Archive for the ‘Making Storytime’ Category

Storytime Issue 116 Out Now!

The Tiny Samurai

A Storytelling Journey Through Our April Issue!

Welcome, young readers and story enthusiasts! This month, we’re taking you on a magical journey through a world of enchanting tales, beautifully illustrated and filled with wonder. They are as diverse as they are delightful and will captivate readers big and small. So cosy up, and let’s dive into our latest issue!

 

The Tiny SamuraiOur cover features the classic Japanese tale of Issun Boshi, ‘The Tiny Samurai’. His story proves that size doesn’t matter if you have courage in your heart. The lovely illustrations by Ekaterina Savic will transport you to legendary Japan!

 

 

 

 

 

Brer Rabbit

Next, we hop into the world of Brer Rabbit, the trickster hero of African-American folklore. His tales teach us that brains often triumph over brawn, and that is certainly the case in How Brer Rabbit Fooled the Elephant and the Whale!  Claudia Marianno uses an amazing palette of colours to create a unique and distinctive take on this classic tale.

 

 

 

 

This month’s World of Wonder is actually… Nala’s Grandma’s farm! The clever girl on a mission to help her grandma milk a stubborn goat. Will she succeed? You’ll have to read to find out! Nala and the Nanny Goat is written by the talented author Kathryn England and features lively art by Viv Campbell that will make you fall in love with Nala’s world!

 

 

 

Bo Peep

Our lovely illustration feast continues with The Sheep Factor, a tale about three lambs who go to a concert… and end up taking centre stage! Bo Peep needn’t worry about her lost sheep – and Gabriela Grave glammed them up for this special performance!

 

 

 

 

 

Florence NightingaleThe Courage to Care tells the true story of famous British nurse Florence Nightingale. Take a trip to the grand mansion where she lived as a child, which is illustrated by Andrea Noca. We are sure that Florence’s tale will inspire readers to make a positive difference in the world!

 

 

 

 

Hans Christian Andersen

Our next story is set in a humble apartment… but a blossoming plant makes a big difference to the mother and child that live there. The Pea Blossom is a wonderful Hans Christian Andersen story, and we love the art provided by Mirti Illustrations – it certainly made us smile!

 

 

 

 

The Eye of Odin

We round off this issue with two epic adventures. The Eye of Odin takes us on a thrilling journey down the cosmic World Tree of Norse mythology, and the stunning graphics are the work of Dino Caruso Galvano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Princess of the Springs

The Princess of the Springs is an epic South American story filled with larger-than-life characters, filled with magic, mystery, and the promise of new beginnings. Its vibrant visuals and epic scenes are the work of Levi Gomes.

 

So, dear readers, prepare to be enchanted by these tales. Remember, every story is a door to a new world. All you need to do is turn the page!

Storytime Issue 115 Out Now!

The Great Escape

Spring is a Time for Colour!

Each season gives a flavour to our stories, and the start of spring brings extra colours to our pages. Eight talented artists were invited to illustrate the latest issue of Storytime – and all of them brought something fresh to each and every page! Here are the sunsets, cold snaps, woodlands, skies and mythical lands they brought to life. We hope it will be the start of a wonderful new season of storytelling for all.

 

The Great EscapeOtávio Valões created the fantastic cover art and illustrated The Great Escape, a funny tale about two rabbits who get out of their enclosure in a quest for freedom! This story is inspired by the adventures of two real-life rabbits – Otávio had photographic references of real rabbits called Avalanche and Moonlight (who are still living back in New Zealand after trying to escape!) to get the details right, and both bunnies and their owners gave him top marks!

 

 

How the Goldfinch Got Its Colours is a heart-warming folk tale about an angel who paints the vividly hued feathers of all the birds in the world, so we needed a fantastic artist to bring the right colours to this one! We made the right choice with Karolina Piotrowska, who created vibrant scenes where paint is splashed around joyfully!

 

 

 

 

A Very Whuppie Birthday is a sweet bedtime story about a girl on a quest to find a surprise gift for her sister. Gaia Torti’s pictures have the joy of a spring day that the story needs and might make you hungry for eggs on toast in the end! We love Molly’s attitude and energy and if you missed her fairy tale, grab a back issue 54 in our shop!

