Author Archive

Artificial Art – What’s Next?

Artificial Art - What’s Next?


Have you ever wondered how Storytime is made? How does the creative work happen behind the scenes? In this blog, we will talk about how we craft every issue and how the magic really happens!


First, our team selects submitted tales, researches stories from the past, and writes and edits the text. We discuss how we will tell each tale, what we will leave out, and what new ideas we will add.  Then, when the stories are ready, we send them off to someone who adds their own indefinable magic: the artist!


Over the last eight years, we have worked with literally hundreds of talented artists from around the world. They each bring their own style and imagination to the stories they illustrate. It’s always a thrill to see what they have added to the story – they often come up with visual ideas that enrich the tale far beyond what was written in the text.


Storytime combines words and pictures to tell stories. We think that’s the most powerful combination there is! Writers and artists have teamed up to craft vivid tales for hundreds of years – but could technology make this kind of partnership obsolete?


Artificial intelligence has been used for quite some time now in many sectors. Technology can be good at solving old problems in new and efficient ways. But where do we draw the line? You might have read recent articles about a new development which some fear might take over artists’ jobs!


To put it in simple terms, ‘AI art’ programmes like Midjourney and DALL-E 2 can conjure up pictures in seconds. If you type in a description of what you want, an algorithm (complex mathematical formula) will create an image to order. You even can ask it to create a picture in a certain style or mimic the technique of a particular artist!


These algorithms work by analysing a huge database of art and then create patchwork pictures based on the millions of images they have digested. But what they create is hardly something new or original – they just combine bits of existing art in new combinations and often the result is a vaguely familiar image.


Where do Midjourney and DALL-E 2 get the art that they analyse? It is ‘scraped’ (gathered) from the internet and multiple sources of data. It is common for artists to see bits and pieces of their pictures in AI-created digital images. Nobody asks permission to use their work in this way, nor they get any payment or credit. While the creators of this software claim that it is intended as a tool that ‘enhances and extends the creative process’, many people disagree and there is a huge debate going on right now.


As it stands, it can be tempting for some to use AI created art in magazines and media. It is far quicker and cheaper, for starters! But the reason we thought we would talk about our creative process this month is because, while we have kept an eye on these debates and new technologies, we believe that creativity and human input are an integral part of Storytime. Thus, we so not think that an AI could ever replace our creative team, writers and illustrators.


We believe that art and stories are all about communication – human beings sharing their ideas and experiences and adding to a narrative. Stories are about characters, the things they feel, the things they do, and why they do them. That is why they draw us in! Even in fairy tales, myths or science fiction, we can connect with the characters and empathise with them. It’s more than just a formula, it’s the imperfection and uniqueness that make them unforgettable.


The artists in our magazine are an integral part of our storytelling process. We discuss stories and their meanings with them, and the illustrators lovingly add compositions, poses and facial expressions, rendered in their own unique colour palettes and add so many details to every scene that you feel there is another story happening in the background of every illustration you see! They always add something of themselves to the art. We love to spot these things – and young readers do too! (For example, one artist added a sword from her favourite video game to the background of a giant’s lair!) It is their skill, empathy and imagination that breathe life into pictures of characters and the worlds they inhabit.


You could get an AI art app to create a picture of ‘wooden puppet boy in fish stomach fairy tale’ to illustrate a tale about Pinocchio, say. The art might ‘look OK’ – but an AI wouldn’t be able to use imagination and emotion to add drama and feeling to the image and perhaps understand why Pinocchio ended up in the fish’s stomach! It would feel flat. Only an artist that reads and understands the themes and emotions in a story can do that.



We are so grateful to the hundreds of talented illustrators who have brought their magic to Storytime with pencil, brush or drawing tablet. You all help us to tell our stories in unpredictable and extraordinary ways that an AI never could. We also hope this wonderful world of original art and storytelling we have created will continue to be exciting and thrilling to the thousands of readers around the planet who chose to join us! Technology will continue to improve our lives, fill up some of the functions in society, speed up research and bring a lot of good to the world – but it shall never replace human creativity!


Image credits: and Drazen Zigic

Storytime Issue 103 Out Now!

Where will you go?


Where Will You Go?

Going to new and unexpected places is a thrilling experience – and through the magic of stories, you can travel to them without leaving your chair (or your bed, if that’s where you like to read!) Let us invite you to a quick tour of the wonderful places that the latest issue of Storytime will take you.


High Adventure is set high in the Himalayas, near Mount Everest. It features in the Worlds of Wonder strand, which is certainly a fitting description! This tale stars a Sherpa boy named Pasang, who saves a mountain-climber lost in a snow storm. Cacá França’s art makes you feel as if you are going on this journey with him, as it really captures the grandeur and of the highest mountains on Earth.


