We often get asked why we launched Storytime. There’s more to it than loving stories (which we do) and rebelling against the practice of plonking plastic toys on kids’ magazine covers. So here are five reasons why we launched a monthly magazine with stories for kids.
1. Consumer Choice
As the parent representative in our small team, I was hugely frustrated by not being able to find a magazine that my daughter enjoyed. She discarded the heavily branded, pink, mainstream kids’ magazines within minutes, along with their poor-quality plastic gifts. Yet the artsy, high cover price magazines didn’t engage her either. While I salivated over their cool illustrations, she was off playing with Lego. This lack of choice got us thinking: could there be a middle ground – a kid’s magazine that was neither high end nor super-mainstream? Something different?
2. Bringing Back Stories to Magazines
Do you remember the mags of yesteryear, which had real actual short stories in them? Where did they go? Over the years, we’ve developed several magazines for kids and found that stories were often sidelined for ‘more educational content’. But aren’t stories educational? Don’t they teach us lessons about morality and emotion, and give us the gift of words and wonder? We think so and somewhere along the way we became wholly possessed by the need to bring back good old-fashioned stories for kids to the magazine world.
3. Reviving Lost Tales
We love fairy tales at Storytime HQ, but why are the same ones churned out again and again? Even the best publishers fall back on releasing new versions of old classics like Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk. They’re wonderful stories, and we would never omit them, but what about the hundreds of fairy tales and folk tales that aren’t commercial enough to make it into modern books? That’s what Storytime is for – to tell the lost and forgotten stories that never get told.
4. Making Memories
It’s important to us that we create things with good values, which make happy memories. We want to make the kind of product that somebody will look back on in years to come and fondly recall. “Do you remember that lovely magazine, Storytime?” Or “Oh, I used to love snuggling up with (insert name here) when they read Storytime to me.” That’s the kind of magazine we wanted to make.
5. Improving Literacy
Childhood literacy stats can be disheartening, so we’ve always hoped we can play a small part in assisting all those heroic educators in our schools. We’d also like to bridge the great book/magazine divide, because as far as reluctant readers are concerned – no need for snobbery – any reading is a good thing. The idea that a child might read our stories and be inspired to pick up a book is one of our primary motives. If we can help kids fall in love with reading, then our job is done.
So these are the five things that got us started and keep us going. I’ve kept it brief for our first blog, but I’m sure I’ll write about all of the above in more detail in future – so please check back for more insights into the world of stories for kids, children’s illustration, kids’ magazines and more.
Wishing you many happy Storytimes,