Archive for the ‘Making Storytime’ Category

The story so far…


It feels like only yesterday that Storytime was just a wonderful idea … and now the world’s favourite story magazine is turning 9!  It’s a pinch-us moment, something that we couldn’t even have imagined when the first issue was published back in September 2014.


We human beings are made of stories, so we’d like to use this very special moment to share our story as well! We have been so busy crafting tales for you all and building our brand that we have never told you about the amazing journey we have been on! Here we go…


We are Leslie Coathup and Lulu Skantze, and we met more than 20 years ago – when we were working in publishing, and we collaborated on many projects. We also shared a love for books and knew that literacy and reading for pleasure could change lives.  Books and magazines had certainly been very important to both of us as children.


We believed stories could change the world as they allow us to dream, to be brave, to imagine new opportunities and to learn resilience. Stories can question old ideas, introduce us to new cultures and take us further than we can even imagine. Storytime was born from our belief that the world needed more stories, and we wanted to bring it to life in a fun, modern and engaging way.


There turned out to be a real market for this kind of magazine… and we discovered that it was even hit among kids who didn’t even know that they loved reading! Schools all over the world started buying Storytime, and reluctant readers in particular enjoyed lavishly-illustrated tales in an approachable magazine format with no ads and no plastic. Schools in over 60 countries now use Storytime to teach English and to foster curiosity and creativity in the classroom.


The next amazing thing we discovered was that the appeal of Storytime crosses linguistic boundaries… such is the power of stories! Collaborations and licensing with international partners have led to the creation of Storytime editions in other continents. There are now millions of readers that read the same story as you every month all around the world. It’s wonderful how a love of stories connects us all, no matter how far apart we may be…


We kept dreaming big and decided to find new ways to deliver fun stories to people. That was how the Storytime Hub was born! Creating audio and digital versions of our entire catalogue of over 850 stories was a huge task to undertake during the lockdown years, but we couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished.


Having audio versions of our magazines available alongside digital issues allows us to reach those that cannot get Storytime in the post and has allowed for entire schools to use our magazine as an essential tool for teaching! Having stories delivered in more than one format makes Storytime your world of stories…. Where you can find your favourite tales being told in print, audio and digital!


We continue to support reading for pleasure and learning through entertainment with passion because we realise that this is the most powerful tool for change. Our company has expanded over the years, and we have a wonderful team that works together to bring Storytime to you all every month. Every new issue is celebrated like it was the first, and we never forget that it is a great privilege to tell amazing stories!


We feel that it is vitally important for young readers to read stories and keep on dreaming of better tomorrows– and our mission now feels more relevant than ever. We shall continue to create tales that we hope will inspire you to change the world!


Of course, our own story wouldn’t be completed without highlighting the wonderful artists that helped to bring the brilliant anniversary issue to life. So join us in celebrating them all! The magical cover is the work of Aga Mazsota, and she managed to bring the South American landscape to life in the Brazilian fairy tale ‘The Quest for Cleverness’.


We are in awe by how Ann-Sophie D’Hollander turned a tale of snails into a colourful garden of wonders in ‘The Happy Family’.


Elena Geroldi’s masterful art transported us to the Asian jungle, and her pencils rendered ‘The Nodding Tiger’ in gentle strokes reminiscent of traditional Chinese art. We love to see stories through the artists’ eyes, as they often add another dimension to stories!  A similar delicate touch was used by Lily Fan in her illustrations for the pirate tale of ‘The Stolen Treasure, written by Ellie Williams. Lovely artwork like this has to be treasured!


We feature the real-life story of young Albert Einstein in ‘The Compass of Life’ – it’s a must-read for all STEM lovers, and it’s inspiring to see how far curiosity and a thirst for knowledge can take you! Manuel Mal takes us into the world of the clever little boy with his wonderful illustrations…


This month’s bedtime story features a character from a classic book – Pollyanna, from the novel of the same name! ‘Pollyanna’s Perfect Day’ is a cheerful story about making the best of things, illustrated by one of our long-time collaborators: the talented Laura Proietti!


Let’s hear it for dear old Mother Earth and the extraordinary artwork of Leti Depedri! When we decided to tell the Greek myth of ‘Gaia the Earth Goddess’, we weren’t sure how to represent her, but Leti depicted this larger-than-life character in amazing style!


This story also features our newest strand in Storytime: the ‘You Need to Know About…’ section! Every month from now on, we will bring you amazing facts and figures related to the subject of a tale. It can cover anything and everything… but we can promise that it will always be fun! We hope you enjoy learning about beautiful planet and are looking forward to finding out more fascinating facts in future!