But that’s not the only high-altitude story this month! The Golden Duck tells the tale about a race to the top of a mountain by a frog and a rabbit – and ends with a duck who was just trying to help, being sprinkled with gold dust. Rossnelly Salazar did the same with the illustrations – sparkling gold dust to the characters, who seem ready to leap off the page!


We travel far to the other side of the globe, to Mexico with this month’s myth! “The Gift of Corn” comes from Aztec legends and takes us from the dark of the underworld to the very top of a magic mountain where foods of all kinds grow, especially their beloved corn. The unique style of Aztec art influenced the vivid pictures created by Daniela Martín Del Campo.


If mountains aren’t your thing, how would you like to visit the depths of the ocean? A spoiled Indian prince goes there in search of magical gems in Where Rubies Come From. Artist Milvilla did a wonderful job of bringing the colourful characters in this fantastic fairy tale to life.


Pinocchio goes on an even more unexpected journey in The Dog-Fish’s Stomach Ache, illustrated by the amazing Felipe Calv. He takes a dive down a giant fish’s gullet – would you like to guess what he found there?


Perhaps you like sunny beaches, tropical forests and exotic creatures though? Then look no further – you can read The Great Flood and it will whisk you away to the Philippines, where a giant crab threatens the their world. Don’t worry, as we learn with this tale that when we work together we can overcome all challenges and the redoubtable Claudia Marianno somehow makes this monstrous creature, a little more affable and colourful in her artwork!


Our folk tale will take you through an enchanted forest. Have you ever wondered about the story behind the nursery-rhyme about a certain shepherdess who lost her all her sheep? Little Bo-Peep is full of magic and enchantment, as you will see when you spot Pete Olczyk’s bewitching illustrations!






Lastly, our cover story will transport us through space and time! Amelia’s Wild Ride opens in one of the greatest shows ever held – the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in St Louis! Daisy Ingrosso’s art takes us through this spectacular event, which was attended by a little girl and this experience inspired her to go on to an incredible career as an aviator!


And we hope the stories will do the same to all little readers and explorers out there!


What is the best place that a story has ever taken you? Is it another land, another time, a fictional place, or another planet? We hope you meet you there! Enjoy the journey and let us know your favourite one too!

With love, from the Storytime team

Four steps to support struggling readers


One of our key aims at Storytime is to share our love of reading with as many children as possible – but for some children, reading is a challenge.


Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) can have a hard time learning to read as sometimes their condition affects the development of their foundational language and social skills. Even those who have learnt to read may struggle with comprehension, which can greatly impact their confidence and performance at school. It is estimated that almost a fifth of all children in UK schools have special educational needs (SEN) that affect their reading, and most of them are educated in mainstream schools that have limited resources[1] to help them.


It can be daunting to realise that your child has severely fallen behind their peers, and parents may at times feel that they are facing an unsurmountable challenge when supporting their child’s learning. However, there are some simple strategies and tools that parents, carers and educators can use to support their children and positively impact their reading and learning processes.

[1] Source: Department for Children Schools and Families Building Bulletin


1. Choose the right books

When trying to engage a child with reading it is essential to choose the right books to begin with. Some material might be overstimulating, and others are not stimulating enough. It is crucial to strike the right balance.


Choosing a book in line with your child’s interest is a good start. Choose the story together – let the child pick their favourite theme or topic as they are more likely to engage with it when reading.


The layout of the book or magazine should be simple and easy to understand. Changes of pace in stories make it easier for the child to follow the plot, and stories with a slower pace will be easier to follow for beginners.


Illustrations are a useful tool to help a child connect with a story and facilitate imaginative play. Artworks can trigger a range of feelings and inspire us to investigate further what we are seeing or hearing, and can be especially helpful for children with SEN, who often learn better with visual stimuli.


2. Put some time aside to plan the stories

SEN children often benefit from routine and consistency, so create a regular timeslot in the evening for reading with your child. Even five or ten minutes can make a difference!


Do some preparation before reading with your child – go through the story highlighting the words that are repeated most often or are onomatopoeic, as this will help them understand the structure of the story. Point out the trickier words and explore them. Make a glossary in the form of a deck of flashcards, with drawings which will help them to form mental images. Then, when you do read the story together, you do not have to stop too much to explain things.


I do a lot of historical research for my stories, then filter out things that might be too complex or gory for the target age group. However, I do my best to give the ‘flavour’ of an era.


3. Shared Reading

Shared reading is incredibly important when it comes to encouraging any child to read, and this is especially true for children with SEN. This is a simple process which helps bond the parent and child and, if done on a regular basis, it may considerably enhance a child’s reading ability. Here are a few more pointers:


  • Sit side-by-side with your child so that they can see the pages you are reading.


