Read, read as fast as you can… Our Christmas 2018 Special (Storytime Issue 52) is jingling its way to you and, once you’ve got it, you won’t want to read anything else! That’s because we’ve packed this festive special with so many great stories – classic and contemporary – and you’ll have such a nice time snuggling up with them, you’ll wish Christmas lasted longer.
Apart from our stories and the usual mix of activities, puzzles, colouring and a wordsearch, in this issue, we’ve teamed up with the charity KidsOut to donate Storytime issues to children living in refuges. You can find out more here and read about the story inspired by this charity below.
After all, Christmas is a time for giving – and giving stories is one of the best presents of all.
Now, here’s what’s inside Storytime Issue 52 and praise for our contributors.
Inside Storytime Issue 52 – Our Sparkling Christmas Special!
Brer Rabbit makes his second Storytime appearance in Brer Rabbit’s Christmas Dinner, which also features Brer Fox. (They both also appear in Storytime Issue 19, which you can pick up here.) This time, it’s Brer Fox who’s up to no good, and Brer Rabbit who has to seek revenge. As you’d expect, this mischievous American trickster does so with style! We’re in love with Maria Laura Brenlla‘s quirky illustrations for this story.
Pudding Charms by Charlotte Druitt Cole is this issue’s poem – a traditional rhyme about the joy of making Christmas puddings. This pudding is extra-special, as it has a helping hand from a fairy godmother! We have Letizia Rizzo to thank for the wonderful illustrations and dreamy colour scheme.
We can’t resist snowy bears, so our Famous Fable is The Bears and the Sack (a modern retelling of Aesop’s The Travellers and the Purse with added wolves). It’s a story about sharing with friends, so it’s perfect for this time of the year. Miru Kim‘s illustrations are just adorable.
For Storyteller’s Corner, we’ve updated an old folktale – Christmas on the Farm – and given it a smattering of European folklore magic. Without giving too much away, it features magical animals and we’re certain kids will love it. They might even try to copy the boy in the story and ask for a second Christmas tree… sorry about that! Alena Tkach‘s artwork for this tale is perfect, so don’t miss the final scene.
Storyland Adventures is back with a new story from the world of fairy tales. This time, Gingerbread Man’s Baking Challenge sees our edible hero lose his cool when he has too much work and nobody to help him. Things take a turn for the worse when he gets a huge order from a mystery customer. Will he get it done in time and who placed the order? You’ll have to buy the issue to find out. Giorgia Broseghini‘s brilliant illustrations grace our cover and the story.
The Toy Tree is a new story by Nicky Saint, written especially for our Christmas issue. It was inspired by charity giving trees. If you haven’t heard of them, a giving tree is a Christmas tree covered with charity tags. Each tag has a child’s name and age on it. The idea is that you take a tag and buy a gift to donate to a child supported by the charity. Also inspired by this idea, for every copy of Storytime purchased from our Back Issue Shop until Christmas, we’ll donate an issue to KidsOut. Find out more about it here. We hope the story fills you with charitable thoughts and that you enjoy Marie Vanderbemden‘s illustrations.
Our Myths and Legends section travels to Iceland – home of the famous Yule Lads. They’re Iceland’s version of Santa Claus, but a lot smaller and cheekier. It’s great to show kids what Christmas is like in other cultures, so this story is ideal for that. And with names like Spoon Licker and Sausage Swiper, the Yule Lads are bound to cause some chuckles! Artist Audrey Molinatti tackled these tricky treaters and gave us a gorgeous snowy landscape to admire.
Finally – tissues at the ready – Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl closes Storytime Issue 52. Our readers have requested this story so many times, we felt we had to share a sympathetic version in this issue. It still has all the emotion of the original, but feels a little less brutal. Monique Dong’s beautiful illustrations also help make it less heart-wrenching.
There are many positive messages in Storytime Issue 52 – some subtle and some not so subtle. Most good stories carry some kind of message and this latest selection is just right to share at Christmas. But it’s not all serious – there are plenty of laughs too. We love funny stories at Storytime. And you can have fun solving puzzles, decorating gingerbread pictures and completing our Christmas wordsearch at the back of the issue.
Storytime Issue 52 is a festive bundle of fun and we hope you love it!
Kind Christmas wishes to you all!