 

 

 

 

This month’s fable The Porcupine and the Snake, is about how two very different creatures become roommates one chilly winter! The talented Ella Rousseau created charming designs for the two characters, making the snake and the porcupine very cute and relatable indeed. And the result, is a heart-warming life-lesson too!

 

 

 

 

Turn the volume up now! Carol D’Avila was responsible for the illustrations featured in A Kind of Magic, about the childhood of young Farrokh Bulsara, but you can call him Freddie Mercury! She captured his expressions and character perfectly in her art, which will make you fall in love with the singer forever!

 

 

 

 

 

This issue also features a very famous myth! The First Tasks of Hercules is about the first labours that the famous Greek hero undertook on his quest to become a god. Tiago Souza created a suitably impressive look for the hero in his illustrations, but he also found the humour in the story! He splashed the pages with brightness and wasn’t shy about making each page unique. We loved his take on the Greek Myths and we hope he will be back for more.

 

 

And since we are visiting distant times, we also went to South America in this issue! The Legend of El Dorado is about a mythical place that might never have existed! Yet if you look at Tel Coelho’s illustrations, you might think he was there!  His art captures the mood, scale, and mystery of the story in an amazing way. You really feel as if you are on a journey through a dark and unknown continent as you read this story.

 

There are a few more interesting facts about mythical places before we wrap this story up and we hope you find them as much fun to investigate as we did researching them!

 

The gold in the El Dorado might not have been there but there are certainly treasures in this issue! Our fairy tale is also made of pure gold! Illustrating a classic fairy tale is a challenging task, but Fanny Liem managed it in great style for this issue’s The Gold Spinners. Her art is delicate and subtle, and her wonderful character designs have a real warmth!

 

We hope you enjoy discovering the amazing art created by these talented folks in this month’s issue. We hope it will be a very colourful spring, full of sparkles and beautiful skies. Such is the power of nature and the seasons that we always have something beautiful to look forward to. Wishing you all a great Easter and a spring full of stories!

Storytime Issue 114 Out Now!

My Zen Friend

The Zen of Stories!

Stories can be thrilling, but they can also help us to relax by escaping into another world for a while. Illustrations can help to draw readers into the world of stories before they have even read a word. The talented artists who contributed art to the latest issue of Storytime have created magical places and brought stories to life so we can escape into a world of wonderful what-ifs for a while. Where would you like to go first?

 

We shall start with our cover story, where this whole idea came from! Echo, our first panda cover star, invites us to go on a life-affirming adventure in My Zen Friend. The furry creature helps his kid companion as he goes on a trek through the  jungle and teaches him life lessons along the way. The lush green forest environment is a wonderful place to visit, brought to us by the masterful brush strokes of Catherine Razikova. Why not join us there?

 

 

When day-to-day life gets too stressful, it can be very relaxing to stare up at the clouds in the infinite sky. That is the setting for The Eagle and the Wren, this month’s fable.  (We should mention that in this story, birds both big and small are frantically competing to see who can fly the highest!) The scenes Karina Oliveira created for us are magical, and her feathered friends are truly magnificent. We hope you enjoy spending time in the sky with them!

 

 

Another green space can be found in The Girl Who Grew, our Awesome Adventure for this month. It’s the story of the Kenyan activist and scientist Wangari Maathai, who was the first African woman to win a Nobel prize. The beauty of her home country is lovingly rendered by Amari Mitnaul – you can totally imagine what it feels like to be sitting in the shade of a giant fig tree!

 

 

 

If nature is not your thing, then perhaps a story about pets will be your favourite! Look no further than our most colourful tale this month. Why Dogs Sniff Each Other has cute puppies galore, created to us by Cris Yepez, who really brings out the humour in the story. Did it make you giggle? And how does laughing along to a story makes you feel?

 

 

 

A good bedtime story is guaranteed to help you relax. If you had a busy day – full of real-life adventures – then check out our Short Stories, Big Dreams. This month we visit a pompous Emperor who was once fooled into walking around naked… but this time Maryna Raft helped us to make him fashionable and eco-conscious in The Emperor’s Old Clothes! Let your mind wander in the royal court and imagine all the sparkly things an Emperor could wear…

 

 

For even more shiny things, visit the Pharaoh’s vault with the two wise brothers in The Stonemason’s Sons. Diah Chakraborty’s tones and subtle details invite you the secret vault with the boys and you might spend some time spotting all that glitters. It is also a story about the importance of being fair – and why it’s good to care for your family.

