Storytime Issue 66 Out Now!


If issue 66 of Storytime has a theme running through it, it is that actions have consequences! This is perhaps the most important lesson we must learn in life.

Storytime Issue 66 – Cause and Effect!

Of course, all stories are about consequences – when you get right down to it, what is a story but a sequence of actions and their results, happening one after the other? Some stories are particularly focused on teaching lessons on dealing with the repercussions of one’s actions (that’s what fables are all about!), but any story can serve as a springboard for a discussion. When discussing a story, why not ask your child about what might have happened if a character had taken a different course of action?

Elli gets a big shock when her enchantment wears off, in The Interrupted Wedding

Our first story, Annie McMarvellous, written by the talented Josette Reeves, with fun art by Rayanne Vieira, is about a young magician-in-training who disobeys instructions when practicing a new spell. This leads to the literal disappearance of her mother’s favourite rabbit, and Annie puts considerable effort into making things better again. She serves as a realistic role-model – she makes a mistake (as we all do!) but makes sure to put things right, albeit with unexpected consequences.

Vain Victor, a poem by Clifton Bingham, with art by Inês da Fonseca, is a more conventional fable-type tale: the titular character spends so much time preening in the mirror that he transforms into a peacock! This story could serve as a starting point for a discussion about focusing too much on appearances instead of accomplishments.

The Norwegian folk tale The Interrupted Wedding with brilliant art by Uliana Babenko, ties into this idea as well. When a young maiden receives a marriage proposal from her beau and a beautiful wedding is suddenly prepared, she feels something is wrong – and learns that she has been hoodwinked by the faerie folk called the huldrefolk. Needless to say, not everything is as it appears!

Barracuda Boy, masterfully illustrated by Guille Rancel, is Storytime’s first tale from the island nation of Vanuatu. When two brothers make a friend while swimming in the ocean, they invite him home – but after they feel jealousy about his skill with a bow and arrow, their resentment drives him away, where he transforms into a barracuda. Why not talk about how the brothers acted, and how they wish they would have acted differently at the end of the story?

Rumble-Mumble Goose Egg, brought to life by Louis Wiyono, is an epic story of action and adventure starring a tremendously strong hero with an appetite to match! In some ways this story asks us questions about what it would be like if a mighty hero actually existed – and how much trouble he would make for anyone he worked for! At first the king is pleased to have him at his beck and call – until the hero’s meal bill comes in, and the king is forced to try to get rid of him! Why not read this story and discuss what it might be like if superhuman heroes REALLY existed?.

Greek mythology’s most famous lovers Orpheus and Eurydice star in this classic tale of love lost, found, and lost again.

The Elephants and the Moon is an animal fable set in Africa, beautifully illustrated by Yvonne Campedel. There’s a drought on the Savannah, and the Elephants are hogging the only water-hole! Though this is an old story, it is perhaps more relevant than ever in this time where resources are becoming scarce. Why not have a talk about the consequences of the big and powerful claiming things for themselves, and where this leaves those who are less fortunate (and might not have a cunning hare to help out)?

Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the most powerful love stories of classical mythology, brought to life with stunning artwork courtesy of Valeria Abatzoglu. Orpheus journeys to the underworld to bring back his beloved, but when he disobeys the instructions of Hades, there are heart-breaking consequences. Why not discuss the points at which this tragic tale might have taken another turn?

Our latest Storyland instalment, Gretel and the Secret Cave, illustrated, as always, by the redoubtable Giorgia Broseghini, involves a hunt for a terrifying-sounding monster. Of course, not everything is as it seems, and when the ‘monster’ is found, it is an unexpected hero who saves the day, and the heroic princes are left looking a little foolish. Why not talk with your child about the assumptions the princes made, and how this affected their actions? What is the best way to avoid getting into this kind of situation?

That’s it for this month! I hope you and your little ones enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it! Be sure to share with us on social media – we’d love to hear your thoughts on our latest issue!

Storytime Issue 65 Out Now!


Happy New Year, everyone! To welcome in 2020 we have created an issue with something special for everyone – from fairy tale magic and ancient myths to a scientifically-plausible tale of modern-day space adventure! Be sure to let us know which of these stories are your favourites!

