This year, February 1st marks the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. In Chinese culture it is a time to put the old year behind and embrace the opportunities and good fortune of the new one! It just so happens that this month’s issue also features a Chinese Fairy Tale in our cover – so we feel like celebrating all month long too!
Appropriately enough, this month’s issue has many tales about taking chances and finding new opportunities! Come with us to discover the adventures and magic with have in our latest issue waiting for you!
Storytime Issue 90 – Happy Year of the Tiger
The Quest for Mushrooms is about two little boys who decide to venture out into the countryside, and finding treasures along the way. Carina Povarchik’s art really brings it to life, from the sun-dappled fields to the dark, shadowy forests… it’s as if we’re being taken along on the boys’ journey! The message of this story is that you can find new things – if you dare to take that first step outside your door!
The Greek myth of The Dragon’s Teeth stars the hero Cadmus, who suffers a grave misfortune. When his sister is kidnapped by a huge white bull, he is thrown out of his home city and sent to a new continent to find her. He almost loses hope, but with determination (and a little divine guidance!) he has the opportunity to make something for himself and founds a mighty city! Perhaps we learn from this that setbacks can sometimes open us up to new possibilities! Check out the illustrations by Alberto Orso – he did a phenomenal job of capturing the epic feel of this legend.
The Boy with Many Names is about a lad who travelled far across his native land of South Africa – and as the title indicates, he is known by many names over the years! As he visits new places and takes on new names, he finds out many new things and grows as a person. We can learn from his example to never stop evolving and learning. Adriana Predoi takes us to another place and time with her gorgeous art, bringing the childhood of Nelson Mandela to life!
Sometimes, we also have the chance to make a change in our lives just by changing out attitude and acting with kindness. The latest entry in the ‘Short Stories, Sweet Dreams’ series, illustrated as always by the extremely talented Giorgia Broseghini, is Jack the Giant-Friend. The main character was once known as a giant-slayer, but in this story he discovers that not all giants are bad – and makes awesome new friends along the way!
Our cover story is the Around the World Tale, The Fairy Serpent, a beautiful Chinese variation on the classic tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. A girl marries a magical creature to keep a promise her father made. At first, she doesn’t want to do so, but by giving him a chance, she learns that there is more to him than meets the eye. This is a story of love of different kinds, and Clarissa Corradin’s pictures will take your breath away.
We love learning new riddles here at Storytime – and Huckleberry is an American fairy tale about a gnome who is keen to tell people his new riddle – but he hasn’t bothered to come up with an answer! Luckily, a clever shepherdess is able to answer them all! A reminder that admitting that we don’t know something gives us a chance to find out new things! The awesome Marina Halak is responsible for the fine art in this tale.
The Lion’s Wedding is sure to be a favourite with our readers – largely because Nehuen Defosse’s vibrant art will transport us to the lush jungle too! You’ll love to spot the beautiful animals hiding in these pages. This is a sweet story about the animals not turning up when the king of the jungle gets married – but regretting their decision when they find out how nice he is and what a great ceremony they missed. Perhaps in the New Year we could make resolutions to go to the parties we are invited to… because we might never know what we’re missing?
And finally, a little nod to Pancake Day coming up soon! Our folk tale The Runaway Pancake is about “someone” who do not like to miss out on opportunities! The cheeky treat jumps out of a frying pan and runs away from a mother, her seven kids, a grandfather and many others in a madcap chase across town! Clarissa França’s art adds lively energy to the tale. But it also has a lesson: it CAN be important to look before you leap into new things – as the pancake eventually discovers!
We hope you enjoy every bite of this month’s issue! We would like to remind you that all subscribers can download 20-page packs that are full of activities on topics ranging from reading comprehension to art, geography and mathematics. You can access this month’s pack here – and read all about the Chinese New Year celebrations too!
The Storytime team