Storytime Issue 91 Out Now!


We live in challenging times, when it can be tempting to be selfish. However, we humans are at our best when we take care of ourselves, others, and the world around us. The latest issue of Storytime is all about characters who care in different ways and make the world a better place for that reason!


Storytime Issue 91 – The Importance of Caring


The Water of Life features three siblings who work together to build a beautiful house for their mother… and then go on a quest to find the magical Tree of Beauty, the Water of Life and the Talking Bird to build her a garden. The two brothers and sister realise what can be accomplished if we work together and support each other. We are honoured that Vera Zaytseva provided the art for this story, as her illustrations really add to the magic!


The Queen Bee is a similarly fantastic tale starring a young prince who sets out to rescue a princess who was turned to stone. To free her he must complete seemingly impossible tasks or be turned to stone himself. Luckily, he had previously been kind and cared for a few creatures on the way there, who in return will help him in his quest. This tale, featuring art by the amazing Rita Rosa Del Sorbo, reminds us that good deeds are often rewarded in unexpected ways.


Boys and girls alike are sure to love the story of The Sea Monster of the Oki Islands. When her father his exiled, young and brave Tokoyo sets out to fin him because she misses her dad. But when she discovers that the people of the Oki Islands are menaced by a monstrous crab, she decides to fight it in order to help them. She triumphs – and wins her father back. The vibrant illustrations were commissioned to the amazing Olga Surina, who captured the setting of medieval Japan brilliantly.


One of the most significant ways that we can care for ourselves and others, of course, is by taking care of our environment. This makes sense, as it affects us all! There have certainly been a lot of stories set after an apocalyptic disaster – but we have been thinking about how to create a ‘positive’ future instead for some time… what if we cared for the world now, and managed to build up a better future?

The result is The Sky Riders, which is set in a future eco-friendly community after rising sea levels have flooded much of the world. We had great fun imagining what life on fictional ‘Novagaia Island’ might be like, and Michel Verdu did an exceptional job capturing life in an environmentally-conscious community. We hope you enjoy the adventure of our young heroes saving the wind-turbines from a storm!


This month’s fable has a similar theme of caring for the environment that cares for us. In Planting the Seeds, the greedy fox chews up the cores of the apples he eats, while the conscientious squirrel plants them – and reaps the rewards. Quynh Rua’s portrayals of the animals in this story are quite exceptional – check them out!


Another nature-centric tale is our myth this month, The Song of the Wind, which comes all the way from Finland. It is about Vanemuine, the god of song, and how he created a lovely tune that echoes through the forests of his homeland to this day. By listening to the sounds of nature, we can appreciate its beauty – and Cleonique Hilsaca’s unique and gorgeous art brings it to life. Have you cared to listen to all the beautiful sounds around us? Our game in this issue will also help you to pay attention to these sounds and guess them all!


Sometimes, though, we must care for ourselves and stay true to our nature. Francesca Vitolo has a flair for fashion in her work, so it was only natural that we would approach her to illustrate The Little Tailor Girl. It’s the story of a little girl named Gabrielle … who would grow up to be known as ‘Coco Chanel’. Despite her challenging childhood, she believed in herself, and made the world a more beautiful place in the process!


Of course, we couldn’t forget the importance of caring for those who do so much for us! Master illustrator Giorgia Broseghini provided the art for this month’s bedtime story, in which Aladdin thanks his best friend for everything he does. Genie Appreciation Day should inspire all of us to take care of those special people in our lives… who would you like to show appreciation for?


And we finish on a note celebrating the International Women’s Day because this issue is also full of amazing women who challenged conventions, conquered their fears and helped others. So here is to them all, the amazing little girls out there – and to a world full of kindness! It’s very special issue indeed!


Happy Reading!


The Storytime team