Inside Storytime Issue 65

Storytime would like to wish all our readers the very best for the new year – and what better way to celebrate the dawning of a new decade and think about the passage of time and the seasons than with the very season-centric tale The Twelve Months? The Twelve Months tells the tale of what happens when the personifications of the months of the year use their powers to help a poor Czech girl names Maruska, and illustrator Eugene Smolenceva really captures the magic of this classic story.

Meet Carys Williams – the best baker in Wales, who gets two magic wishes. What will she wish for?

We bring Wonderland whimsy to Storyland with the brand-new tale of The Fox and the White Rabbit. Giorgia Broseghini shows what happens when the White Rabbit is menaced by the cunning fox – who will win this battle of wits? This story has a particularly timely message about following one’s instincts and not trusting strangers!

The issue also features a good-natured poem from the perspective of a giant who has given up his child-devouring ways and now helps kids to have fun instead. The Sleepy Giant poem is brought to life by Brian Fitzgerald’s lovely illustrations.

What would happen if you got what you wish for? In The Fairy Borrowing, the artist Giovanni Abeille shows us what happened to a young Welsh girl when she receives wishes from the fairies who borrowed her pots and pans! A folk tale with a funny twist in the end that should make our young readers giggle.

Greed can make us do silly things! In The Wise Parrot, a girl owns a parrot that can apparently find gold – but when a greedy man tries to buy it, he discovers that some things are too good to be true! The colourful, fun illustrations are from the talented Chris Borges.

Storytime goes literally out of this world with our cover story, Mission to the Moon mixing cosmic adventure with scientific fact! It’s our little nod to the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. When Connor goes on a trip to the Space Centre, he couldn’t predict that it would lead to him being recruited by NASA for a very special mission of his own. Geraldine Rodriguez captures both the adventure and the scientific details with her wonderful art.

We are honoured to include a wonderful classic tale from none other than Oscar Wilde. Chiara Nocentini illustrates The Happy Prince, a heart-breaking tale of an unlikely friendship between a bird and a golden statue who is troubled by the sadness and suffering in the world.

Inanna and Ninshubur are pursued by seven deadly sea monsters in our Mesopotamian legend, The Queen of Everything

Finally we wrap up the first issue of 2020 with a myth that takes us all the way back to the birth of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia, with the thrilling story of the goddess Inanna. The Queen of Everything is a powerful story, with Alex Herrarias bringing the magic and monsters to life.

In Storytime Playbox, we give our readers a chance to test their reading comprehension and unleash their creativity! Look out for a new game in which players compete to see who can feed a giant the tastiest and most nutritious food! And don’t forget to check out Story Magic for new books that can take you and your child on new reading adventures.

See you all next month and keep reading!

Storytime Issue 64 Out Now!


We’ve created a special treat for you this holiday season: our snowiest issue ever! It’s the time of the year to curl up by the fire with your loved ones and share special stories, and you’re sure to love the tales in this month’s issue.

Inside Storytime Issue 64

Dashing through the snow! Jingle Bells is our festive rhyme.


Our first story takes us all the way to Antarctica, where perky Pim the Penguin suffers a chilly mishap but receives a colourful Christmas gift that makes things better. Pim and his pals look great in the cute and colourful art by the talented Luke Flowers.

There’s nothing like a traditional Christmas sing-along, and they don’t come much better than Jingle Bells. Read and sing this poem with others! Alisa Coburn’s illustrations bring new life to this family favourite.

The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs is yet another classic story, with gorgeous old-school artwork by Beatriz Mayumi. Of course, it also provides a gentle moral about the perils of greed and over-consumption that could make for an interesting topic for discussion at this particular time of the year.

We’ve also got a wild and wintry adventure story called The Little Girl and Father Frost. A brave little girl overcomes adversity to bring spring back to her town, and artist Carol Rempto does a fantastic job bringing it to life. Warning: may contain cute little bunnies!

The Elves and the Shoemaker is another classic story that taps into themes of generosity and kindness in the festive season. Illustrator Gemma Román certainly has a gift for drawing elves!

Is Skadi’s appetite for food bigger than her appetite for revenge?

In your family, is decorating the tree a treat, a chore, or somewhere in between? Whatever the answer, you’re sure to love The Tinsel Spiders, an original story about an old lady who gets help from an unexpected quarter. The story is rendered in lovely detail by the talented Tatiana Obukovich.