  • Take your time and use the images as a starting point for exploring and discussing the story with your child.  For instance, look at the cover together; what could the book be about? Get your child involved in the story from the start and encourage them to talk about it.


  • When reading the story, point to the illustrations and follow each word with your finger, so that your child can associate the sounds they are hearing with the letters they see.


  • When reading aloud, put lots of expression into your reading so that your child can copy what you are doing. You could use different voices to create more engagement or choose other reading styles which may better suit your child such as picture reading for instance. You can also share the storytelling roles and give a character to your child so they can play a role too.


Encourage your child to repeat any rhymes or repetitions out loud.  Praise them often.


4. Have a conversation

Praise them!

When you have finished reading, talk to your child about the story, ask them questions, engage with them, and encourage them to talk. And praise them again! Praise and rewards are a great way to keep them motivated and engaged in the activity.


Follow-up conversations may also help with reading comprehension, which is a critical building block for effective literacy development. This is also an opportunity to help them understand the narrative, analyse the characters and the plot, and build their vocabulary. All this reinforcement helps them to consolidate their knowledge and comprehension.


Finally, it is important not to get discouraged! Most children with SEN will learn to read and enjoy storytelling. It is sometimes just a matter of time – many children eventually develop a real love for reading and turn into real bookworms. Reading plays a huge role in a boosting a child’s confidence, personal development, and academic achievement. It is a gift that lasts for a lifetime.


We hope that sharing the gift of stories will lead to some amazing, shared moments! Many children with SEN can connect with and learn from characters in stories. Tales can teach us to communicate emotionally while also developing literacy levels.


We developed Storytime with struggling and reluctant readers in mind – because we believe that with the right support and strategies, children who are struggling with literacy can blossom, and even become avid readers. A magazine is usually less intimidating than a book, and easier to complete for less confident readers.


The huge variety of subjects in Storytime means that there is a story in it for everyone, and the different levels of difficulty allow the readers to progress through the issue from shorter to longer stories without feeling intimidated. Colourful bright illustrations and the lack of adverts help to keep the readers engaged with each story with no distractions!

Storytime Issue 102 Out Now!


Meeting Some New Friends

Meeting new people can be exciting – and you will find some new and interesting friends inside the pages of this month’s issue of Storytime. They are so fantastic that we thought we ought to share a special thanks to our fantastic artists, who really brought them to life!


On the cover, you will see Fergus and his new friend, from the story Mayhem in the Museum. He really likes dinosaurs – and makes a friend of his own on a surprising school trip. We won’t spoil what happens, but it is really great fun… Qazaleh Barootian, our guest artist from Iran, did a wonderful job with the illustrations! It will make you feel as if you really were in a fabulous museum!


Next, we have a fairy tale about a boy whose very large footwear gave him an unusual nickname! In Boots and his Brothers, the young Boots is a curious and good-natured boy and he can teach his older brothers a thing or two! The things Boots finds on his way will become his friends too! There’s plenty of magic and adventure in the story and part of that magic is provided by Chiara Carapallese, with her bright and lively art!


earthquake fishHow about a trip all the way to Japan? Which creatures would you meet there? The Earthquake Fish stars two leading characters who are famous in Japanese mythology – a hot-tempered thunder god and a giant catfish who makes the world tremble by wriggling his tail. Wiliam Luong used historical Japanese prints as inspiration for these unforgettable illustrations, while giving them his own unique twist. You’ll love them!



Twelve Dancy Princesses

Gubbon Seer is a very clever chap that is good company… even if he does like to play tricks on people! Mariane Cândido illustrated this folk tale about what happened when a greedy king gets Gubbon Seer to build an extraordinary castle and then plans to swindle him! Let’s just say, there are plenty of riddles and plot twists in this one!


Friends can be in our family too – and when twelve sisters move house, they know they can count on each other! The Twelve Dancing Princesses are lucky when they move out of their palace and into a dance studio in The Princesses Move In. They all team up and help each other to face the mess! Check out their cool new cleaning-dance moves in the images by the talented Francesca Romana Braccioti!



When you’re visiting a new place, you want a cool fellow who knows their way around! That describes the Native American heroine of Sacagawea Leads the Way, this month’s real-life story. Sacagawea guided the Lewis and Clark expedition that crossed the American continent, and helped them to get along with the peoples they encountered. Fran Matsumoto takes us along with her, via her beautiful and vivid artwork!


