Stories are all about characters who take risks. After all, how interesting is a tale about someone who just stays somewhere safe and watches videos all day? This month’s is full stories about people who go in search of adventure – or are forced to take chances against their will!
Storytime Issue 84 – Taking Chances
Hans-My-Hedgehog is an absolutely charming fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm about a little boy who was born with hedgehog spines. He was brought up on a nice safe farm, but chooses to go and make his own way in the world, having faith that his good manners and sharp spines will protect him. Aleksei Zhdanov captures the wonder and whimsy of the story with his gorgeous illustrations.
Another classic story about a boy deciding to go outside their comfort zone in search of adventure is The Second Voyage of Sinbad. The intrepid adventurer leaves his luxurious home to sail into the unknown – and gets more than he bargained for! Pol Cunyat did an amazing job bringing the rocs, elephants and giant serpents the sailor encounters to life!
‘Prequels’ to well-known stories are popular these days, and we are excited to bring you the origin story of the world’s most famous legendary magician. Merlin and the Red Dragon is about how young Merlin (or ‘Myrddin’, in Welsh) met the warrior-king Vortigern. Many youngsters would have been afraid to meet such an important ruler, but not Myrddin! He was brave and courageous in his challenge, and told Vortigern about the dragons that battle beneath a hill – and what their struggle portends for Britain. The art is by the talented Werllen Holanda.
Of course, we can take chances in the modern day too! Guille Rancel did phenomenal work illustrating a timely tale called Gemma Levels Up. At the beginning of the summer holidays, Gemma was keen to get some gaming in, but is whisked away on a camping trip by her aunt and uncle instead. Let’s just say that she discovers that camping can be hard work – but fun, too!
I’m sure you know somebody that absolutely hates getting their hair cut! They might well identify with the hero of our short bedtime story, Billy Gets a Haircut, which features art by the redoubtable Giorgia Broseghini. William Gruff (of ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ fame) is hot and sweaty because of his long hair. But when he meets a fellow named Rumpelstiltskin who needs a blanket, he decides to overcome his fears and get a trim… After all, getting a new look is also taking a chance!
Sometimes, we can find ourselves in a risky situation against our will. This is what happens to a flock of doves in our fable, Strength In Unity, when they get trapped in a hunter’s net. Luckily, the king of the doves has a plan and some friends in town that can help. Dany Alvarez captures the feathery fun in her art.
For a real-life example of how taking chances can change the world, look no further than this month’s Amazing Adventure – Star Boy! The artist Veronica Carratello illustrated the tale of a boy called David who rejects a life in boring grey suburbia to follow his dreams of becoming a rock star. All the chances he took paid off in the end – and we hope you can hum a David Bowie song after reading his wonderful story!
Although taking chances can open us up to new experiences and help us grow as people, taking silly risks is not a good idea! That’s the lesson learned by the hero of the Irish folk tale Yellow Lily. A brash prince gambles against a giant and loses. He is made to do a series of seemingly impossible tasks in return, but luckily finds help from an unexpected source. Luminous art by Adam Pekalski makes this story into something special. We brought this story to life in our Storybox section and you can try to play Brandubh using the board on page 48!
We hope you always take your chances and go on to have some amazing adventures this summer! May our lovely folks in this issue inspire you to be brave, curious and most importantly, to have fun along the way! After all fun makes all journeys worth it!
See you all next month!