Artist Vanessa Morales brings some mythological magic to the season with Skadi the Ski Goddess. This fierce giantess has a vendetta against the Norse gods, but even her heart gets melted by a midwinter feast!

Magical Storyland is blessed with almost perpetual lovely weather, but this proves a problem when the inhabitants want to experience ice-skating, snowball fights, and other winter activities. In A Snowy Surprise, Giorgia Broseghini illustrates what happens when the Storylanders ask a witch to help them have some frosty fun…

Please don’t forget, that if you are looking for a gift that will keep giving all throughout the New Year, there’s nothing better than a whole year of stories! Each month you can give someone special a new issue, addressed to them in the post and packed with exciting and heartwarming stories, gorgeous artwork and fun games and puzzles. You can subscribe here.

Happy holidays and a very merry Christmas from the whole Storytime team!

Storytime Issue 63 Out Now!

Storytime Issue 63Brighten your November with all-new Storytime Issue 63, which features our gorgeous Masha and the Bear fairy tale on the cover!

This new issue is guaranteed to make you want to curl up together and lose yourself in the wonderful world of stories. We’ve filled it with a wide variety of stories from new fiction and poetry to classic fairy tales and adventures from around the world. Better still, it’s designed to help your kids find a passion for and confidence in reading.

Plus, as always, every story comes with ideas for activities to extend the fun and learning, including plenty of puzzles and creative challenges. You can also discover our recommendations for the best new picture books – and enter our competition to win copies here!

Before you do that, find out what you can look forward to in Storytime Issue 63 – we’re really proud of this issue.

Inside Storytime Issue 63

We hope little dinosaur fans enjoy our new poem The Doyouthinkhesaurus, which is illustrated by the amazing Momo. The star of our dinosaur poem has an incredible secret, but you’ll have to read it to find out what it is!

Storytime Issue 63

The Car that Went Far – an eco story for kids in Storytime Issue 63. Art by Gaby Zermeno.

A plucky electric car is the unexpected hero in The Car that Went Far. When his new owner brings him home, he gets a hostile reception from the petrol cars on the street. They don’t believe he can drive any great distance at all. Can he prove them wrong? This story is ideal for little environmental warriors. Thank you Gaby Zermeno, once again, for the bright and cheery illustrations.

Fans of King Arthur and Arthurian legends will enjoy our latest folk tale, which comes from Wales. A tale of greed, The Sleeping Knights features a hidden cave, secret treasure and Knights of the Round Table. Virginia Morelli has done a brilliant job of bringing Merlin to life, the wizard we never tire of seeing in Storytime.

Another issue means another Storyland Adventure. This time, in The Princess and the Pea Soup, Princess Meribel decides to turn the tables and test whether she has found a real prince. It only seems fair! As ever, Giorgia Broseghini’s wonderful art helps bring our new fairy-tale world to life.

Fairy tales remain one of our most popular sections in Storytime. As the issues progress, we get genuinely excited about sharing lesser-known (but still brilliant) tales with you. Masha and the Bear is a famous fairy tale from Russia. It inspired a popular TV series there, which you might have seen. Our version of this classic tale is beautifully illustrated by Gaia Bordicchia – her second cover for Storytime. She previously illustrated The Nutcracker – a great festive issue to add to a Christmas stocking. Incidentally, you can read an interview with Gaia here.

Thunder and Lightning is a really enjoyable myth from Africa. It explains the origins of our most extreme weather conditions. The lead characters are troublesome, noisy, destructive and probably get what they deserve. See what you think. Guilherme Franco created the energetic art for this story.

Storytime Issue 63

Our fable, The Animals and the Mirror, with art by Jean Galvao. Read it in Storytime Issue 63.

We also have a short but thought-provoking fable for you in The Animals and the Mirror. When wild animals see their reflections for the first time, it inspires feelings and doubts they have never experienced before. Is ignorance bliss? A great story to get a conversation started with great illustrations by artist and comic strip creator, Jean Galvao.

To close the issue, we whisk you away on The Magic Carpet for a spectacular story of sibling rivalry and adventure in the Middle East. What’s more valuable – the carpet of the title, a looking glass that can see whatever you wish for or a magical healing apple? Find out in this epic story, which returning illustator Raitan Ohi perfectly visualised for us.