The Magic Garden is a story from Kazakhstan that is about a wise boy who wants to build a garden where people who need it can find peace and plenty. He’s the kind of person we all would like to know – honest and caring, and willing to get things done! Öykü Akarca’s work show his creation in all its wonder…


measure of rice

After all the nice mates we met above, here comes a little plot twist of our own! Sometimes we meet people who can be a bit silly! The Measure of Rice features a foolish man who doesn’t want to do any work but gets a big job. A greedy emperor gives him a very important responsibility and chaos ensues! No one wants to be his mate but he’s bound to make you laugh! Cristina di Pietro illustrated the adventure of the one guy you wouldn’t want to be friends with in this issue!



Which of the characters in this issue would you want to meet? Make sure you have plenty of adventures and magic lined up with your new friends – be it imaginary ones, and real ones too! And one thing is for sure, as the year is just starting we promise you that many more fabulous friends big and small will feature here soon! Happy story time, y’all!


Experiencing the Past

Experiencing the past


Here at Storytime, we love history! It tells us about where we come from – and it’s a brilliant source of amazing adventures.


Children’s author Amanda Brandon certainly shares our enthusiasm! She loves to delve into historical settings in her tales (check out The Chariot Race from Storytime 83!). In this blog .


Amanda is a gifted storyteller and has had nearly 20 titles published, including picture books A Scarf and a Half and Unicorn Training and stories for young readers. An avid bookworm since childhood, she wants children to discover a joy for reading which will last a lifetime. And we couldn’t agree more!


Studying history helps children to understand the world better and learn lessons about happiness, facing challenges and the concept of ‘difference’ that are still relevant in the modern day. But how can we bring the past to life for them?


Firstly, there are many marvellous non-fiction books that present historical information in an entertaining way. The Horrible Histories series is full of fun and gruesome tales about the Ancient Greeks, Victorians, Romans and others! There are also Horrible Histories games and quiz cards that are brilliant for kids who are reluctant readers but like to absorb facts in different ways.



Encouraging children to read historical fiction set in the past is another great way to help them imagine what it would have been like to live in a different time and place.

In my book Battle for Freedom, the main character is Rowan, an ancient British shepherd girl who uses her knowledge of the marshlands to outwit the Roman invaders and help the warrior queen Boudicca.


In Sprog the Time-hopping Frog, the title character leaps back to Ancient Greece and takes part in athletic games!


In both stories, I tried to give children historically accurate information but deliver in an entertaining way. Including details about food, clothing and key events really brings an era to life!


I do a lot of historical research for my stories, then filter out things that might be too complex or gory for the target age group. However, I do my best to give the ‘flavour’ of an era.


For example, in The Great Chariot Race (Storytime 83) I hope I gave a feeling of what chariot-racing might be like for a young Roman boy.




My favourite subject to research was the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. I was fascinated by the real-life hunt for the Egyptian ruler’s treasure – it was like an old-time adventure with intrigue, setbacks and secret tunnels! I thought it was a perfect subject to focus on.


What child doesn’t like the idea of searching for buried treasure, after all? Pharaoh’s Treasure mixes fact and fiction in a story about a boy who wants to be an archaeologist and embarks on an adventure of his own.



I love chatting to older people about their school days or what they used to do for fun! By encouraging children to talk to older relatives and acquaintances about their experiences, you can help them to understand different periods and how the world has changed. Speaking to a family member makes history more relatable, and it also gives a chance to record their recollections so their stories can be passed on to younger generations.


I love to visit a ‘living museum’ that brings the sights, smells, sounds of the past to life. This is another great way to motivate children to enjoy history. They can even become a part of it if there are costumes they can wear, artefacts they can touch or re-enactments they can participate in. It’s so much better than looking at dusty old objects in glass cabinets!


Kids can also get ‘hands-on’ with history by making crafts or artefacts of their own – whether it be a knight’s helmet or a Roman clay pot. How about looking up recipes from a certain time period and making historical food so you can get a taste of the past?


It’s easy to think of history as a long list of dates and facts, but with a little imagination and a bit of motivation you can seek out stories that bring history to life!


By now, you must all be keen to read everything Amanda has written so far! She also wrote Miss Beck’s Spectacular Specs in Storytime 37 and The Royal Birthday Surprise in Storytime 45. Visit her website to find out more:


Experiencing the past

We have three of her latest books to give away: Sprog the Time-hopping Frog, The Greenwood Adventurers and Pharaoh’s Treasure, by Maverick Books. To enter the draw to win, just answer the question below.

What was an ancient Egyptian ruler called?

A. An emperor

B. A bishop

C. A pharaoh


Send your answer to for a chance to win the book bundle!

Storytime Issue 101 Out Now!


New Year’s Resolutions

A new year brings new possibilities! At this time, we think about things we want to do, places we want to visit, or ways we want to change our habits. In fact, you might find inspiration in this month’s issue – it’s full of characters that are facing new challenges or looking for new adventures!


