Our Storytime Issue 40 is out now and we’re jingling with excitement. As you can see from the image above, it’s a tinsel-covered treat, packed with Christmas stories for kids. Plus we have two wonderful poems: Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St Nicholas, and a wintry trip to Alphabet Zoo, featuring penguins and polar bears. We’ve pulled out all the stops to make this issue as magical as possible. Here’s a bit more about each of our stories and our wonderful contributors…
A Festive Feast of Christmas Stories!
Little Donkey starts the issue with the most dazzling Christmas tree you have ever seen. It’s a lovely fable, which has been given a fresh retelling. We’re grateful to illustrator Tatiana Obukhovic for all those twinkly lights and that lovely festive feel!
If it doesn’t snow where you are this Christmas, never fear, we’ve got a generous helping of the white stuff in our new story The Hairy Snowman. It’s a wonderfully funny tale by children’s author and poet Dom Conlon and illustrated by Fabiola Colavecchio. We chatted with Dom here, so you can find out more about his stories and get his top tips for children’s writing.
It wouldn’t be a Christmas issue without the nation’s favourite bird, Wee Robin Redbreast. This one goes on a special trip to visit Her Majesty The Queen. This story is adapted from an old Scottish folk tale and will warm the cockles of your heart. Illustrations are by Melany Altuna.
Our fairy tale follows the adventures of Silvercap and The Frost Fairies, and explains those intricate frost patterns you find on your windows in winter. It is beautifully illustrated by Davide Ortu and will have kids longing to play in the snow.
The highlight of our Storytime Christmas Issue and the star on the top of our tree is the classic Christmas poem A Visit from St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. You might know it as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. We’re so delighted with the gorgeous illustrations by Giorgia Broseghini. You can stare at them for hours and still not spot all the details. School subscribers will also get an amazing teaching resource pack to go with this poem. Find out more here.
We gave ourselves a pat on the back when we realised we could sneak letter P animals into our Christmas Alphabet Zoo. Polar bears and penguins – the perfect wintry combination! Illustrator Tim Budgen has done us proud again. If you download your free Alphabet Zoo Activity Pack, you’ll even get some cute polar bear and penguin mini cards to print out. Why not send them this Christmas?
This issue’s Myths and Legends section takes us to North America and a tall tale about folk hero Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Paul Bunyan is a giant of a fella and so is his ox. See how they fare in the Winter of the Blue Snow. We love the illustrations for this by Michel Verdu.
Our Storytime Christmas Issue closes with pantomime favourite, Aladdin. We last met him in Storytime Issue 1, when he found his magic lamp. This time round, he’s putting it to good use to win the heart of Princess Full Moon. Will he succeed? You’ll have to read the issue to find out! Colourful art for this is by La Studio.
With every issue of Storytime we have several hopes and aims. An important aim is that we help children fall in love with reading. Another is that, by doing so, we help improve their reading skills (and we have evidence that this is working). But there’s another, which seems more relevant now than at any other time of the year – that by sharing Storytime you can come together with your loved ones and create lasting memories. We hope this is the case with our Storytime Christmas Issue 40.
If you have any photos of family Storytime sessions you’d like to share, we’d absolutely love to see them. Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. It would make our festive season to see them!
Wishing you all a cosy, story-filled time and in the words of St Nick himself…
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!