One of the great joys of creating Storytime is bringing you new stories in addition to well-loved classics. In Storytime Issue 44 we’ve had a ball, creating a character we think kids will love. Sammy is a skateboarding stunt hamster who defies expectations and proves that you can be brave and brilliant no matter how small you are.
The gorgeous illustrations for the cover and story are by Mette Engell and the story is by Laura Thomsett. It makes a perfect bedtime story and is just the right length for circle time or storytime at school. (Teachers, check out our special Storytime subscription deals for schools.)
As ever, there are lots more brilliant stories and poems inside this issue. Find out more about them here.
Inside Storytime Issue 44
Storytime Issue 44 kicks off with an unusual fable, Tortoise’s New Home – unusual in that it not only teaches the usual lesson in life, but also explains the origin of how the tortoise got its shell. This kind of story is great for getting kids thinking creatively about how various animals or features in the natural world came to be. You can use it to kick off your own story-writing activity. How did the elephant get a long trunk? Or how did the platypus end up with a flat beak? Illustrations are by Lais Bicudo.
As I type, spring in the UK seems to be refusing to put in an appearance, so our poem by Clara Doty Bates, Who Likes the Rain? may be met with a universal “Not me!” Don’t let the title deter you because the poem is a celebration of rain in all its puddle-splashing glory. It comes with fab illustrations by Alisa Coburn.
Our Alphabet Zoo poetry series, illustrated by super-talented Tim Budgen is still going strong and, in Storytime Issue 44, covers animals beginning with U, V and W. Look out for howling wolves, hilarious wombats, vicious vampire bats and a bird that’s well suited to our rain poem! Don’t forget to download our free Alphabet Zoo Activity Pack too, which comes with animal facts, puzzles and a poster.
We travel all the way to Cambodia for our Around the World Tale for an inspiring tale about a smart princess who outwits a trio of greedy baddies with her engineering skills. Clever Amaradevi is illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Next stop is Central America and an Aztec myth about how Quetzalcoatl brought humans back to life in The Feathered Serpent God. Illustrator Guille Rancel has done a brilliant job of visualising this awesome god and we’ve put together a whole pack of Aztec educational resources for teachers to use in the classroom. School subscribers get this pack for free or you can buy it here.
Our Favourite Fairy Tale in this issue is by the creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum, and gives the famous nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle a fun back story. All the characters are here – the cat, the fiddle, the dish, the spoon and a cow who jumps over the moon. Our lovely illustrations are by Begona Fernandez Corbalan.
Finishing off the issue, we have a funny folktale in Storyteller’s Corner called Mr and Mrs Vinegar. Find out what happens when catastrophe strikes and they accidentally smash the vinegar bottle they live in. We absolutely love Simone Kruger’s illustrations for this.
We hope you have fun travelling back in time and around the world with us in Storytime Issue 44! As usual, we’ve packed this issue to the hilt with stories, poems, activities, puzzles and some brilliant book recommendations too. We love taking you on adventures, especially with skateboarding hamsters, and there are many more to come.
Happy stunt-reading folks!