‘Where the Frost Comes From’ is a wonderful Aboriginal myth that stars… well, stars! Seven sisters called the Meamei get bored of their life in the heavens and decide to come down to Earth. They have many new experiences – and new dangers! Elena Iarussi did a fantastic job of bringing the legend of the seven sisters to life through her art.


Our cover story, ‘The Firefox’, is inspired by a Finnish myth and it features a little Finnish boy called Onni. His grandfather takes him out for his first midwinter skiing trip in the woods, where he sees a mythical creature – and the beauty of the Northern Lights! Esther Diana’s gorgeous art sparkles with shimmering colours.


This issue also features a magical modern-day story by the talented author Emmy Clarke. ‘Floorboard Fairies’ is about a girl named Kate, who holds a sleepover for her friends and shares a secret with them. But when they doubt her stories about magical beings under the floorboards, she decides to go in search of a mythical creature and show them they exist. We won’t tell you what this creature is… but Sara Torretta’s pictures are truly fantastic!


If you want to change the world, then get inspired by the brilliant Eunice! ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ is an inspirational real-life story about a girl who has an incredible gift for music and is determined to use her talent to change the world too. Artist Kalakal tells the tale of a young Nina Simone through his vibrant and unique art – this is a story that you won’t forget.


Not all characters in this issue go out looking for adventure – but just like in real life, sometimes we have challenges forced upon us. If this new year will bring unexpected events, we can face them bravely, just like the heroes of these stories!


‘Tootles Gets Lost’ is about one of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys. Appropriately enough, he gets lost in the forest at night… but don’t worry, he finds warmth and shelter in an unexpected place! Illustrator Katherine Frota transforms this minor character into a star in this comforting bedtime story.


If you are hungry for more stories, then we have a very funny one for you! The main character in ‘A Hungry Cat’ is looking for more things to eat! But this famished feline certainly has an adventurous appetite. Wait until you see what he gobbles! This is a hilarious folk tale, and the artist Thaís Mesquita had loads of fun creating images for it.


In this month’s fairy tale we also learn that the true beauty is inside out! So what would your magic mirror say, if you asked? ‘Snowdrop’ is about a princess, seven dwarves and a magic mirror – but it has a twisting end and a reminder that you don’t need a prince to tell you how truly beautiful you are! The art of Weronika Bartczak is truly the most wonderful thing you might see in a while, and it adds some extra magic to this tale.


The New Year is also a time for resolutions, where we promise to improve and become the best version of ourselves. But the fable of ‘The Boastful Bird’ is about a crow that is overly confident in his abilities and tries to be like an eagle. Helena Yastremska captured the comedy of the tale with her bright art! This story has a gentle message: it’s good to have aspirations – but also to be true to your own nature.


What are your wishes for the New year? What would you like to try perhaps that you have never done before? We hope the tales in this issue will inspire you to live this year in full – we cannot wait to hear about all your adventures and the stories you have to share! In the meantime, we will get ourselves busy preparing many more stories to inspire you next month again! Happy New Year of Stories!

Why Gratitude Matters!

Why Gratitude Matters


Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help us to look at challenging situations from a positive point of view instead of a negative one. Being grateful can be a daily exercise to remind us of how much we have to be thankful for. This has been proven to increase our happiness!


Gratitude is being able to express appreciation and thank others for the good things we share. It can help us to develop mindfulness and empathy, as well as create connections with everyone and everything around us.


But the best thing is, gratitude is a mindset we can learn. It’s an important tool because it builds resilience and self-worth. When we are thankful, we are more engaged in what we are doing and cultivate better relationships. All the positive emotions created by the daily habit of feeling grateful will help you to make better decisions in your life.


Over the past few months, the My Mind Matters! section in Storytime has taught us so much about dealing with our emotions and developing an thesaurus of emotions. Talking about being thankful in this blog feels like the next natural step!


We here at Storytime are grateful for another year of wonderful stories – and the readers we share them with! As a small way of showing how much we appreciate sharing stories with you all, here are some tips for feeling grateful in the New Year so you can feel grateful too. When things get tough, doing this will give you a new perspective!


1. Say Thank You!

It’s the simplest thing to say… but we often forget to do it. If you remember to say thank you every time someone helps you, you will realise how many things you have to feel grateful for in a day. It will also create a nice connection with those helping you and make you smile. Try it!


2. Be Kind!

There are so many ways to be kind… you can simply give compliments, share things, help someone in need, pick up garbage, visit a friend, volunteer or donate something. Kindness is free… so make sure you share it with everyone!