 

 

 

You will lose yourself in the art of How Molo Stole the Red Rose, this issue’s fairy tale. Not only because Sheyla Nogueira did an impressive job of the magnificent Chinese palace and gardens in this story, but also because this tale of martial arts adventure will stir your imagination. Where did Molo go next? Where did he come from? Take time out to lose yourself in the possibilities…

 

 

 

We wrap up this magazine with a legend. You might not have heard of the hero of The Saga of Ilya Muromets, but you certainly won’t forget his deeds! Nor will you be able to forget the beautiful colours and compositions of Alex Herrerias, the fantastic artist who helped us tell this tale. We hope you can drift into this great adventure, feel energized by the hero’s strength and kindness– and perhaps feel inspired to conquer your own doubts and fears!

 

Our artists are miracle-workers who conjure up enchanting images every month. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work – and we hope that you have a wonderful time visiting the enchanting worlds they have created!

Storytime Issue 113 Out Now!

 

Growing and Changing

Welcome to a brand-new year! We hope it brings you peace and joy and limitless new possibilities!

It’s traditional to think of this time as one for grand resolutions – but why should we only focus on change in January? Surely it would be better if we would keep changing and growing all year round? If you think about it, we should always try to become a better and truer version of ourselves!

As it happens, the January issue is full of stories about characters who are improving themselves in different ways.

 

Elizabeth Dale contributed this month’s enchanting cover story, Max’s Magic Socks. Little Max wants to take part in a roller-skating show with his big brother and sister – but he keeps falling over! A pair of magical skates help him to keep his balance and do cool tricks… or do they? Perhaps practice and hard work are the real secret to success? We’re sure you will love this hilarious and inspirational tale, which features vibrant art courtesy of Werllen Holanda

 

 

The Keeper of the Ball has a similar theme! It’s about a real-life boy called Edson (no, that’s not a typo!) who loves football and uses ingenuity and hard work to start a team and get uniforms and a ball.  The talented illustrator Patrick Camelo  transports us back to 1950s Brazil, where you will discover the origin story of one of the greatest footballers of all time. Can you guess who it is?

 

 

 

Another way that we can make a change in our lives is by changing our look to express who we really are. That’s what a bird does in The Crow’s Necklace, a fun story from the Philippines that is livened up by the colourful pictures by Olga Sall.

 

Goldilocks’ Hoodie has a similar theme – Jessica Maltezo illustrates a bedtime story about what happens when the Three Bears take their blonde-haired friend clothes shopping. But will she give up on her favourite old top? You’ll have to read it to find out!

 

Education is another way to evolve as people. In the charming story of Pete Bull, a farmer and his wife love their little calf, so they decide to get him lessons in reading, writing and maths! This is a charming story with a surprising ending, and you’re sure to love the gorgeous art by Giovanni Abeille!

 

None of us like making mistakes … but if you think about it, isn’t this how we learn some really important lessons in our lives? That’s certainly what happens in this month’s fable. In The Two Goats, an arrogant little kid (brought to life by the wonderful artist Chiara Chiesa) refuses to back down in a clash with her brother… and they both suffer the consequences. Let’s hope they both learn from the experience!

 

The main character in the Native American legend of The Girl Who Helped the Thunder is called ‘Pretty Face’, so it’s not surprising that that she is very proud of her looks! She’s also easily flattered, which is why she is persuaded to leave her family by a handsome stranger. As you might have guessed, she learns the hard way that not everything is as it seems, and looks are not the most important thing! The pictures Rut Llerena Carmona created for this tale are stunning!

 

The last story for this month is The Snowman, a lovely story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by the talented Sviatlana Shkil. The title character is created by a group of kids on a winter’s day and learns about life from a gruff dog… but as the sun gets warmer, he finds himself transforming in a slightly worrying way. Perhaps the message of this story is that nothing lasts forever… not even an amazing talking snowman?

