This month, we have some very big news: our magazine has now been published in China, with issue 1 hitting the shelves in October.
We’ve always created Storytime with a global audience in mind. We know that great stories are universal and celebrating the wonderful diversity of tales from around the world is a core part of who we are – and because of this we are fortunate to have a strong licensing programme around the world. But few Western magazines get released in China and the process of approval can be long, which makes this opportunity particularly exciting for us.
We’ll be working with local publishers, Muse Future, who will be adapting and translating our content into Chinese, but the stories and activities will remain largely the same. Though we have always included Chinese stories in Storytime because it is such a culturally rich place, our partners are also interested in the high quality of illustrations, the diversity of the content and stories from other cultures, in particular our real-life tales and fairy tales too.
The new audio versions of our stories (available on the Storytime Hub) will feature on their Storytime website from early next year too! We are beaming with pride and excitement to see the magazine we create every month gain a new audience.
Ji Rongchang, Editor in Chief & CEO of Muse Future Ltd had this to say
“I first came across Storytime in 2018. The illustration on the cover was beautiful, and the magazine was not only attractive on the outside but also had so much inside, with a great variety of worldwide stories, fables, legends, folk tales, adventures and more, plus no ads whatsoever.
My little boy loved it as much as I did, and I felt eager to introduce Storytime into China share it with all the other Chinese children immediately! Storytime magazine is one of the most popular children’s magazines in UK, but such a brilliant magazine will surely do good for children around the world. We’ll join hands to produce more exciting stories for the kids in UK, China and other countries in the future.”
Of course, Chinese culture is very rich and full of great stories. Storytime has always featured many of them and celebrated their traditions in our Around the World Tales section. To mark our Chinese debut, we would like to mention five of our particular favourites! Be sure to check them out and let us know which one is your favourite.
‘The Monkey King’ (Storytime #83)
‘Journey to the West’, a classic Chinese adventure story. The story has been told and retold innumerable times over hundreds of years in books, comics, live action, animation and on stage. To say that this story is influential is an understatement and it was a special treat for us to do our own interpretation of it! What can we say? We can’t resist a story about a cheeky monkey hero with kung fu superpowers!
‘The Emperor’s Race’ (Storytime #41)
This myth tells the story of how the Chinese zodiac came to be and how the order of the twelve animals was chosen. Kids are sure to love this action-packed, zany tale about animals taking part in a celestial race. Stories like this one are great at giving us insights into other cultures, teaching us something new, while being great fun at the same time.
‘How the Moon Became Beautiful’ (Storytime #87)
Of course, not all stories need to be action packed. This is a dreamlike, tranquil tale with a beautiful message. It tells of how the moon was once dark and dreary, but gained the ability to glow when he was taught the importance of kindness and gentleness by young lady called Tseh-N’io – brought to life with luminous art from illustrator Tilia Rand-Bell
‘Shadow Puppets’ (Storytime #80)
Shadow puppet plays are much beloved in China to this day, and this is a legend about how they came to be. The emperor of China is heartbroken when he loses his wife. One of his advisors comes up with a brilliant idea: using shadow-puppets to tell stories that remind the emperor of his beloved. This touching, heartfelt legend demonstrates the great healing power that stories can have.
‘The Four Dragons’ (Storytime #20)
No listing of classic stories would be complete without mentioning dragons – and this is an all-time favourite. These magnificent creatures are guardians and protectors in Chinese mythology, and the gorgeous art in this story really bring them to life.
We have heard that stories are 22 times more memorable than facts, and that’s one of the many reasons that stories can play such a powerful role in bringing people together from all over the world. Long may they continue to do so – and we look forward to helping our readers travel to distant and faraway places with every issue! Thanks for joining us in giving a warm welcome to our Chinese readers!
Read Happily Ever After,
The Storytime team