3. Be Aware!

Wonders are everywhere… if you take the time to look! Make a habit of smelling the flowers in your garden or on your way to school or savouring the taste of the food you eat! Perhaps a beautiful sunset or even a nice bath that will make your day. That sense of wonder helps to warm our hearts and make us feel grateful!




4. Give Compliments!

Sharing appreciation is important! Every time you acknowledge someone’s good deeds or show appreciation to them, you are planting a seed of happiness in them. That helps our relationships to flourish and makes our bonds with others get stronger. Giving them a compliment lets them know you are grateful for having them in your life!


5. Look for the Positives!

We can take a positive lesson from everything we go through! If we go through a stressful or challenging or disappointing experience, we might discover ways we can improve or things we can do differently in the future. Instead of focusing on the disappointment, try to find a positive side to things that can turn your day around… you might even feel grateful for going through a difficult experience!


6. Keep a Gratitude Journal!

Turn writing down what you are grateful for into a daily habit! It is very simple to do, but perhaps the most effective way to bring gratitude into your life is to write down three things you are grateful for every day. It might feel difficult at first but in no time, you will be feeling grateful for the big and little things in your life.




If you want a fun activity to get started, go to to download a gratitude colouring challenge that will get kids thinking about gratitude in a fun way! Every small act we appreciate can be coloured in until all the pictures are completed – this will help us to remember that every little thing matters!


Thank you for reading, remember to smile, and share stories with those you love. Here is to another beautiful year of stories ahead! Happy New Year story lovers!

Storytime Issue 100 Out Now!

Hurrah for a hundredth!


We believe that our lives are defined by stories – and we’d like to tell you a very special one. Once upon a time, we dreamed about a magazine that had no adverts and no plastic in it, just great stories to read, love and share. We hoped it would encourage kids like you to read for fun and discover the magic of stories. With these 100 magical issues, we have done just that.

Our 100th issue is out now, and it is JAM-PACKED with wonderful stories of magic and adventure!

It only feels like yesterday that we were publishing Storytime issue 1 and introducing readers to the tales of Goldilocks, Aladdin and the Hare and the Tortoise!

‘Reading for fun’ has been our motto from day one… and here we are, eight years and ONE HUNDRED ISSUES later (we have to say it out loud because if feels unreal!), crafting Storytime issues with the same passion we had when we started!

There were many challenges and changes along the way – but we have remained true to our mission of changing the world, one story at a time! We are proud of sharing wonderful tales from cultures around the globe and featuring a fantastic and diverse array of characters. In every issue, you will find characters you identify with and get lost in their stories. Through stories, we learn that we are all uniquely wonderful and that the world is a beautiful place!

We have had many positive experiences when creating Storytime – so many it’s hard to count. There were certainly more than 100!

We are proud to have worked with more than 500 amazing illustrators and authors so far to create fresh and colourful tales. Of course we also have to thank to have printers that bring colour to our world, the mailing team that makes sure each edition flies through your door every month and our whole team that never stops dreaming up new and thrilling tales and making real all the magic that goes on behind the scene . Still, every time we see a new cover and a new story being shared, it feels like the first issue ever!

But what we are most grateful for are OUR READERS! Without you, none of this would be possible. You are the reason we make this magazine – and you are our inspiration! Every child whose eyes have sparkled while reading a story, every reluctant reader that discovered the magic of a good tale, everyone who learned new words and got inspired to write, travel or dream …! It is because of you that we have reached 100 issues, and it is a special moment for us too. It means that there will be thousands and thousands of readers out there that we helped to inspire. And that, my friends, is what Storytime is all about!

Our 100th issue was created with the same love, excitement and wonder that we had when the first issue was created! Though now, Storytime is flying out to many more countries (over 60!) and landing in China, Singapore, Australia and India, among others…. Thanks to our new friends and partners in those countries, our 100th issue is being read in many languages by kids who love stories just as much as you all do!

Storytime Issue 100 – Hurrah for a hundredth!

Now, we take great pleasure in introducing the stories that feature in our very special 100th issue!

Our cover story, Santa’s Little Helper is about a curious owl called Oona, who finds her way into Santa’s factory and causing mayhem. But who can resist the cutest snow owl? Mrs Claus certainly can’t…. and she finds a special way for Oona to bring joy to kids all over the world at Christmas. If you spot Santa flying by with an owl perched on his sleigh… it might be Oona hitching a ride! Artist Gülsah Alçin Özek did a wonderful job of bringing the little owl and Santa’s elves to life in this festive tale.

But who will pull Santa’s sleigh if Rudolph and his reindeer friends get ill? That worrying question is answered in The Replacement Reindeer, which features magical illustrations by Agnieszka Maszota. Santa’s friends from all seasons come to the rescue in this unique and hilarious holiday adventure!

