Our Differences Make Our World More Beautiful!
The world is truly the most diverse and wonderful place. When we find each other and open up, our lives can be transformed and become more… colourful!
We celebrate these differences every month with stories from other cultures, featuring the most varied art and the greatest mix of characters any reader could wish for. That’s what we’re giving a shout-out to this month. Our cover story sums it up so brilliantly well… and we think it was well worth shouting about it.
Our spectacular cover art shows a colourful bird, ‘The Enchanted Canary’, which brings joy to a grey kingdom. The little bird was rendered with amazing skill by artist Begoña Corbalan. The hero of the story not only brings the canary back home, he also brings exotic fruits and plants – and in so doing, transforms his homeland into a happier place.
‘The Red-Haired Girl and the Golden Sun’ is a similarly magical story that comes all the way from the Philippines. When young Aponibolinayen (pronounced apo-ne-bo-le-nae’yen) – say that three times fast and try not to giggle! – is snatched up into the sky by a growing vine, she is thrust into an adventure with the Sun. There are some twists and turns until they learn to deal with their differences, but the warm glow of their love for each other is hard to miss in Ingrid Costantino’s art!
The legend of ‘The Golden Chain’ is a wonderful Ghanaian tale about how the world was created! It features orishas, powerful spirits from that country’s mythology. The illustrations are by the hugely talented Sarah Hochsteiner, and her textures and patterns made it extra-special.
Sometimes it’s best to be proud of being different from each other, rather than pretending to be the same! That’s what the fable of ‘The Monkey and the Dolphin’ is all about. A shipwrecked monkey is rescued by a seagoing mammal, but when he tries to ingratiate himself by lying, things go terribly wrong! If the monkey had told the truth, the two different animals could still be friends and have a great conversation instead! Beatrice Xompero gives a playful feel to the story with her work.
‘The King’s Ears’ is another story about accepting yourself, and what makes us unique. We might sometimes fear it – like the king who is ashamed of an unusual feature, but when his secret is revealed, he finds the courage to be open about his appearance. And to his surprise the whole kingdom welcomes him exactly as he is! You will love Charles de Vito’s illustrations, which combine humour and pathos perfectly.
Through our differences we also have the power to change the world for the better! That is the message of ‘The Greatest Gift of All’, a true story about a girl who moves to a new place and transforms her new adopted homeland by building the world’s first university there. A sense of belonging is a way to bridge our differences, and something we all look for in life. Rócio Denarmen’s artwork is vibrant and full of life, transporting us back to North Africa in the Middle Ages.
And if you have not been to enough far and away places in this issue, we also take you to a Pacific Island where a very special and unique girl meets ‘The World Turtle’ and goes on a wonderful adventure! The differences and wonders she sees inspire her to chance and protect our planet. This story is made even more inspirational by Èlia Meraki’s colourful illustrations.
Are all differences good? It depends! Sometimes the food and flavours you know are just fine! Henny Penny is happy with the good old corn, but her feathered friends are tempted by the exotic offer of a mysterious stranger. Will they fall for the new Wonderfood? You will have to read out bedtime story to find out! One thing is for certain though, you’ll love the lively and funny illustrations by Tania Ávila!
We are so lucky to live in a world in which we are all unique and have so much to share with one another! In Storytime the things that make us special will always be celebrated in stories – and a world of infinite different stories is an extraordinary place to be!