We truly enjoyed putting this issue together for you. If you like the look of it, don’t forget that our December issue is just around the corner too. Subscribe now and you’ll get it in time to make a lasting and memorable Christmas gift. For now though, cosy up and make the most of your November issue!


Remember – reading together makes readers forever!

stories for kids

It’s Autumnal Storytime Issue 62

Storytime Issue 62Storytime Issue 62 will be popping into your postboxes this week, giving you the perfect excuse to curl up and indulge in the happiest of autumnal activities – reading! Yes, we’ve all squeezed the last drops out of summer. Now it’s time to wind down, embrace the darker nights and spend some quality time with stories. Music to our ears!

In this issue, we have a friendly mix of characters for you to meet, including a monster, dragon, elf, and mythical spider. Perfect to read with little ones at Halloween and beyond. Find out more about Storytime Issue 62 below.

Inside Storytime Issue 62

Firstly, our fable The Squabbling Siblings opens the issue. It’s a new take on Aesop’s fable, The Bundle of Sticks, and a great lesson in putting your differences aside to work as a team. Laura Proietti has done an excellent job of bringing our naughty puppies to life, which we hope will help children engage better.

Storytime Issue 62

Arachne shows off her weaving skills in Storytime Issue 62. Art by Gabi Tozati.

Long before Spiderman, there was Arachne the Spiderwoman from Greek mythology. In Storytime Issue 62, you can discover her story and find out how she gave her name to spiders. It’s a timely tale for a spidery Halloween, plus it comes with a message about not being boastful. Incidentally, we applaud Gabi Tozati’s art for this. It’s not easy illustrating someone who’s half-woman and half-spider!

Next up, we have an Around the World Tale from Brazil – How the Beetle Got Its Colourful Coat. When you start reading, you’ll think it’s another version of The Hare and the Tortoise. However, prepare for a clever surprise ending. Thank you Júnior Caramez for our bright and beautiful illustrations.

Our cover story is Monster Under the Bed, which has been expertly illustrated by Josh Cleland. If your child worries about the dark or unwelcome creatures hiding in their room, then this is the perfect story to allay their fears. What if the monster under the bed is scared of you – or even your pets? Find out what happens to our friendly monster in Storytime Issue 62. Warning! Reading this story will probably make you crave chocolate muffins.

Storytime Issue 62

A princess meets a jewel thief bunny in Storytime Issue 62’s fairy tale. Art by Vera Zatseya.

Back to the land of classic fairy tales – one of our most popular sections – and a special story from Portugal. The Princess’s Lost Rings is packed with many magical elements. It includes a princess with a precious collection, a jewel thief, a shape-shifting rabbit, a cursed prince, two forgetful storytellers and a donkey with backwards hooves. There’s so much to discuss after reading this story and there are fun things to do while you read it too. Vera Zatseya has created a stunning puzzle picture for you alongside her wonderful illustrations, so don’t miss it!

Continuing the fairy-tale theme, this issue’s Storyland Adventure follows Jack and Jill as they venture a bit further than up the hill. But, alas! They come face to face with a bad-tempered dragon. Giorgia Broseghini’s artwork for Jack and Jill and the Dragon is as lovely as ever and we hope you are enjoying this series.

We’re fully embracing autumn here in the UK. We love nothing better than collecting shiny conkers, splashing in puddles, admiring fiery leaf displays, and sitting around the fire pit with a warming stew. It might just be our favourite time of year, so Rachel Field’s poem Something Told the Wild Geese is the perfect accompaniment. It captures the changing seasons perfectly and is excellent to teach at KS2 level. In fact, you can download our teaching resource and lesson ideas for this poem here. Grab the issue and you can admire Shira Le’s illustrations too.

Finally, you can snuggle up in Storyteller’s Corner for a folk tale from Ireland. Billy and the Little Man is a tale of mischief, magic and marriage. Oh, and a lot of feasting too! Masha Klot has done a grand job of making the Little Man in question every bit as cheeky as he needs to be. Plus there are plenty of moments to make children laugh, question and cheer along with the action.


There are lots of activity ideas and free downloads to go with this issue, so check them out here. And, of course, we have our usual Playbox pages at the back of Storytime Issue 62 with puzzles, art challenges and a game. It’s learning to read… the fun way! But isn’t that how all learning should be?


Wishing you a very happy spooky season,

stories for kids

Storytime Issue 61 – Our 5th Birthday Issue!

