This is a very special issue! It’s our 7th Anniversary edition and that means we have published almost 700 stories so far and we have learned a lot over the years alongside our readers! We hope you have enjoyed every single issue and we promise to keep bringing the most amazing stories every month for a long time to come!
Birthdays make us think how far have come. So, this month we bring you an issue full of valuable life lessons! We often just associate learning with school – but sometimes we can get the most enduring lessons from stories! We really believe that things we learn from stories are extra-special and stay with us for life.
Storytime Issue 85 – Learning Life Lessons!
In ancient times, fables were written to teach us while we were entertained. They usually had a moral lesson to every tale and was often spelled out in the end line. Our fable for this month is a particular delight. Bryony Crane (a lovely coincidence to have an artist with an appropriately bird-themed name!) created a vibrant art for The Peacock’s Feathers, a tale about how the vain peacock obtained his gorgeous plumage. The lesson he learns is that his finery comes at a cost!
Our cover story, The Flying Viking, is a fun fantasy romp about a clever boy named Ragnar who finds himself stranded on a volcanic island. He comes up with an ingenious invention to escape – and with the help with his strong mum and a new friend, he learns that team work goes a long a way. Daisy Ingrosso did an incredible job of bringing this story to life with her art.
The Golden Blackbird is a classic fairy about a boy’s quest to cure his father by finding the legendary bird. On his journey he meets fantastic characters, including a porcelain princess and a talking fox, and learns that it is important to stay true to yourself and persist, even in the face of mistakes and hardships. Despite the tale’s fantastical setting, his experiences should resonate with all of us! The story is lovely on its own, but Laura Brenlla really added some extra magic – her puzzle image of the porcelain princess in the river surrounded by red carp is a particular standout!!
Our Storyteller’s Corner has a simple lesson to tell but equally important nevertheless! The Sun, the Moon and the Wind is a fun and fanciful tale about the importance of manners and respecting your parents. Rendering the Sun, the Moon and the Wind as characters would be a challenge for any artist, but Ilias Sounas manages it with aplomb – he really brings them to life!
This month’s real-life story is about the young Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists of all times. She faced many difficulties in her life to study and went on to change the world. Her determination and perseverance led her to make ground-breaking discoveries and change the world for the better, and we can all take inspiration from her achievements! Marie teaches us to never give up and to follow our ideals! The wonderful illustrations by Flavio Remontti really captures Marie and her upbringing in Poland in The Great Dance!
We can also learn a lesson about believing in our dreams from the Irish legend, The Dream of Oengus. The young prince of the title literally does that to win the heart of a fairy princess! Sara Ugolotti’s art complements the story’s dreamlike feel perfectly, evoking an imagined ancient Ireland. We can even hear the swan’s song on the final page – can you, as well? (Oh, and if you were wondering, the hero’s name can just be pronounced as ‘Angus’!)
When Life Gives You Apples is a bedtime story with a lesson about making the best of a difficult situation! We also learned that an apple “grumble” always makes everyone feel better so we are sharing the recipe on page 45. The always-amazing Giorgia Broseghini renders the story of the Seven Dwarfs dealing with a bumper apple harvest in vivid autumnal colours appropriate to the new season.
Lastly, we have a wonderfully positive story from Mali, titled The Happy Woman. Lwillys Tafur did a brilliant job rendering the colourful markets of the trading city of Timbuktu in Mali for this tale. It’s about an unhappy empress who sees a happy simple woman herding goats while carrying firewood and wearing a ragged shawl. The haughty ruler decides that it must be these possessions that make the lady so happy, so she buys them all! Of course, we all learn from this story that a positive attitude is much more important than acquiring even more possessions!
Oh, and mentioning the secrets of happiness – be sure to enter our competition this month and help us find what happiness really is! You can download our competition pack here and think about all the amazing tales we have shared with you and all the lessons we have learned together! We have a lot to celebrate this month and our 7th anniversary edition is our gift to our lovely readers! We hope you all feel happy and inspired after reading this issue as we did, creating it!
The Storytime Team