Finally, Waldomiro Neto brings warmth and joy to the fable of ‘The Mole and His Mother’ with his art! The story is a sweet reminder about how we should use all our senses to explore the world. Fables have many life lessons to teach, but this is one that we are particularly fond of… Feel the wind, smell the flowers, listen to the beautiful sounds of nature … and never forget that we are all very special in our own way!


For now, enjoy this very special anniversary issue, made with love by our team. We are very proud of being 9, and for the many thousands of readers we have inspired along the way! Hip Hip Hooray!


Long live stories!

Storytime Issue 108 Out Now!


A celebration of summer!

The arrival of the warm weather is always a reason to cheer up, and the latest issue of Storytime is full of tales that remind us of all the different ways we can make the most of this season! Find some shade or a nice place in the sun and sit down with issue 108 and enjoy reading for fun.


The eye-catching cover is by Hunor Fogarasi, comes from the fairy tale: ‘The Sun Horse’. This classic Hungarian story is set in a land that is shrouded in darkness, and the only light comes from the magical creature. But when the beast is stolen, a wise man and a young boy must go into the sunlit lands to find it. This story reminds us to make the most of the sunny days before the dark months return!



‘The First Coconut’ comes from the other side of the world – the islands of Samoa! It’s a wonderful story about a girl who befriends an eel and is given the gift of the world’s first coconut. Babi Wrobel’s vibrant tropical colours remind us to enjoy the special treats of summer while they last. What’s your favourite seasonal treat? Ours are juicy watermelon slices and delicious food grilled on the barbecue!



In summer, we have the chance to venture into the great outdoors and experience everything nature has to offer! That spirit of adventure can be found in ‘The Princess of Red Barns’, inspired by the childhood of Gertrude Bell. She would go on to become an explorer and cartographer and is one of the inspiring biographies in our popular Awesome Adventures section. The wonderful Aude Brisson illustrates her adventures in the gardens of her home, and we should follow her example while the weather is warm!


‘The Island of Flowers’ is the magical story of a fairy who blessed one of isles in the Azores with the most gorgeous blossoms. Cherish the vibrancy of the plants around us, because before too long the leaves will be falling as autumn approaches…Every season has its beauty, but Blu Pieraccioli used all the colours of the rainbow in her art and made this summer more beautiful.




After talking about plants, we can’t forget the animals! Ana Stretcu did a fantastic job of illustrating all of the creatures in ‘Louis’s Zoo’, a story inspired by real-life experiences. When his family moves to a new country, a little boy adopts many exotic pets not to be lonely and ends up running out of space. How many lovely animals can you spot running around in your local park?




Still on some animal wisdom, perhaps you are spending time with people from all ages and our fable ‘The Wise Rat’ is all about listening to the elderly! They always have something to teach us, and their experience is really valuable in helping us to navigate through life! Perhaps ask someone from your family to read this story with you and share some good old stories they know too! The talented Anna Laera illustrated the story of Gigi the cat and Old Jerome the rat with mastery!


No summer is complete without pirates! This month’s bedtime story takes inspiration from a classic: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Joel Cockrell rendered the characters in a vibrant style that makes them fresh while staying true to Stevenson’s book. ‘Ben Gunn’s Real Treasure’ is about what happens when the pirates get back to England and about the true treasures in life! This story should remind you to spend time with your friends and family this summer – it’s the perfect time to go on adventures and read stories together!


The heat is on in our latest myth: ‘Sekhmet and the Eye of Ra’ comes from Ancient Egypt. The goddess Hathor unleashes the power of the sun on the ungrateful people of that land and almost destroys it! The art by Damian Zain is suitably epic in scope – you haven’t seen a story quite like this one before! You might need to catch your breath after this one but why not cool down with the awesome puzzles and activities we have this month? It’s bound to get you busy and inspired and keep you talking and reliving the stories all month long!


If you are going on a long car journey, you can always order an extra back issue bundle of Storytime magazine to keep the summer reading ticking on! We have more than 8 awesome stories and there is something for everyone here in the Storytime shop.


Ahoy, Me Hearties! Enjoy a summer of stories and adventures!

Storytime Issue 107 Out Now!


What is best in life?

Legend tells us that the great Mongol warlord Genghis Khan asked his generals this question: ‘What is best in life?”


People have debated this question for a long time and have come up with no definitive answer! However, some scientists have suggested that the best and most fulfilling thing in life is to create something.