Storytime Issue 61, 5th birthday issue, Swan lakePhew! Storytime Issue 61 is out this week, which means five years of Storytime! I think we start every birthday blog with a look of disbelief, so please forgive us if we’re being repetitive when we say we can’t quite believe it. Truthfully, we can’t. Being an independent publisher is challenging. Some might have given up and walked away. But we’re still here. Why? Because we believe in what we’re doing and we thought we’d share those beliefs with you.

Storytime’s Beliefs


• We believe kids deserve a wide variety of options to support their reading and we know magazines play an important role in facilitating that.

• We think kids and parents deserve magazines of much better quality than most of those on offer today. Magazines that inspire, excite and educate.

• Our team takes pride in giving kids access to a wide range of stories and poems and literacy-themed activities at an affordable price.

• As story-lovers, we are passionate about keeping stories alive that would otherwise be lost and forgotten.

• Like any responsible company, we believe in the importance of offering a planet-friendly, plastic-free magazine with no toys or tat on the cover.

We strive to deliver quality and beauty. This means nice thick paper so you can keep our magazine forever, gorgeous illustrations, and a lot of love poured into every page.

• Finally, we want to help children fall in love with reading and learn valuable lessons about the world around them through short stories and poetry.


This is what fires us up and has kept us going for the last five years. And it will keep us going for many more.

So, yes, it’s been tough at times. But it has also been our privilege to create Storytime for you and we are so grateful for your support. Here’s a big slice of imaginary birthday cake for you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.


Inside Storytime Issue 61

Storytime Issue 61, Swan Lake, 5th birthday issue


Our 5th birthday issue kicks off with a VIP visitor to Storytime’s pages and a funny new story in Paper Round with the Queen. Written by children’s author Eszter Molnar (visit her site) and brought to life by Simone Krüger’s illustrations, it’s a flight of fancy with a helicopter and a cool tandem bike thrown in for good measure.

Next, we travel to Canada and the indigenous Haida nation for our Around the World Tale, Raven Steals the Sun. Guilia Baratella’s bold illustrations show how clever raven brought the sun, the moon, the stars, fresh water and fire to the people when they were most in need.

This month’s Storyland Adventure is set in Beauty’s classroom, where she encounters a mysterious new pupil who refuses to reveal his name. Can Beauty’s brains combined with her magic mirror help her get to the bottom of this riddle? Giorgia Broseghini blew us away, yet again, with her illustrations for this new story.

Storytime Issue 61, Pirate Poodle, Pirate poem

The not-so-nefarious Pirate Poodle. A poem by Carolyn Wells in Storytime Issue 61. Art by Azbeen.

There’s a poem in every issue, and we hope kids will love our choice for Storytime Issue 61. The Pirate Poodle, as you can probably tell by its title, combines canines with adventures on the high seas – but it doesn’t turn out quite as you’d expect. Azbeen’s illustrations hit just the right pirate pooch tone for this poem by Carolyn Wells. We challenge you to learn a verse off by heart for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Thursday 19 September.

Swan Lake is Storytime Issue 61’s cover and fairy tale. Russian composer Tchaikovsky composed the music for this ballet, basing the story on old German folk tales. Now it’s come full circle (you could say pirouetted) into a story again in Storytime. If your child isn’t a ballet fan, never fear, there’s a healthy dose of royal torment, baddies and curses in this classic tale too. And it’s all dressed up in Letizia Rizzo’s fluid and flowing illustrations. If you’re an educator, please visit our Schools site to find out how to get hold of our free resource and activity pack.

In our Famous Fable, The Fox and the Grapes, you can discover where the expression ‘sour grapes’ comes from and what it means. We think you’ll love Martina Rotondo’s striking illustrations too. Such an elegant fox.

Storytime Issue 61, The Three Presents, Ludwig Beckstein, Fairytales for kids

The Three Presents by Ludwig Beckstein in Storytime Issue 61, with art by Barbara Bongini.

The Three Presents is adapted from a story by German author and fairy-tale collector, Ludwig Bechstein. In his day, he was more popular than the Brothers Grimm. It’s an unexpected rags-to-riches tale with an amusing ending. Barbara Bongini’s illustrations are perfect and we’re sure Ludwig would approve.

