It’s a special time of year for many reasons –that’s why we always put extra effort into the holiday issue of Storytime. But what makes this time special? Is it the food, or the presents, or the catchy tunes?
No, we believe that what makes it special is togetherness – it is a time when we celebrate being with those that we care about. And appropriately, togetherness is the theme of this month’s issue, which we hope you will be sharing with your loved ones too!
Storytime Issue 88 – The Gift of Togetherness
Our cover story, Midwinter Magic, is about some animals who see the different ways that their human neighbours celebrate the holiday season and decide to get together and throw their own festive party. Dominika Rensch did the wonderful art – and the eye-catching cover of Greypaws the racoon wearing a Santa Lucia crown! Midwinter Magic reminds us to respect our differences, and that being grateful and celebrating together is what truly matters!
This issue’s fairy tale is something special – and not only because Monica Garofalo conjured up a magical land with her artwork! In The Christmas Tree Forest, the children who live in a hidden kingdom go into the woods to collect gifts left by Father Christmas, only to find the trees bare! The king and queen of that country go on a quest to find out what happened, and learn that while presents are nice, giving and sharing and being with loved ones is what really matters…
Antonella Fant is the artist who illustrated the lovely story of Little Piccola. This girl was lonely until she made some new friends who told her all about the wonders of Christmas. We’re not going to spoil the ending – but there is a little miracle!
Another special friendship is the focus of Audun and the Bear, a beautiful tale from Iceland. As you might guess, the young hero befriends a bear and goes on an adventure and makes his fortune. But in the end he realises that what he really wants to do is see his mother again, and returns home with gifts and stories to share. David Sierra sprinkles his illustrations with a certain polar magic in this story!
A cosy and warm present might be all we want for Christmas! Giorgia Broseghini did another wonderful job illustrating The Gingerbread Man’s New Clothes, in which the title character gets a warm icing outfit from a friend who is a true artist!
Let’s not forget how loved ones can inspire and bring out the best in us! The Great Genies of Angria and Gondal is about some siblings who share some toy soldiers and then make up amazing stories about them. This is a true story about the Bronte sisters and their brother, and it shows how valuable sharing and encouraging each other can be. Though they started out by writing about their soldiers, Anne, Charlotte and Emily would go on to create some of the most famous novels ever written!
Sadly, sometimes we can’t be with the people we care about – but we can still think about them with love! Balder and the Mistletoe is a myth about a beloved Norse god who is struck down by a wooden spear. His family mourns him, and tries their very best to bring him back. The truly stunning illustrations, courtesy of Jovan Ukropina, really bring the characters to life. This tale has a message to us all: we should cherish those we love, and the time we get to spend together!
Lastly, we have a fable about a character who doesn’t appreciate those around them as much but are stuck together! The Fir tree learns a humble lesson in the end however. The very talented Mona K rendered the art for The Bramble and the Fir Tree.
The Storytime team would like to wish you a very merry festive season. We love sharing our tales with you – and hope you enjoy this latest instalment, full of hope and light. Sharing stories with those you love is always a great idea, so if you need a last minute gift we have some lovely holiday deals available in our online shop! Our bumper subscriptions to the new Storytime Hub truly are gifts that keep on giving all year round!
Happy stories and happy holidays everyone!
The Storytime team