We here at Storytime Towers find it a joy to create a new and wonderful magazine for you each month, so we are inclined to agree! And as it happens, almost all of the stories in the latest issue of Storytime are about creating something amazing…


Our cover story, ‘The Racer from Outer Space’, is about three kids who team up to build a boxcar racer for a downhill derby race. Things take a sci-fi turn, though, when a UFO crashes into their barn and wricks their racer… can the alien pilot help them to rebuild it… or maybe give it a high-tech upgrade? This tale is about the joys of working with others, and we experienced this dynamic while developing the story. Artist Carlitos Pinheiro came up with some brilliant ideas for the design of the alien and his ship, as well as the other racers in the derby. We’re sure you will love them as much as we did.


For a story that is a bit more down to Earth (literally!), you must check out ‘Building the Future’! The fantastically named Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the greatest engineers and inventors of the nineteenth century, and if you live in the UK it is very possible that you have travelled through a tunnel, over a bridge or along a railway line that he built! He helped to make modern Britain with his creations, and this story is all about his incredible childhood. Buse Ustaoğlu combined historical research and great creativity to create the art.


This month’s bedtime story features an engineering marvel with a fairy tale twist. When the Billy Goats Gruff go to the seaside, they decide to build the biggest castle EVER! Guess who turns up to help? You’ll love the fun and characterful art of ‘The Billy Goats’ Sandcastle’, courtesy of the inestimable Jesga Machado.


‘The Cuttlefish’s Love Story’ is a classic tale by Baroness D’Orczy, an exiled Hungarian aristocrat who also created the dashing master of disguise known the Scarlet Pimpernel! This imaginative story is about a tentacled mollusc called a cuttlefish. He composes a beautiful underwater symphony so he can be near the mermaid he loves. This story is unique, and we needed a unique artist to illustrate it! Sara Gaiaudi was the ideal choice, as she is amazingly good and LOVES the undersea world. She really brought this tale to life.


Our latest fairy tale is a version of the tale of a distinct Italian flavour, which is only fitting as the title character in ‘Petrosinela’ is named after parsley! When she is kidnapped by an ogress and imprisoned, her mother makes a garden of parsley in her memory – remember, planting a vibrant garden can be an act of creativity, too! Giulia Lutri’s vision of what the characters look like are eye-catching and original, and will linger in your imagination.




We have featured previously stories of Anansi, the trickster spider-god found in many African tales in previous issues of Storytime. What does the tricky spider make in ‘Anansi Gets Hungry!’? A meal – out of dozens of gullible fish! We’re sure you will love this story, especially as it features vibrant African-influenced art from amazing Ani Manzanas!


‘The Three Dolls’ is a fable about something very near and dear to our hearts: storytelling! A king is challenged to find out the difference between three identical dolls. A wise man and a fool fail to figure out the difference, so a storyteller has to come up with the answer. The character design and Indian-influenced costuming in Blanca Martinez’s illustrations are a feast for the eyes and make this tale a treat.


Well, not all of the stories this month are about creating something! ‘Thor Goes Fishing’ is a Norse myth with a self-explanatory title, but that doesn’t make it any less fun! Rafael Gandine captures the fun and the action of this legend which includes Thor hooking a massive sea serpent that encircles the entire world!


Do you think that creating something is the best thing in life, and what is the best thing you have ever created? Let us know!

Storytime Issue 106 Out Now!


Our Differences Make Our World More Beautiful!

The world is truly the most diverse and wonderful place. When we find each other and open up, our lives can be transformed and become more… colourful!


We celebrate these differences every month with stories from other cultures, featuring the most varied art and the greatest mix of characters any reader could wish for.  That’s what we’re giving a shout-out to this month. Our cover story sums it up so brilliantly well… and we think it was well worth shouting about it.


Our spectacular cover art shows a colourful bird, ‘The Enchanted Canary’, which brings joy to a grey kingdom. The little bird was rendered with amazing skill by artist Begoña Corbalan. The hero of the story not only brings the canary back home, he also brings exotic fruits and plants – and in so doing, transforms his homeland into a happier place.


‘The Red-Haired Girl and the Golden Sun’ is a similarly magical story that comes all the way from the Philippines. When young Aponibolinayen (pronounced apo-ne-bo-le-nae’yen) – say that three times fast and try not to giggle! – is snatched up into the sky by a growing vine, she is thrust into an adventure with the Sun. There are some twists and turns until they learn to deal with their differences, but the warm glow of their love for each other is hard to miss in Ingrid Costantino’s art!