Storytime Issue 61 closes with a fabulous Irish tale. It’s about a legendary hidden world of fairies and the poet warrior lured there by magical beauty, Niamh of the Golden Hair. What happens when you return from a land where each year is equivalent to one hundred ‘real-world’ years? Find out in this story. Thank you David Navarro Arenas for the illustrations.

Competition Time!

To celebrate our 5th birthday, we close the issue with a special competition. We’re asking you (readers aged 3 to 9) to invent, draw and describe your dream superhero. We’ll pick our favourite and bring that superhero to life in a Storytime story next year! It’s a fantastic opportunity to unleash your creativity and potentially see your ideas in print.

Storytime Issue 61, Storytime Superhero Competition,

Find out more about the competition here and download a fabulous activity pack to help you get started.

Of course, in our opinion, the biggest superheroes of all are our Storytime readers.


Now let’s eat cake!

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Storytime Issue 60: Out Now!

Storytime Issue 60Need a mid-holiday pick-me-up to help you through the long summer break? Never fear, Storytime Issue 60 is here to occupy those “run out of stuff” moments or long journeys. Packed with an inspirational mix of stories, poetry, activities, puzzles and a game, it will keep your kids happily immersed and trigger their creativity too.

In this issue, we have a big bad wolf, a mysterious kelpie, rival siblings, a sun god, a daring girl gamer, a singing tortoise, a musical sea shell and Tom Thumb! Intrigued? Find out more about it and our talented contributors below.

Inside Storytime Issue 60

The perfect poem for summer – The Sea Shell by Amy Lowell plunges you into an ocean adventure with pirates, parrots and more! It’s a great and easy poem to learn off by heart. In particular, Coco Zool’s illustrations made our day.

Storytime Issue 60, African fable, Singing Tortoise

A tortoise teaches everyone a lesson in Storytime Issue 60’s African fable. Art by Maria Bazykina.

This issue’s Famous Fable has a timely environmental theme. The Singing Tortoise is a story from Africa with a simple warning about meddling with nature. Maria Bazykina’s illustrations bring it to life beautifully.

In Storytime Issue 60’s Storyland Adventure, Tom Thumb finds out that it’s not easy going on exciting breaks when you’re tiny. However, his best friends, Hansel and Pinocchio step in to surprise him. Giorgia Broseghini provides yet more fantastic illustrations for this series.

Flemish fairy tale Mr Wolf’s Candy House is our centre and cover story in Storytime Issue 60. It features a big bad wolf, a house made of sweets, two daring (and slightly cheeky) children and some rebel ducks! They seemed like perfect story ingredients to us and we hope you agree. What’s more we hope you love Davide Ortu’s illustrations as much as we do!

Storytime Issue 60, Level Up, Jenny Woods, Patrick Corrigan

A girl gamer takes on a monster challenge in Jenny Woods’ new story for Storytime Issue 60. Art by Patrick Corrigan.

We’re excited to bring you a new Tale from Today by a former journalist, experienced children’s fiction writer and sausage dog owner, Jenny Woods. Level Up sees a young girl gamer face a real-life quest to get to the top of a tower. The rewards are great, if only she dares! Many thanks to Patrick Corrigan for the perfect illustrations.

We have another fantastic Greek myth for you too – the story of Helios and Clytie. Helios is the fickle god of the sun and Clytie is the dolphin-riding sea nymph who loves him. Like many myths, the story lacks a happy ending, but it does explain how a particular flower came to be. Fascinating stuff – and it was great to work with Francesca de Luca again, who illustrated this for us. Teachers and home educators can pick up our free resource pack for this story by getting in touch here.

Have you heard of Scotland’s mysterious and troublesome kelpies? You can find out all about these watery wonders in our Storyteller’s Corner folk tale, illustrated by Forrest Burdett. This particular tale has magic and drama and, who knows… it might just be true! By the way, if you’re going to Scotland this summer, let us know if you spot a kelpie.

Finally, Giada Gatti has wonderfully illustrated a moral tale from Bangladesh called Clever Sister, Foolish Sister. This might just be the perfect story to whip out if you encounter sibling rivalry this summer as it’s all about sharing.


School’s out, but that doesn’t mean enjoying stories should be out too! Reading is something to be nurtured all year round – and reading together is a memory your kids will treasure forever. Also there’s something extra-special about reading together in the great outdoors – from the beach to the park – so get out there and enjoy it while you can! You might even come across a candy house in the woods or a singing tortoise in a quiet copse. Incidentally, you can get more suggestions for great places to read outdoors here.


