Storytime Issue 23 has landed – and it’s a pretty special issue because we got permission from the kind folk at the Roald Dahl estate to join in their celebrations for the new Steven Spielberg BFG film. You can read an extract of The BFG in Storytime in our Brilliant Books section.
I was a little unsure about including The BFG in Storytime at first – not because it isn’t fantastic, but because it feels like one of those books that everyone in the world has already read. I’m glad I ignored that niggle because not only do we have a wonderfully striking Quentin Blake cover to be proud of, I’ve had loads of comments and messages from readers who are dashing to libraries and book shops to get hold of copies for their 3/4/5/6-year-olds, desperate to find out what happens next. (You could also enter our competition to win a bumper Roald Dahl book bundle, of course!)
Job done! That was entirely our intention when we decided to include a Brilliant Books section in Storytime. In fact, there were three things we set out to achieve:
- Introduce kids to literary classics in a new and accessible way. Research has shown that reluctant readers are more likely to read magazines than books, so what better way to engage them with classics like The Wind in the Willows, illustration on the right is by Birgitta Sif, (Issue 3) and Treasure Island (Issue 7)?
- Put a new spin on these classics with fresh and exciting new artwork. From Christine Knopp’s exquisite take on The Jungle Book (Issue 5) to Miriam Bos’s utterly charming Bambi (Issue 18), we hope we’ve done that successfully. And, in cases like The BFG and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Issue 13), where the wishes of the estate need to be respected, we’ve adapted the original artwork to work in a magazine format.
- Inspire readers and parents to read the rest of the book – either by entering our competitions, grabbing it from the library or buying it from a local bookshop. You can never read enough books and we’ll always be passionate supporters of reading in any form. Even reading the back of a packet of crisps!
Over 23 issues so far, we’ve featured everything from The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Issue 12) and The Wizard of Oz (Issue 2) to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Issue 16) and The Secret Garden (Issue 10). With future classics being released on an almost monthly basis, it’s important that these wonderful stories aren’t forgotten.
The BFG in Storytime is the icing on the cake for us and we hope you love our striking Quentin Blake cover – not just that, but all the stories and fabulous illustrations in our latest issue. More thoughts on those in future blogs.
For now, have a hopscotchy week!