In Italy, when kids look at the sky on Christmas Eve, they’re hoping to spot a broom, not a sleigh. Meet La Befana, also known as the Christmas Witch! Will she leave coal or candy in the stocking of a little boy named Giorgio? You’ll have to read the story to find out! And be
sure to check out the funny art by the talented Federica Tanania.

Nothing gets us into the Christmas spirit like the joyful sound of bells ringing in the night. But what would happen if they suddenly stopped making their music? When the Bells Ring is about two brothers whose kindness brings the sound of the bells back to their city over Christmas, and Elisabeth Clover adds to the magic with her gorgeous illustrations.

Legend of the Evergreen Trees

This month’s fable has a message of kindness and caring, which is very appropriate for his time of year! Legend of the Evergreen Trees tells us how a juniper tree and a spruce give shelter to an injured bird and are given a special reward for showing us all how good it is to be kind. The art by Mirti did an amazing job of turning these trees into lively characters!

If you aren’t feeling the Christmas Spirit just yet, you might want to read A Christmas Dream, which is a retelling of a classic story by Louisa May Alcott. Little Effie is bored with Christmas, until she has a dream that teaches her that sharing is what this season is all about. If you feel this in your heart, there are many things you can do to make this season truly special to someone in need! Of course, we are grateful that the marvellous Lisa Vannini shared her talents with us on this story – you must check out her art!

Aguio and Bulanawan’

By now, you must be wondering if all our stories are about the holiday season! Well, this month’s legend certainly isn’t concerned with Christmas – but Aguio and Bulanawan does have a lovely message about peace, brotherly love, and the importance of letting go of anger and reuniting with our loved ones. That is certainly a message we can really relate to the whole year around! The illustrations by Eidvile Viktorija Buozyte complement the story perfectly, as they are full of colour and action.



And lastly, our real-life story is about an inspiring boy who always tried to do the right thing. ‘Moniya Tells the Truth’ is about the childhood of Mahatma Gandhi, who became famous for helping India to gain independence by peaceful means. May it be an inspiration to us now in the New Year and beyond! The artwork of Cimi Pham really brings this lovely story and the Indian colours to life!


This blog is quite a bit longer than usual because we had so much we wanted to share with you. This Christmas, we are thankful for all you wonderful readers, who have made Storytime a success. We hope you will find 100 reasons to love this issue – and look forward to the next one already, in 2023!

A very merry Christmas to one and all from the Storytime team!

G’day Australia!


Storytime is launching in Australia!We have some very special news this week! We love sharing the joy of stories all around the world – so it’s extra-exciting to announce that Storytime is going to be launching in Australia!

Our partners are marking this occasion by publishing a special bumper issue – a treasury of tales from Australia and the Pacific. Look out for it if you happen to live in Oz – as the special title will be available for limited time only if you subscribe!


Here is the link:


Our Director, Leslie explained, “Australia has a rich culture of storytelling, and a vibrant, varied magazine industry, so we have been eager to see a version of Storytime for Australian readers for a long time. Our publishing partner has a great deal of experience of publishing and distributing magazines that appeal to both parents and schools – so we are confident that with Storytime Australia we will have a big hit on our hands!”


To celebrate this GREAT news, we thought we would share our favourite stories from that corner of the world and take a trip Down Under through our tales!


Aboriginal stories

The Sky Brothers Bring FireStorytime 32

What better way to start than with the Aboriginal tale? A story about how everything started! The siblings of the title come down to Earth to see the wonders of the Australian landscape and the amazing creatures that live there! After their visit, things will never the be the same again! The Aboriginal myths about the origins of Australia have a special magic of their own, and it’s not to be missed!




Maui Goes FishingStorytime 20

Maui is a very famous Māori hero and he has featured in a few of our stories over the years. We chose the first one of all, which is a great introduction to the trickster hero! Across the Tasman Sea lie the islands of New Zealand, which has its own beautiful scenery and wildlife. This Māori myth is about how New Zealand (or Aotearoa) was created, and after reading this one, you might never look at these islands the same way again.



The Shark GodStorytime 41

This short tale is from Fiji, the famous Pacific spot with an amazing sea life! As you may have guessed, it features a rather demanding shark and a battle that will cause waves! Don’t worry, though – the art for this story is bright and lively, and you will love the face off, when the big fish meets his match. It is wonderful to takes the reader on a journey to explore the wonders of the stunning Pacific Ocean!



The Great DroughtStorytime 83

Since we are talking about wild life and animals, we might also remind you all that Australia is home to some of the most unique creatures on Planet Earth! Australia has a rich tradition of animal myths and this is one of our all time favourites! It’s a really funny tale that stars a very greedy frog, but all of the most loved Aussie creatures get a look in – from the koalas and kangaroos to emus and echidnas, not to mention wombats and wallabies. It’s a must-read for wildlife lover!


