Storytime Issue 114 Out Now!

My Zen Friend

The Zen of Stories!

Stories can be thrilling, but they can also help us to relax by escaping into another world for a while. Illustrations can help to draw readers into the world of stories before they have even read a word. The talented artists who contributed art to the latest issue of Storytime have created magical places and brought stories to life so we can escape into a world of wonderful what-ifs for a while. Where would you like to go first?


We shall start with our cover story, where this whole idea came from! Echo, our first panda cover star, invites us to go on a life-affirming adventure in My Zen Friend. The furry creature helps his kid companion as he goes on a trek through the  jungle and teaches him life lessons along the way. The lush green forest environment is a wonderful place to visit, brought to us by the masterful brush strokes of Catherine Razikova. Why not join us there?



When day-to-day life gets too stressful, it can be very relaxing to stare up at the clouds in the infinite sky. That is the setting for The Eagle and the Wren, this month’s fable.  (We should mention that in this story, birds both big and small are frantically competing to see who can fly the highest!) The scenes Karina Oliveira created for us are magical, and her feathered friends are truly magnificent. We hope you enjoy spending time in the sky with them!



Another green space can be found in The Girl Who Grew, our Awesome Adventure for this month. It’s the story of the Kenyan activist and scientist Wangari Maathai, who was the first African woman to win a Nobel prize. The beauty of her home country is lovingly rendered by Amari Mitnaul – you can totally imagine what it feels like to be sitting in the shade of a giant fig tree!




If nature is not your thing, then perhaps a story about pets will be your favourite! Look no further than our most colourful tale this month. Why Dogs Sniff Each Other has cute puppies galore, created to us by Cris Yepez, who really brings out the humour in the story. Did it make you giggle? And how does laughing along to a story makes you feel?




A good bedtime story is guaranteed to help you relax. If you had a busy day – full of real-life adventures – then check out our Short Stories, Big Dreams. This month we visit a pompous Emperor who was once fooled into walking around naked… but this time Maryna Raft helped us to make him fashionable and eco-conscious in The Emperor’s Old Clothes! Let your mind wander in the royal court and imagine all the sparkly things an Emperor could wear…



For even more shiny things, visit the Pharaoh’s vault with the two wise brothers in The Stonemason’s Sons. Diah Chakraborty’s tones and subtle details invite you the secret vault with the boys and you might spend some time spotting all that glitters. It is also a story about the importance of being fair – and why it’s good to care for your family.




You will lose yourself in the art of How Molo Stole the Red Rose, this issue’s fairy tale. Not only because Sheyla Nogueira did an impressive job of the magnificent Chinese palace and gardens in this story, but also because this tale of martial arts adventure will stir your imagination. Where did Molo go next? Where did he come from? Take time out to lose yourself in the possibilities…




We wrap up this magazine with a legend. You might not have heard of the hero of The Saga of Ilya Muromets, but you certainly won’t forget his deeds! Nor will you be able to forget the beautiful colours and compositions of Alex Herrerias, the fantastic artist who helped us tell this tale. We hope you can drift into this great adventure, feel energized by the hero’s strength and kindness– and perhaps feel inspired to conquer your own doubts and fears!


Our artists are miracle-workers who conjure up enchanting images every month. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work – and we hope that you have a wonderful time visiting the enchanting worlds they have created!