The sun is shining (at last) and Storytime Issue 59 is here to help keep your kids occupied on those long plane, train or car journeys. And if you’re enjoying a staycation instead, then you can let your imagination take a holiday by diving into our stories.
As ever, Storytime Issue 59 comes with seven fantastic stories – old and new – and a playful poem to introduce your child to verse. In them, you can travel to Ancient Rome, Armenia, Ireland, Denmark, the fairy-tale world of Storyland, and the depths of the ocean.
So pack your bags – we’re off on an adventure!
Inside Storytime Issue 59
Our cover story, which also leads the issue, is The Friendly Lion – a legend set in Ancient Rome, also known as Androcles and the Lion. We love Michel Verdu’s powerful but approachable lion illustrations. Do you remember wishing you could be best buddies with a big cat when you were a kid? This story should satisfy that need. (Incidentally, it comes with a great resource pack for teachers too – find out more here.)
Foxes play a big role in folklore all over the world and The Fox’s Tail is a funny tale from Armenia. With lots of cunning, charm and repetition, this is sure to become a new family favourite. Check out Natalia Vetrova’s colourful illustrations too.
In this issue’s Storyland Adventure, the residents are holding their first ever sports day. Unfortunately, frog-turned-prince Frederick isn’t keen to take part. Can he be persuaded? Princess Elinor gives it her best shot. Giorgia Broseghini gets a high-five for illustrating Cinderella running in high heels.
Another animal favourite makes an appearance in Storytime Issue 59’s poem. Watch out kids – it’s The Shark! Lord Alfred Douglas’s poem is funny, fearsome and features Mike Petrik’s bold and brilliant illustrations. However, don’t let it put you off going for a paddle in the sea!
Our Favourite Fairy Tale is Jack Makes the Princess Laugh, which originates from Ireland. It starts off like Jack and the Beanstalk and then whisks you away on an extraordinary adventure involving a waltzing mouse, a bopping beetle and a harp-playing bee. We hope it makes you want to dance. Thanks to Mona Meslier Menuau for the illustrations.
Storytime Issue 59’s fable is a lesson in not judging others by their appearance and the fierce and loyal love a parent has for its child. We should all stand up and be more like The Monkey Mother – and the wombat and robin who back her up. Patrycja Fabicka returns to Storytime to provide the insanely cute baby animals for this story. Baby animals!
We gave illustrator Henk Van Der Gugten a real challenge for Storytime Issue 59’s folktale when we asked him to draw invisible trolls! Rounds of applause because he has done a brilliant job for our story The Troll Hat from Denmark. It’s a tale of mischief, feasting and magic. You will love it!
For the grand finale, you can enjoy a big slice of silliness in our new story Pizza Boy. He claims that pizza gives him superpowers but his mum and dad aren’t convinced – and they cut off his supply. Will the alley cats take over? Will chaos reign in the playground? What will happen to his rodent sidekicks Pepe Roni and Margarita? You’ll have to read it and find out. Alice Risi did a super-powered job of the illustrations, so don’t miss them.
We’ve put lots of effort into making Storytime Issue 59 a real page-turner (and upcoming Storytime Issue 60 too) to ensure that kids stay engaged with reading while school’s out. Evidence shows that there is often a significant decline in reading levels, known as the ‘summer slump’ or ‘summer slide’, when kids return to school for the Autumn term.
We’d love to support parents and teachers in making sure that doesn’t happen. Just one Storytime story a day can make a huge difference! Give it a go this summer.
Let’s dump the slump!
P.S. If you didn’t subscribe in time to get Storytime Issue 59, you can pick up the back issue from our shop.