’s Tale from Today. It stars an Easter bunny who hates chocolate! Find out how she overcomes her fears to make sure all those eggs get delivered on time.

We love sharing lesser known fairy tales with you and One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes by the Brothers Grimm is certainly one of those. What’s interesting about this tale is how a sibling is persecuted for having two eyes and looking like “everyone else”. It’s a good starting point for talking about bullying and difference. Thanks to Katya Longhi for the illustrations.

Storytime Issue 56 closes with Miser and Merry – a tale of two farmers with very different attitudes to life and how they treat people. You can probably guess from their names how they are, but when a magical dwarf intervenes, one of them learns an important lesson. Dnepwu provided the illustrations for this classic folk tale.

Flick through Storytime Issue 56

Every month we make a quick video flick-through of the latest issue, so that anyone who’s interested in subscribing can get a feel for our great content. Have a look at Storytime Issue 56 here! This month, there’s a fantastic quiz and game in the back, as well as the usual puzzles, book recommendations and activities.

We hope you enjoy it. Let us know your faves by dropping us a line on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

See you soon!

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How To Be The World’s Best Parent

read to your child for 10 minutes every day, reading for pleasure, tips for reading to kids, Wow, that’s one heck of a promise, but what if we told you that being the world’s best parent isn’t just entirely possible and easily within your grasp, it takes less than 1% of your day? Even better, you can start working towards that coveted parenting crown as soon as you’ve finished reading this article.

So what exactly do you need to do? It’s simple. Just read to your child for 10 minutes every day. 15 minutes if you can. (20 minutes and you’ll win your place in a special heaven populated by all your favourite fictional characters, locations and foods and, occasionally, your favourite author will drop by and invite you for tea and cake.)

But let’s start with just 10 minutes. On paper, reading to your child for 10 minutes every day seems totally doable, doesn’t it? But if it were so easy, we’d all be doing it and reading charities all over the world wouldn’t be imploring us to read to our children more.

There’s overwhelming evidence now that reading to your children is one of the best things you can do for them educationally and on an emotional level. It’s an incredible time for bonding and we all know it! So what’s stopping us and how do we overcome the barriers that life puts in the way? We have some solutions for you.

4 barriers to reading to your kids… and how to knock them down


1. Tiredness

This is perhaps one of the most common reasons given for not reading to your child for 10 minutes every day. Either you or your child is too exhausted. All you want to do is collapse on the sofa and watch some telly or fall into bed. It’s understandable, but with a little attitude shift and some clever timing, you can make a positive difference.

Your solution: The saying goes that if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same results. So stop promising yourself that you’ll read for 10 minutes every night and then feeling guilt-stricken when you’re too tired to see it through. Instead, commit to read for 10 minutes every day at a time when you’ve both got enough energy to enjoy it. That might be first thing in the morning, at lunch, before dinner, after dinner. There is no right time – keep changing it until you get it right. You’ll know when that is as you’ll be reading for pleasure and not as a chore – and your child will be rapt. Read more on finding time to read here.


2. Busyness

With so many demands on modern life, it’s hard not to fall into the busyness trap. But, as we mentioned in the intro, 10 minutes takes up less than 1% of your day. And that 10 minutes of reading has been proven to have such a positive impact on your child’s wellbeing and educational attainment, it’s absolutely worth making it a priority.

Your solution: Treat 10 minutes of reading to your child like you would any other daily task. Schedule it in and add it to your to-do list. You could put it in your diary or journal or even make a wall chart for you or your child to tick off. If you make it a daily goal, you’ll have a sense of achievement every time you complete it – and it will soon turn into a good habit. One with a gazillion benefits thrown in for both you – reading together is a great stress reliever – and your child.


3. Not-in-the-mood-ness

Ah, we’ve all been here – and kids use this reason as often as adults. The problem is that taking one day off because you don’t feel ‘in the mood’ can easily escalate into a permanent state of being (think gym memberships). It’s a slippery slope, but you can tackle it with a change of approach.

Your solution: If neither of you are in the mood, chances are you’re bored. You need to change things up. There are so many ways you can do this. You can change your reading material. Try non-fiction, for instance, or try a myth instead of a fairy tale. Change where and how you read – go outside, read in a blanket tent, read by torchlight. Change when you read – do it at a completely different time. Alternatively, reward yourselves for reading. We have some ideas on how you can do that here. Simple actions like this can banish boredom and ensure that your 10 minutes of reading is something you look forward to and treasure.


4. Fidgetiness

Some children have supernova-levels of energy. Some have short attention spans. We get it. They’d rather be charging up and down the living room or fidgeting around than cosying up for a story. Though getting them to settle might seem like an impossible feat, a Storytime session might be the very thing you need. It’s all in the timing.

Your solution: Use Storytime to help your child transition from fully alert to that relaxed twilight state before sleep. Think of your 10 minutes of Storytime as meditation or a cool down. Make sure your child is in pyjamas to signal that bedtime is coming and it’s time to relax. Explain that this will be part of your bedtime routine from now on. Now take a deep calming breath (it’s not a bad idea to ask your child to take one too) and read for 10 minutes. There’s no more powerful relaxant for a restless child than a bedtime story.

