I was worrying that this year’s Christmas issue was coming out a bit too early, but then the John Lewis ad landed, and my postbox collapsed under the weight of various Christmas catalogues. Surely that’s enough to make anyone need some Christmas cheer?
Plus, we wanted to be certain that our overseas readers and lovely one-off back-issue purchasers got the Christmas issue before the big day. Therefore, I’m officially forgetting the can’t-do-Christmas-till-December stance and fully embracing the fairy lights. Fairy lights and stories make everything better – especially Christmas stories for kids!
What’s Inside Our Christmas Issue?
We’ve packed our all-new issue (Storytime 27) with as many Christmas stories for kids as we can, and the star on the top of the tree is The Nutcracker (above). It’s illustrated with utter perfection and a colour palette that’s good enough to eat by Gaia Bordicchia. This is the third time Gaia has contributed to Storytime. If you love her work as much as we do, also see the folktale Fate Finds a Fish in Storytime Issue 5 and Heidi in Storytime 14. And check out her Instagram feed.
Opening the issue, we also have some colourful retro goodness from Pablo Pintachan, who has created a brilliant Bob and a gorgeously graphic pile of pressies for our poem, Christmas Gifts. A poem with a fun twist.
Our folktale this month features a group of animals who try to squeeze into a red mitten to keep warm in the snow. Kids will love seeing the procession of creatures from a tiny mouse to a great big bear trying to wriggle their way inside. Including the most fantastic boar ever! Our adorable illustrations are by Kim Barnes.
Next up, there are surprisingly few Christmas stories for kids (short ones, anyway) featuring the origins of Santa Claus, so we were pleased to feature a legend about the young St Nicholas in Turkey and how he first began to give gifts. Olga Demidova provided truly lovely illustrations for this.
Our fable, Two Turtle Doves, has a Christmassy title and a message that’s particularly poignant at this time of year… there’s no place like home. This is a nice one to read together with your family, all cosied up. We love the characters Fleet Wing and Soft Feather and how Barbara Bakos has brought them to life.
From doves to a rather spectacular bear who saves Christmas, no less. Our Around the World Tale comes from Norway. It tells of a bear who takes on some annoying trolls in a way that will have kids cheering with delight. Illustrator Robb Mommaerts has packed in an incredible amount of love and detail into the heroic bear, and his trolls are perfectly revolting!
Lastly, one of the ultimate Christmas stories for kids. We wanted to introduce our readers to A Christmas Carol and the baddie everyone loves to hate – Scrooge. Though the film is familiar with many families (especially The Muppets version), the book is often ignored. However, there are many child-friendly versions out there and we’ve got one up for grabs in our latest competition. Illustrator David Navarro created the exact Scrooge we all imagined for this extract!
Plus, as always, there are activities throughout the magazine, and drawing, colouring and puzzles in Storytime Playbox.
As ever, we’ve strived to have a diverse mix of Christmas stories for kids. That way every page feels fresh, unexpected and entertaining. Whether you devour it straight away or save it for a stocking filler, we hope you enjoy Storytime’s Christmas special. May it bring a tingle of festive excitement and happy memories to your home or class!
It’s never too early to get the fairy lights out!