We are getting into party mode here, preparing to our Anniversary Issue in September and looking at all things we should celebrate. It just so happens that this month’s issue of Storytime is full of reminders about things we should treasure…at all times!
Storytime Issue 96 – Reasons to Celebrate
First, there is the joy of music. Our cover story, The Marvellous Musicians is a fun fairy tale about three animals who are enchanted by the tunes a wandering minstrel plays. It’s an old tale from the Brothers Grimm, but we decided to give it a Storytime twist – but we won’t spoil the new ending! Caro Vázquez makes the animals stars extra-cute, and his art really conveys the joy that music brings – especially on the issue’s festival-themed cover art. So if you need a pick-me-up, why not put some music on and boogie down?
Another kind of performance captivates a young boy in Will’s Play Time. When a troupe of strolling players visit Stratford-upon Avon, his dad takes him to a show, and it inspires him to come up with plays with his friends. Of course, you might have guessed this story is about young William Shakespeare! It was challenging to write because very little is known for certain about his early years – but we used the information we do have as a basis for an imaginative tale about how he might have seen his first play. The artist LaPiz really brought the Elizabethan times to life with her colourful and expertly researched illustrations. In this age of streaming, it can be easy to forget how exciting a live performance can be. If you have the chance, why not go to a play at your local theatre?
With summer vibes in the air and holidays still on, we can also enjoy parties and ditch the bedtime curfew! The wonderful Indonesian tale of The Crocodile’s Gift is about a girl who wants to go to a prince’s big celebration. Her wicked stepmother and stepsister take her best sari – but she is given a golden one and special sandals to wear by a benevolent and enchanted crocodile! It’s a Cinderella of sorts, but all the action happens in the gorgeous Maluku Islands, and the twist is all down to a bask of crocodiles – and the gorgeous art by Navya Raju.
If you aren’t in the mood for a concert, a play or a party, then you can always enjoy a good book! That’s what little Yaya is looking for in The Mystery in the Library – but she finds something much stranger instead… This story is by Fleur Doornberg-Puglisi, and her love for books and libraries certainly shines through! It is perfectly complemented by the art of Marcos de Mello, who populates the setting with vibrant characters. Have you picked your summer reads already? We hope we are in it!
When it comes to small pleasures to celebrate, you can’t forget about food! The treats that are comforting in winter are less appealing in the hot summer months, though… That’s the problem faced by Melody, the possessor of a magical porridge pot and the main character in A Summer Treat. However, this time she comes up with a new recipe that is healthy, delicious and cooling – a kind of Bircher muesli that’s really yummy! The art by Giorgia Broseghini – predictably, looks good enough to eat.
Continuing the theme of food, this issue also includes the fish-flavoured tale of The Heron’s Breakfast. Lorena Bayona’s fun and funny artwork takes this story of a bird outwitted by a minnow to a whole new level! It’s a reminder for us not to be too picky and enjoy the servings that come our way…
What would be of summer without the company of good friends? Friends should definitely be cherished – but this is a lesson that an untrustworthy fish learns in the Nigerian fable of Why the Fish Lives in the Sea. Ani Manzanas provided the lovely animal art – and she somehow makes it seem totally natural for a fish to be walking around on land!
And finally, we have the inspirational story of The Mighty Viking, with suitably epic illustrations by the very talented Gabi Tozati. Hervor is a little girl determined to follow in her father’s footsteps, and will not let sea serpents or her embroidery lessons get in her way. Perhaps that’s the most important thing that we need to remember and celebrate – the fact that we can make choices and follow our dreams!
We hope these stories will fill your summer with joy and you feel like sharing stories with your loved one! We can’t wait to share great news next month when we will have even more to celebrate!
Keep cool and keep reading, folks!
The Storytime team