 

We hope you are inspired by these stories and grow and flourish in the coming year!

Storytime Issue 112 Out Now!

Santa Gets Kidnapped

 

Giving the Gift of Empathy

It’s almost Christmas– a time when we think of gifts for those we care about!

 

One of the best things we can give our loved ones has to be the gift of empathy. This is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and imagine what it would be like to be in their situation. It is a vital life skill, whether we are interacting with family, hanging out with friends, or meeting strangers for the first time. That’s why empathy is the topic of the My Mind Matters! section of Storytime this month!

 

There are many ways that we can help kids to develop their empathy skills. For example, you can ask them how they are feeling to develop awareness of their own emotional state, ask they how other people may be feeling, or suggest how they might be able to show empathy for others. But some of the best tools for developing empathy are actually stories!

 

When we read a good story, we are transported into its world. We get to imagine what the characters are going through and share their journeys and experiences with them. They could be older than younger than us, from a different culture, or even a different species. (Animal fables are popular all over the world!)

 

That’s why reading a gripping tale can be an amazing emotional workout that can help us to connect and empathise with others.

 

This month sees the release of our Christmas issue, which is full of stories about various aspects of empathy. Let’s have a look at what they can teach us…

 

Santa Gets Kidnapped

Santa Gets Kidnapped (illustrated by the talented Giulia de Cara) is based on a story by L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The kidnappers in this tale are wicked imps who are upset about how Santa spreads happy feelings throughout the world. This story is clever because it helps us to sympathise with the imps to a degree… even though Santa’s generosity and positive perspective wins out in the end. It would be great if all of us could carry some of the old fellow’s good energy into the New Year!

 

On that theme, New Year’s Nonsense is all about resolutions – the only twist is that it is animals that are trying to change, with hilarious results! The idea is to take something very human and relatable (trying to change, and finding it’s difficult), but looking at it from another point of view (that of animals). We hope that this story helps you to empathise with the way animals see the world while being great fun. Júnior Caramez did a fabulous job of bringing out the humour and ridiculousness in his art!

 

Through stories, we can also empathise with things that aren’t actually alive! This is the case with The Nutcracker’s Sweets, a bedtimes story based on a classic tale (and an opera). It gives you a chance to imagine what life is like for a toy on Christmas evening, and artist Rose Skelton really brings them to life…

 

 The Musical Donkey takes us along with a humble donkey as he gets lured into stealing cucumbers by a ne’er-do-well jackal. We’re guessing that no actual donkeys reading this, but readers will no doubt be able to identify with the beast… especially as it is so well rendered by Renata Souza!

 

Themes of kindness and love for others are particularly important in this Christmas issue, of course! The Cat and the Cradle (featuring art by the redoubtable Thais Castro) is a classic Dutch story about how a cat saves a baby, some kittens and a chick from a flood. If a cat can be so empathic to other species, so can we!

 

The Christmas Cuckoo has another classic festive theme. When a bird offers gifts to a pair of poor brothers, one asks for money and the other for happiness. Laura Dìez illustrated this story that shows us how generosity and caring for others can make us all better and happier people.

 

As you might guess, Good King Wenceslas is inspired by the classic Christmas carol, which has a similar theme. Instead of celebrating the Feast of Stephen in his snug castle, the ruler decides to bring gifts to an old man gathering sticks in the snow. He empathises with the old man’s plight, and that is something that we might all need to do this winter. Dmitrij Hladkyi’s beautiful art complements the story perfectly.

 

This month’s real-life story, The Throneless Prince comes from another time and another culture. A boy named Qiu grew up in China more than two thousand years ago, but we hope you will find his story engaging. He hoped for a world in which rulers and people in general would respect and care for one another – which we can all identify with! Zeke Nguyen created luminous pictures of the childhood of ‘King Fuze’, who we might know better as ‘Confucius’.

 

We hope you enjoy these tales and enjoyed going on an empathic adventure with their characters!

 

The Storytime team wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Storytime Issue 111 Out Now!

 

The Magic of Art

Every tale you read in Storytime is a team effort – but we must also give extra credit to the amazing artists who give them life and colour! They bring their own unique talents, ideas and visions and transform the stories they work on.

