Our first issue of the year, Storytime Issue 29, is out now and we hope that it will brighten up your winter. It’s an issue of firsts and lasts, so for that reason, we’re a bit giddy with excitement. New year, new Storytime Issue 29, new stories!
First, a first! Storytime Issue 29 marks the beginning of our first ever poetry series, Alphabet Zoo. Every month, Bonnie and Boo invite you to join them on a trip around their grandpa’s special zoo. Each trip focuses on animals beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet.
Issue 29 kicks off with animals beginning with the letter A. It includes funny aardvarks, laid-back armadillos, singing alligators and happy alpacas! Every poem is packed with interesting animal facts, so it’s educational too. Plus we have a free Alphabet Zoo Factsheet and activity pack to download! Our zoo poem is illustrated by one of our favourite collaborators, Tim Budgen. You might recognise his wonderful work from our poem Animal Fair in Storytime Issue 11. We hope you enjoy it!
This month’s legend marks a second outing in Storytime for Irish folk hero Finn MacCool. This time, he appears in the classic tale, The Salmon of Knowledge. (MacCool first featured in Storytime Issue 7, accidentally creating the Giant’s Causeway). Cartoonist Fermin Solis illustrated this story with great humour.
Our wacky folk tale will be new to a lot of you. King Duck is the story of a little duck with big brains, a large fortune, a strong stomach and a king who owes him money! The vibrant and colourful art for this comes courtesy of an extraordinarily diverse illustrator, Tihomir Celanovic.
In this issue, we also have a heart-warming Buddhist fable about the value of true friendship. The Elephant and the Dog features not-to-be-missed illustrations from Pablo Olivero.
Our fairy tale is that early years classic The Enormous Turnip. It’s a truly great read-aloud, which withstands many re-reads. Our gorgeous illustrations are by Paco Sordo, who previously illustrated the Italian folk tale A Feast of Cobwebs in Storytime Issue 24. School subscribers will receive our lesson ideas and resource pack to use with this story.
Our Around the World Tale comes from the Czech Republic. Betushka and the Wood Fairy features dancing, a bird orchestra and magic. Teresa Martinez brought it to life with her whimsical illustrations. (Teresa also illustrated The Queen of Winter for Storytime Issue 15).
And our first issue of the year concludes with the barmy but brilliant The Beginning of the Armadillos by Rudyard Kipling, from his Just So Stories. No extract this time – we’re treating you to a whole story featuring Fabiana Faiallo’s rich and vivid illustrations by .
And now the last… This will be our last Brilliant Books strand for the time being. Don’t panic – we still think books are brilliant! We’ll tell you more about why it’s being replaced and what with in a new blog post soon! In the meantime, we hope Storytime brings you the adventure, escapism, warmth and happiness we intended. (With super-powered childhood literacy skills as an added bonus!)