 

read to your child for 10 minutes every day, reading for pleasureSo next time you’re faced with a barrier like the ones we’ve listed above, consider the benefits of reading to your child for 10 minutes a day. That’s roughly the length of one or two Storytime stories. You could even fit in one of our poems!

Yes, it will make your child a more confident and able reader. Yes, there are numerous other benefits, educational and otherwise. But the most compelling reason of all is that it sends a powerful message to your child. You’re telling them that you care enough to devote quality time to them doing something that brings pure and simple joy… reading. And that’s how to be the world’s best parent in just 10 minutes!

Did we cover your barriers to reading to your children? Has this helped you prioritise reading for 10 minutes a day? Let us know by getting in touch on our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

 

Read and be brilliant this week,

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*Picture credit: Picsea at Unsplash.

Storytime Issue 55 Is Here!

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Can you believe we’re at Storytime Issue 55 and this is our first cover featuring a dragon? It just goes to show how many fantastic stories are out there battling it out to make the cover. In fact, we love the cover of Storytime Issue 55 so much (gracias, Leire Martin!), we almost want to put a dragon cover on every issue of Storytime. We’ll just change the name to Dragontime, okay? Deal? Deal!

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Leire Martin’s colourful take on Stan and the Dragon for Storytime Issue 55.

If you have ever doubted the power of human ingenuity and imagination (when science wasn’t available to say otherwise), just look at dragon stories and mythology. Why come up with a dull explanation for events when you can blame a dragon? Incidentally, it’s actually a dragon’s fault there’s a tiny typo in that story. Honest. It’s true!

Anyway, back to our lovely new issue – of which we are very proud and excited (apart from the harmless typo). For those who don’t already subscribe to Storytime and are yet to experience its magic, we like to take a closer look at each story and thank our wonderful contributors. So before we get carried with (or by) dragons, find out more here.

Inside Storytime Issue 55

 

Illustrator Georgia Broseghini graces our pages again with artwork for our newest Storyland Adventure. In this issue, Little Red Riding Hood has to face her fears and walk through the woods to visit granny again. Will she listen to advice this time and stay on the path? Naturally, the Big Bad Wolf tries to live up to his name.

Stan and the Dragon is a fun and adventurous fairy tale from Romania featuring a character who uses brains rather than brawn to outwit two dragons. Oh, and he has 100 children! The gorgeous cover (those colours!) and internal illustrations are by Leire Martin.

kids magazine subscriptions, Storytime Issue 55

Art by Marilisa Cotroneo for Rudyard Kipling’s How the Elephant Got Its Trunk in Storytime Issue 55.

How the Elephant Got Its Trunk, sometimes called The Elephant’s Child, is by Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book. This tale comes from his collection of Just So Stories, and we have updated it for a modern, younger readership. Marilisa Cotroneo illustrated this story and gave us the gorgeous cuddling elephants at the end. School subscribers will get a free classroom pack to use with this story. It contains a glossary, lesson ideas, activities, quizzes, comprehension tests and more. Find out more on our Schools site.

We had a lot of fun also updating the classic days-of-the-week nursery rhyme Monday’s Child (is full of grace… remember?). In Storytime Issue 55, it’s called A Musical Week and you can see kids and animals rocking out, playing instruments and having a great time. Special thanks to illustrator Carolina Grosa for bringing it to life. You can also download the original version here.

Storytime Issue 55’s fable, Cat Trouble has been updated too. It’s a fresh new version of the Aesop classic, Belling the Cat. As ever, there’s a thought-provoking moral to discuss. Plus you can admire Erica Salcedo’s fun illustrations. We love the raspberry mouse hat!

For our Tales from Today section, we bring you Squirrel Spy School. You know how there’s always one sneaky squirrel who gets to the bird feeder first? Well, in this story, you can meet him and witness a bird backlash! Mili Koey’s art for this is so full of energy.

Llamas, magic birds and golden lakes in this Storytime Issue 55 tale from Ecuador. Art by Lujan Fernandez.

You can travel to Ecuador for our Around the World Tale. It’s truly magical and Lujan Fernandez‘s illustrations are a joy. When an Incan ruler requires water from a golden lake to cure his illness, a little girl sets off with her llama to save the day. Along the way she meets magical birds and fierce lake guardians. Though she has a little help, she’s brave and heroic.

Finally, Storytime Issue 55 ends with a Norse myth and Loki – as usual – is the cause of everyone’s problems. This time, he’s blackmailed by a giant into getting hold of Idun’s powerful anti-ageing apples. As you can imagine, Odin is unamused, especially by his new grey hairs and wrinkles. Good shapeshifting fun – and illustrator Saoirse Louise gave us a great cast of mythical characters.

So Why Subscribe to Storytime?

What other children’s magazine takes you around the globe and brings you eight stories old and new in every issue? Shares fantastic illustrations from talent all over the world? Squeezes in poetry, puzzles, activities, printables, games, colouring, book reviews, quizzes and competitions too? In Storytime Issue 55, we’ve poured in as much good stuff as we can to help your children develop a love of reading – and set them up for life. You can read more about that here.

If you didn’t subscribe in time to catch this particular issue, don’t worry – you can pick up Back Issues in our Storytime Shop. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in seeing what’s coming next month (it’s a goodie!), check out our Issues page.

 

Be a hero this month – read lots of stories! And make friends with a dragon. They’re not all bad.

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