 

This month our tales offer a feast of delightful characters and magical spaces where adventures happen… so we would like to invite you to visit them all, and point out some special touches. We hope this encourages you to take a second look at their amazing work!

Cool as a Capybara is a fun story about some animals who get trapped by a flood in the Amazon rainforest. Don’t worry, they get rescued by the unsung heroes of the jungle, a herd of capybaras – the world’s biggest rodents! Saemi Oliveira had the challenge of making the many creatures in this story realistic and recognisable while also making them cute and lovable at the same time. We think you’ll agree that Saemi got the balance just right!

 

Folk tales are often about characters who enter a world of enchantment where nothing is as it seems! White-Thorn and the Talking Bird is a classic example from Britanny. Michela Peloso uses simple lines and flowing inks or watercolours to give the story an appropriately dreamlike feel. Her rendering of the magical ‘Sea-Cow’ that the heroine encounters is wonderfully creative and magical, but makes perfect sense in a folk tale reality. Be sure to check it out!

 

Lily Fosset faced a unique challenge when illustrating the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s childhood in The Fire Inside. She borrows elements of Van Gogh’s style (especially the textures of the trees and grass and the swirls in the sky), welcoming us into Vincent’s world in a light and approachable way.

Reading a fairy tale can be a wonderful experience, but some places can seem a bit repetitive in old classics.

 

 

There are so many struggling heroes or heroines, mysterious helpers, quests and strange rituals in these stories, so what can an artist do to keep the reading experience fresh? Diletta Sartorio made the tale of The Crystal Ball charming and lively by giving all of the characters vivid personalities! Carlotta the heroine is perky and determined, the ogres she encounters are hilariously goofy, and the bull she tames comes across as cute and loveable. We welcome a fresh take into classic tales and believe that’s how we should bring them to a new young audience. Do you have a favourite character in this one?

 

Many of our bedtime stories feature characters from popular stories and fairy tales. Many of them have appeared in iconic films and cartoons, so our artists face the challenge of creating  a cool new look for these beloved figures. Matea Anic came up with wonderful renditions of Sleeping Beauty, her fairy godmother and the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland for Second-Hand Magic. You recognise them immediately and yet they don’t look anything like the versions you will have seen elsewhere in popular culture. They are totally fresh and original, while fitting the characters perfectly!

 

We’re proud of featuring stories from all over the world in the pages of our magazine, but what does an artist do when they have to illustrate a story from a culture they’re not familiar with? For Truc Nhi Hoang, the answer is: do plenty of research and immerse yourself in the art of the culture the story comes from! Nanabush and the Thunderbird is a legend from the Ojibwe people of North America, and the artist combined elements of their colourful and abstract art into her own style to render this story in a unique and colourful way that stays true to its origins. Bravo!

 

Jokwa and the Stones of Five Colours is a Japanese story about brave heroes who battle a wicked giant! Kaori Iha’s renditions of waves and mountains remind us of similar scenes from classic Japanese art (especially the woodblock prints of Hiroshige). They are as magnificent as the story and its characters, so much so that we can almost hear their sounds.

 

 

 

When faced with illustrating the fable of The Bat, the Bramble and the Seagull for this issue, Samantha Davies created a wonderful and detailed place for these characters to live in! Look at all the detail in the background of the opening spread. Characters throng the docks of the harbour and buildings loom in the background and fade into the distance! The art is truly beautiful and invites you to explore it with your eyes…

 

We hope you enjoy the vibrant art of this issue as much as loved featuring these magic places, so full of colours. These tales may inspire you to learn more about each world and creature featured, more so they may also turn out to be treasure forever in your imagination. Long live stories and beautiful art, we say!

Storytime Issue 110 Out Now!

Issue 110 In praise of animals!

 

In Praise of Animals!

The team here at Storytime loves a good animal story – and we’re not alone! Myths about talking beasts and ancient animal spirits can be found all around the world, and date back many thousands of years.

 

Fast-forward to the modern day, and we will find countless children’s books and animated films filled with cute creatures of all kinds. But what makes stories about animals so appealing?