The legend of ‘The Golden Chain’ is a wonderful Ghanaian tale about how the world was created! It features orishas, powerful spirits from that country’s mythology. The illustrations are by the hugely talented Sarah Hochsteiner, and her textures and patterns made it extra-special.


Sometimes it’s best to be proud of being different from each other, rather than pretending to be the same! That’s what the fable of ‘The Monkey and the Dolphin’ is all about. A shipwrecked monkey is rescued by a seagoing mammal, but when he tries to ingratiate himself by lying, things go terribly wrong! If the monkey had told the truth, the two different animals could still be friends and have a great conversation instead! Beatrice Xompero gives a playful feel to the story with her work.


‘The King’s Ears’ is another story about accepting yourself, and what makes us unique. We might sometimes fear it – like the king who is ashamed of an unusual feature, but when his secret is revealed, he finds the courage to be open about his appearance. And to his surprise the whole kingdom welcomes him exactly as he is! You will love Charles de Vito’s illustrations, which combine humour and pathos perfectly.



Through our differences we also have the power to change the world for the better! That is the message of ‘The Greatest Gift of All’, a true story about a girl who moves to a new place and transforms her new adopted homeland by building the world’s first university there. A sense of belonging is a way to bridge our differences, and something we all look for in life. Rócio Denarmen’s artwork is vibrant and full of life, transporting us back to North Africa in the Middle Ages.


And if you have not been to enough far and away places in this issue, we also take you to a Pacific Island where a very special and unique girl meets ‘The World Turtle’ and goes on a wonderful adventure!  The differences and wonders she sees inspire her to chance and protect our planet. This story is made even more inspirational by Èlia Meraki’s colourful illustrations.




Are all differences good? It depends! Sometimes the food and flavours you know are just fine! Henny Penny is happy with the good old corn, but her feathered friends are tempted by the exotic offer of a mysterious stranger. Will they fall for the new Wonderfood? You will have to read out bedtime story to find out! One thing is for certain though, you’ll love the lively and funny illustrations by Tania Ávila!


We are so lucky to live in a world in which we are all unique and have so much to share with one another! In Storytime the things that make us special will always be celebrated in stories – and a world of infinite different stories is an extraordinary place to be!

Storytime Issue 105 Out Now!


Travelling Tales!

Do you already have plans for the summer? Where are you planning to go? To the beach, the park, or perhaps a new town or even a new country? Or maybe you had no plans yet and if so… worry you not! You can certainly take a trip through the adventurous tales you will find in the latest issue of Storytime!


Our cover star is the famous outlaw of Sherwood Forest – and in ‘Robin Hood and his Merry Men’, he decides to help young Alan-a-Dale marry the lady he is in love with. Come to the forest trails with us and join his band! Many artists and filmmakers have depicted the roguish hero over the years, but we think Alberto Orso’s pictures are particularly special!


Would you like to travel by air instead? Then ‘High Fliers!’ is the tale for you! Talented author Amanda Brandon was inspired by the real-life animals that were sent aloft in a balloon built by the Montgolfier Brothers in September 1783 – but this story takes a different turn. Lu Maluje’s art lends a wonderful air (pun not intended!) of whimsy to the story of a sheep, a rooster and a duck that go up in a balloon made from bloomers!


Why not take a trek to Argentina, the setting of ‘The Girl and the Puma’? This classic South American story is about a Spanish girl who runs away from a besieged town and takes refuge with a wild feline in the Pampa landscape. Evelyne Duverne is the brilliant artist who brought these characters to life.


In ‘The Magic Book’, we follow the travels of Hans, a lazy boy who discovers some spells that can turn him into any animal. ArtSoluki are an illustration team, two talented brothers who brought their magic to these pages. Are you not mesmerized by their vivid artwork?





When it comes to real-life travelling tales, you can’t beat the adventures of pioneering tourist Marco Polo! When he was just a teenager, he went from Venice to China and the famous court of the Emperor Kublai Khan… and you can follow in his footsteps by reading ‘Marco’s Epic Journey’. The art by Alessandra Vitelli will make you feel as if you are actually visiting the exotic places he went to.



Still visiting exotic lands, our fable for this month is set in Africa, and Frida Leyva took inspiration from the ancient cultures of that continent when crafting the lovely artwork for it. ‘The Man Who Told the Truth’ is about a king who tries to trick an honest man – who do you think will come out on top?


How about a journey to the Netherlands and some tasty dairy? ‘The Cheese Thieves’ takes readers to the low countries, where they will meet a baby-stealing goblin and a clever granny. Yana Kozak illustrated this folk tale of mischief and melted cheese, and we are sure you can smell the fun!





