It is a rare privilege to work on a project that you love – and all of us on the Storytime team are very proud of the magazine we have created. As we’ve just celebrated our seventh birthday, we thought it was time to look back through our journey from small independent publication to one of the largest children’s magazines in the country. In our humble and not-at-all-biased opinion – these are the top ten reasons why we think Storytime is one of the most special children’s magazines in the world. We hope you agree!
1. You’re in Good Company
Storytime is now one of the biggest children’s magazines in the UK, read and enjoyed by tens of thousands of children, parents and teachers, in over 60 countries and counting.
We also have international versions of the magazine, having most recently launched in China, with two more new versions imminent.
We’re truly honoured that what has begun as a labour of love from a small office in London is now a global success, and for that we must thank each and every one of our wonderful readers who has been part of our journey.
2. A Rich Variety of Stories
We’re proud that Storytime has something for everyone. Longer myths and fairy tales for kids who love getting stuck into an adventure, shorter tales that are just right for reluctant readers, and even two-page mini stories that are perfect for bedtime.
Whether kids are into dragons or space, animals or princesses, mermaids or pirates, they’ll find something they enjoy in our pages and hopefully discover something new as well. We take a lot of care to research tales from all eras of history, from the four corners of the globe, and we welcome a wealth of creative collaborators and new talent in every issue. The result is the most fun, fantastic and diverse selection of stories you will ever see!
3. Celebrating Diversity
Around the World Tales is consistently the most popular section in Storytime. We love to celebrate different cultures and countries through our stories and illustrations – and so do our readers. It’s important that whatever a child’s background they see themselves represented in our stories and know that they can be anything they want to be.
As publishers, we feel that we have a responsibility to showcase diversity and acceptance. Stories help us to build bridges and break down barriers. They introduce us to different cultures, places, and points of view. Every time a child sees someone like themselves in our story or learns how to look at things from someone else’s point of view, we are taking a step towards a kinder, fairer world.
4. Proudly Plastic Free
We’ve been proudly plastic-free since the very beginning. We recall that before we launched Storytime, several large companies in our industry strongly advised us that we needed plastic toys to sell magazines, but we wanted the quality of content to shine through instead. We know that our readers take their environmental responsibilities very seriously – and we do too!
We post our copies in paper envelopes and compostable bags, we print our magazine on recycled paper and are 100% committed to help and spread ideas on how we can all be more green! Download our Love Your Planet eco-pack here.
5. We Support the National Curriculum
Storytime supports the National Curriculum for Reading, Writing and Comprehension. We create a special teaching resource pack to accompany each issue of Storytime that is filled with lesson ideas, comprehension exercises, a glossary and activities that complement what kids are learning in school.
It’s not just literacy – we cover many topics from the KS1 and KS2 curriculum – from history and geography to maths and science. In particular our real-life stories section introduces children to people such as Ada Lovelace, Charles Darwin or Mary Anning. Our stories are a great way to introduce many of the subjects covered in the UK curriculum and the extra activities will help teachers and parents to take them further.
6. Social Enterprise
Storytime is a social enterprise, which means that money we make goes back into our work supporting reluctant readers. We work with schools, councils and other organisations to get Storytime into the hands of as many families as possible, to improve the literacy of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and to ultimately to improve the prospects and attainment of these children.
A recent project, in collaboration with the British Academy and Queen Mary University London was a magazine series called We Are Heroes, using myths and legends as parallels to lockdown experiences children might be going through. It reached tens of thousands of children across the UK and the feedback was truly overwhelming
7. Improving Literacy
We know from surveying our readers that the work we are doing to get Storytime into the hands of reluctant readers really pays off. After a year of receiving Storytime 77% of children are reading for longer and 83% are enjoying reading more (Storytime April 2021 survey).
Since the first lockdown we’ve worked with organisations across the UK to post out tens of thousands of extra copies of Storytime, to families who needed additional support, particularly where there was limited digital access. The magazine format works brilliantly where parents or children may find a book intimidating, and this ‘missed time’ out of school is critical for a child’s future development. Children who are read to from a young age start school with a significantly greater vocabulary compared to their peers.
8. Quality and Value for Money
We firmly believe that we deliver a top-quality magazine and are determined to give our readers great value for money. Every month we bring you 52 pages full of awesome stories and beautiful illustrations on high quality paper that lasts so you can go back to a favourite story time and time again. We collaborate with a wonderful team to create original content and stunning art and strive to make Storytime the best magazine possible.
With every issue, we also reward our readers with free downloads, book reviews, competitions, bonus activities, learning resources and much more. Each issue will keep you busy for the whole month, just in time for a new one to come through your letterbox!
9. Enjoy Storytime Any Way You Like
Many of our readers LOVE the thrill of opening a colourful envelope and exploring a newly printed issue – we do too!
But with our online Storytime Hub, you can enjoy our stories in new ways. Over 700 stories, every tale we have ever published, can be accessed online, anytime you want. We even have audio versions of them all, which are perfect for reluctant readers, children with English as an additional language – or simply for drifting off at bedtime before children dream about their own adventures!
10. Making Memories
We truly believe that there’s no greater joy than getting lost in a good story. We hope that in years to come, our readers will have fond memories of the story times they shared – whether they be at bedtime with their parents or storytelling in the classroom.
And maybe, just maybe, in years to come, they’ll pass on a love of stories to their own children – and they will curl up together with a copy of Storytime too!
Happy story time everyone!
The Storytime team