Giants beware! Storytime Issue 45 has been unleashed on the world and the star of this new issue is boy hero, Jack the Giant Killer! This issue features heroes large and small, stories new and classic, poetry to make you smile, tales to tickle your imagination and activities to keep your little ones happily occupied (while stealthily learning). If, for some unfathomable reason, you haven’t subscribed yet, join our worldwide team of story lovers here. Alternatively, you can pick up Storytime Issue 45 in our Back Issue Shop, so don’t miss out! For more about what’s inside our issue and our amazing contributors, read on.
Inside Storytime Issue 45
Opening Storytime Issue 45, we’ve got a sweet story by children’s author Amanda Brandon called The Royal Birthday Surprise. Prince Henry has a long list of demands for his birthday party, but it doesn’t go quite as planned. Thankfully, his little (and only) guest has big ideas. Lovely illustrations are by Jessica Gibson.
Our first poem of the issue is an abridged version of My Dreams (originally called Boy Dreams) by Mabel Forrest. It’s a fantastic exploration of a child’s imaginative dream world. It features pirates, fairies and mermen, so it can be a great starting point for fun role-play. Incidentally, you might recognise the illustrations of Rogerio Coelho, who has illustrated for Storytime several times.
Nancy and the Pixies is an old British folk tale, supposedly based on a true story. It’s about a woman who doesn’t believe in magic. We love the final image in this story of a pyramid of playful pixies proving their point. The whimsical art is by Tatiana Petrovska. You don’t have to see to believe, readers.
In this issue, we’re sad to announce that our long-running poetry series Alphabet Zoo comes to an end. The last poem features animals beginning with the letters X, Y and Z. It seems to have flown by and we’ve been incredibly lucky to work with illustrator Tim Budgen. Can you believe we featured 64 animals in total? That’s a very busy zoo. If you missed any issues, the series ran from Storytime Issue 29 onwards, which you can pick up from our Back Issue Shop. Don’t forget, you can also print out our Alphabet Zoo Activity Packs with puzzles and posters on our Downloads page. Tim Budgen fans can catch our interview with him here. Also look out for next month’s issue, when we dive into a special Alphabet Ocean!
Now to our cover star and Favourite Fairy Tale, Jack the Giant Killer. It is brilliantly illustrated with the most amazing (and amusing) giants you’ve ever seen by Tom Knight. This is one of those fairy tales you’ll be familiar with but might not know well. Jack has many parallels with Jack and the Beanstalk (from Storytime Issue 5 – buy the back issue here), but they are two distinct characters. The Jack in this story is a bit bolder and braver and takes on not one but five giants, including one with two heads! Jack and the Beanstalk fans will love following his adventures.
From adventure to the absurd in our Around the World Tale from Poland. Kopytko is a cobbler with gigantic ears, a duck sidekick and a penchant for playing pranks. However, when he takes one practical joke too far, he learns an important lesson. The illustrations should hopefully make you laugh and are by Rodrigo Folgueira.
Further lessons can be learnt in this issue’s Famous Fable from India, which features a mysterious missing bell, angry gods and mischievous monkeys. Thank goodness someone has their wits about them. Illustrations for The Musical Monkeys are by Fabiana Faiallo. (You can also see some fascinating work-in-progress illustrations for the story here.)
Lastly, we bring you a fascinating Egyptian myth about the Great Sphinx and how it once came to life. If you’re studying Ancient Egypt in the classroom or want to open up new worlds at home, this is the perfect story. The Secret Sphinx is illustrated by Junior Caramez. School subscribers, look out for our teaching resource pack about the Sphinx, pharaohs and Ancient Egypt, which you’ll get for free. (If you’re a school and want to find out more, visit our Storytime for Schools website.)
Throughout Storytime Issue 45 we also give you activities and mini challenges. As with every magazine, we also end with puzzles, drawing, colouring, a craft, a story-themed board game AND our books of the month (enter to win a book here!). We really do try to cram each issue full of story goodness for you!
Watch out for two-headed giants!