Lastly, we will keep our readers feeling hungry for more! In our bedtime story you get the chance to venture into the woods with Saint George in ‘The Dragon’s Diet’. Otávio Valões’ bright and lively art perfectly complements this story about a monster who decides to go vegetarian – be sure to check it out!


We are sure this issue feels like many holidays in one! That’s the power of stories – every month you can go far and away without even leaving your armchair. We also hope these tales made you curious for exploring many more places with us. Read away, travellers and explorers of the story lands! Until our next adventure…

Storytime Issue 104 Out Now!

The Artist's Touch


The Artist’s Touch

In last month’s blog, we talked about AI-created art – and why we don’t think it will replace the human artists in Storytime. This month, we thought we would introduce our latest issue by highlighting the special touches that eight very talented artists brought to the the magazine. There is a lot of creative work that goes into every edition – and we are in awe every time we get the new issue out to our readers. So read a bit more about the extra dust of magic our artists have added to issue 104!


The Artist's Touch

It’s the Easter issue after all, so let’s start with the ‘Hare with Many Friends’ in our fable! Elena della Rocca provided the lovely art for it. Animal stories can be challenging, because the artist has to decide how many human characteristics to add to the animals so that we can identify with them. Elena did this by rendering the characters in a colourful storybook style with expressive faces – while keeping the wolf suitably scary, of course!


‘Philomena’s Happy Place’ is a story that takes a very serious event (an old lady losing her home and needing to find a new place) and turns it into a story of hope! Emanuela di Donna really helped us to accomplish this by adding a sparkle to Philomena’s eyes – as you will see, she captured the warmth and cosiness of the lady’s new home and that garden couldn’t be more magical! Can you spot all the cats hidden in it?


‘The Wonder Games’ is set in Lewis Carroll’s fantastic world of Wonderland. Our short bedtime tales take you back into classics, with a twist. We’ve seen so many images of these characters in books and movies, but our illustrators are free to take a fresh approach, so Andrea Canela came up with her own unique take on them! They are recognisable, but unique and charming in their own right! And yet you know exactly where you are, don’t you?


‘Bunbuku the Tea-kettle’ is a beloved Japanese folk tale, and Mai Ngo’s art brought the moody atmosphere and complemented it perfectly! The watercolour textures, compositions and even facial expressions she used are influenced by historical Japanese paintings and woodblock prints. One can’t help but fall in love with all the symbology she managed to represent in a few pages. The warmth of their friendship is truly palpable in it.


The very talented Dnepwu has illustrated a few stories for our magazine before, but ‘The Wonderful Sheep’ was a particular challenge! The fairy tale is bright and fantastical, and the art the artist made the bold choice of making the characters and setting even more exuberant than they were in the story. As you can see on the cover, the artwork is vibrant and the humour he brought to it, made each character truly unforgettable.


The Awesome Adventures tales in Storytime have been a big hit with readers, but finding the right way to illustrate stories about real people can be difficult! When creating the art for ‘The Little Dragon’ a story about the childhood of kung fu superstar Bruce Lee, Arancha Perpiñan found photographs of the many episodes and movies Bruce was in, but skilfully rendered them in a storybook style while keeping them very recognisable – quite a feat, I’m sure you will agree!


The Artist's Touch

Eleonora Turina made a brave and clever artistic decision when illustrating ‘Dionysus and Ariadne’: the characters in this Greek myth are shown with green and purple skin tones! Dionysus is purple (appropriate for the god of grapes!), the pirates are green, as they live on the sea and the lovely Ariadne is pure gold. It’s striking, original and very clever! Ancient Greek artists did this sort of thing on their own art, as we can see on antique red-figure and black-figure vases, so there is a historical precedent for Eleonora’s masterful work!


The Artist's Touch

Lastly, we have the story of ‘The Heron’s Feathers’. It’s a folk tale, told time and time again and we have set it in modern India. Bruna Assis abstract art skilfully blends the fantastical elements with the everyday story and lands beautifully in our imagination. Her use of textures is a particular delight – and her colour palette is vibrant. We can’t help but love all the animals – the heron, the vulture and even fish made us smile when we saw the printed copy! How much fun is too much fun?


Now that you have the latest issue in your hand, and you know a little bit more about each story, which do you like best? Did reading about the art, gave a new perspective to each tale? We hope you agree that each of them added a magical dimension to the stories. May the hares, the tanuki, the sheep, the flamingo and the heron in this issue make Easter a little more fantastical too!  Happy Easter everyone!

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

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!


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!

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!