The Tears of a StarStorytime 40

Our final choice is a sparkling one! This is an enchanting myth from Papua New Guinea, which lies just to the north of Australia. It’s set in a time when everything in the universe could think and speak. Despite its title, this is a tale about a counting competition between a star and the grains of sand on the beach. What makes this endearing and unique is the lovely artwork, which really has to be seen to be believed!


We hope you enjoyed this tour of our favourite tales from Down Under. There are lots more to be discovered, so dive in and let’s explore it together!


PS: You can listen to a special Storytime Australia launch interview with the Storytime team here:


And if you have friends or family in Australia and are looking to bring some story magic into their lives, make sure you sign up here:

Storytime Issue 99 Out Now!

Storytime - issue 99 - Take a Second Look


Appearances can be deceptive – both in the real world and in this month’s stories! If our latest issue teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t always judge things by first impressions… and that’s part of the fun of reading a good story, isn’t it? There’s nothing quite as thrilling as something unexpected. If you are willing to join us in a quest for adventures, from the Scottish moors to galaxies far, far away and even to Ancient Greece, please fasten your seatbelts and read on!


Storytime Issue 99 – Take a Second Look!


We take off with a classic fairy tale, a Scottish one called The Elfin Knight. It’s about a curious and brave girl named Janet who is determined to meet the mysterious warrior of the title. She must deal with shape-changing fairy magic – and the story takes an unexpected turn that we won’t spoil here! What we can tell you is that Spring Nguyen casts an enchantment of her own with artwork, and it sparkles out of the pages into the real world.


Stephen Hawking

We shall also always be kind and be wary of judging by appearances in the real world, too! The true-life tale this month is about a boy called Stephen who didn’t like doing homework but liked taking things apart. Some of his schoolfriends thought he would never amount to anything, but you will be amazed by what he achieved.


This story has a lesson that we can learn forever – let’s never judge the ones around you too quickly, because there is always a lot of promise in each one of us! Marie-Pierre Oddoux’s beautiful and characterful illustrations for Working Out the World help us to see reality from Stephen’s point of view.


As you might have noticed, we in the Storytime team are big fans of a good board game. Everything can change with the roll of a dice! That’s literally what happens in The Quest for Home!, illustrated by the incredibly talented Bi Aguiar. Joe and Dylan try out an old game when the WiFi goes out – only to find themselves transported into the game world by enchantment. They must take on unexpected roles, and you will never guess who ends up becoming the Mighty Knight.


Hansel and Gretel

We take playing games very seriously and in this issue we also have a playtime’s favourite: Savoury Dreams is about hide and seek, where the whole idea is to appear that you are not there! Hansel and Gretel are masters in the art of hiding but perhaps Hansel’s appetite will spoil the game for him! Margherita Grasso’s highly detailed images light up this fun little tale with a foodie twist.


The Lion with Red Eyes is a Somali story about a cub who is kicked out of his home because he is judged by the way he looks. Not many lions have eyes that glow like flames in the dark… But did he deserve it? You will get to decide in this thrilling tale, featuring the striking illustrations of Dominque Ramsey.



A farmer’s wagon is stuck in a ditch – and then the strongest hero in the world comes wandering down the road. What do you think will happen? Let’s just say that the lazy farmer learns an unexpected lesson in the fable of Hercules and the Waggoner. The only thing we know for sure is that the art of Chiara Vestrucci is incredibly lively and fun!


You will need big lungs to read this story out loud! The Boy with the Long Name, stars a lad called (take a deep breath!) Tala Bini Bendo Toko Miki Sembu Chima Chimena Kit Kit Kuki Mizi Pizi Hala. He is very proud of his name because it is very long and impressive – but as this funny tale makes clear, having a long name has some unexpected down sides. Reading this story out loud could be a really fun challenge! Sahitya Rani really enjoyed coming up with the colourful and cartoonish art, and we love the results of her classic techniques!


Old Qanah

Finally, a heart-warming tale of a blanket that is a lot more than it looks like. The old blanket-weaver spent all of his time weaving or gathering dyes and materials for his creations, but nobody realised he was creating the most beautiful gift of all! Be enchanted by this Native American legend, Old Qanah’s Gift. Chau Phan faced the challenge of creating illustrations that would live up to the gorgeousness of Qanah’s creation, and did a phenomenal job!


We hope you found joy, surprise and enchantment in every story in this issue, and perhaps in the end we have all changed a little bit as well through the stories we read and share. When you go out into the world, try to look beyond your first impressions and appearances. You never know what wonders you might discover! Happy stories, and happy discoveries folks!


Happy reading,

The Storytime team