 

It might be because we see ourselves reflected in them. Animal characters that behave like humans (the fancy word for this is anthropomorphic animals) are like us, but cute and cuddly at the same time. Animals can also represent our qualities, and many sides of ourselves – think of a courageous lion or a cunning fox.

 

And finally, they encourage us to look at the world from a different point of view, which is what all good stories do. If you read a story about a dolphin’s life, say, then you will learn to see things from a new and interesting perspective. Or perhaps a farm animal and their routine and habits, then you will see a life you could not have known otherwise.

 

But one thing we cannot forget to add, they are great fun! Humour is something animal tales have galore! As it happens, the latest issue of Storytime is chock-full of tales about animals of all kinds. Let’s have a look at the way they use creatures as characters…

 

Our cover star is Machali the Tigress, rendered in magnificent colours by Julia Cherednichenko. Machali was a real tiger who prowled through Rantahmbore National Park in India. She was famed for her fierceness and the many cubs she gave birth to! This tale attempts to portray her as she really was and gives a tiger’s eye view of the world. And what they would have said if they could talk! Hopefully, reading it will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of these unique and magnificent creatures.

 

The Lion’s Fears, on the other hand, is a classic fable, where animals represent aspects of ourselves and the story is intended to teach us a lesson. The lion is, of course, a brave and fierce individual… though he learns that everyone is scared of something. Alice Risi depicts the animals of the jungle in a bright and lively fashion that complements the tone of the story perfectly.

 

Animals can also be used to address important issues in an approachable way. A famous example, of course, is Animal Farm by George Orwell, which delivered a serious political message using animal characters. A Sky Full of Swallows also addresses a serious theme with a light touch.

 

After frolicking in a meadow, a group of young animals lie back and look at the clouds and say what they would most like to see when they look at the sky… and what terrible things might also come down out of the blue. Ana Pavlenko wrote this story, which is a parable about what is now happening in her home country of Ukraine, and it is very moving. By using gentle animal characters and avoiding specifics, she delivers her message in a powerful way. Carlotta Notaro provided the art, which perfectly combines whimsy and a gentle sense of melancholy.

 

Stories about mythical creatures tap into our fears of the wilderness and the unknown. These magical beasts have strange powers and punish interlopers but also have many animal characteristics to them. That’s certainly the case in The Baby Bunyip. As you may know, this creature from Indigenous Australian legends is supposed to dwell in billabongs (oxbow lakes) and can menace the unwary. Evelina Losich did a magnificent job of illustrating this tale about what happens when a boy decides to interfere with the creature’s natural habitat and take the baby away from it. The lesson is clear: show respect to nature – or else!

 

Stories can put animals into human situations for comedic effect, as is done in the short bedtime story Sports Day for Hans. You might remember Hans-my-Hedgehog from the fairy tale of the same name in issue 84, and in this story, he is taking part in a PE contest against his will! Though he is an animal, we can identify with his situation, and Karyne Kuy’s art makes it extra-fun.

 

The endearing The Mansion of the Cats also puts animals into an interesting situation to create a funny fairy tale. This Italian story stars a girl who becomes a maid to a house full of furry felines and they are all over the pages, and Silvia Maria Becerril Guillermo really brought them to life in great style.

 

Of course, sometimes animals have qualities that inspire us humans to do better! Fabio Mancini has a flair for historical art, and he used his talents to the full when illustrating The Spider in the Cave. It’s inspired by a Sir Walter Scott tale about the Scottish noble (and later king!) Robert the Bruce. When he was on the run from his enemies and about to give up, he sees a spider trying to spin a web – and not giving up! This is a wonderful and uplifting story about what animals can teach us. Historians might say it didn’t actually happen, but stories make us believe otherwise.

 

Sorry, animal fans, but not ALL of the stories in this issue feature animals! We have a little exception but for a great reason…it was too much fun to leave it out!  Minnikin is a quirky fairy tale about a very young hero who rescues a princess with a little help from his flying ship. Paula Monise did a wonderful job capturing the wit and charm of Minnikin and his world in her illustrations – we’re sure you will love them.

 

We hope you enjoyed this tour through the menagerie of the month! Be sure to tell us which story you liked best when you get a chance to read them. This issue is loud and bold, and you might hear it roaring if you listen close enough… Brave readers, enjoy!

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!