Make it a Storytime summer!

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New Storytime Issue 59!

Storytime Issue 59, Kids magazine subscriptions, Androcles and the Lion

The sun is shining (at last) and Storytime Issue 59 is here to help keep your kids occupied on those long plane, train or car journeys. And if you’re enjoying a staycation instead, then you can let your imagination take a holiday by diving into our stories.

As ever, Storytime Issue 59 comes with seven fantastic stories – old and new – and a playful poem to introduce your child to verse. In them, you can travel to Ancient Rome, Armenia, Ireland, Denmark, the fairy-tale world of Storyland, and the depths of the ocean.

So pack your bags – we’re off on an adventure!

Inside Storytime Issue 59

Our cover story, which also leads the issue, is The Friendly Lion – a legend set in Ancient Rome, also known as Androcles and the Lion. We love Michel Verdu’s powerful but approachable lion illustrations. Do you remember wishing you could be best buddies with a big cat when you were a kid? This story should satisfy that need. (Incidentally, it comes with a great resource pack for teachers too – find out more here.)

Foxes play a big role in folklore all over the world and The Fox’s Tail is a funny tale from Armenia. With lots of cunning, charm and repetition, this is sure to become a new family favourite. Check out Natalia Vetrova’s colourful illustrations too.

Storytime Issue 59, magazine subscriptions for kids, Frog Prince

Can the sports-hating Frog Prince be persuaded to take part in Storyland Sports Day? Find out in Storytime Issue 59. Art by Giorgia Brosghini

In this issue’s Storyland Adventure, the residents are holding their first ever sports day. Unfortunately, frog-turned-prince Frederick isn’t keen to take part. Can he be persuaded? Princess Elinor gives it her best shot. Giorgia Broseghini gets a high-five for illustrating Cinderella running in high heels.

Another animal favourite makes an appearance in Storytime Issue 59’s poem. Watch out kids – it’s The Shark! Lord Alfred Douglas’s poem is funny, fearsome and features Mike Petrik’s bold and brilliant illustrations. However, don’t let it put you off going for a paddle in the sea!

Our Favourite Fairy Tale is Jack Makes the Princess Laugh, which originates from Ireland. It starts off like Jack and the Beanstalk and then whisks you away on an extraordinary adventure involving a waltzing mouse, a bopping beetle and a harp-playing bee. We hope it makes you want to dance. Thanks to Mona Meslier Menuau for the illustrations.

Storytime Issue 59’s fable is a lesson in not judging others by their appearance and the fierce and loyal love a parent has for its child. We should all stand up and be more like The Monkey Mother – and the wombat and robin who back her up. Patrycja Fabicka returns to Storytime to provide the insanely cute baby animals for this story. Baby animals!

We gave illustrator Henk Van Der Gugten a real challenge for Storytime Issue 59’s folktale when we asked him to draw invisible trolls! Rounds of applause because he has done a brilliant job for our story The Troll Hat from Denmark. It’s a tale of mischief, feasting and magic. You will love it!

Storytime Issue 50, superhero stories, magazine subscriptions, Pizza story

There’s mayhem in the playground when superhero Pizza Boy doesn’t get his daily fix of… pizza! Read his adventure in Storytime Issue 59. Art by Alice Risi.

For the grand finale, you can enjoy a big slice of silliness in our new story Pizza Boy. He claims that pizza gives him superpowers but his mum and dad aren’t convinced – and they cut off his supply. Will the alley cats take over? Will chaos reign in the playground? What will happen to his rodent sidekicks Pepe Roni and Margarita? You’ll have to read it and find out. Alice Risi did a super-powered job of the illustrations, so don’t miss them.


We’ve put lots of effort into making Storytime Issue 59 a real page-turner (and upcoming Storytime Issue 60 too) to ensure that kids stay engaged with reading while school’s out. Evidence shows that there is often a significant decline in reading levels, known as the ‘summer slump’ or ‘summer slide’, when kids return to school for the Autumn term.
We’d love to support parents and teachers in making sure that doesn’t happen. Just one Storytime story a day can make a huge difference! Give it a go this summer.


Let’s dump the slump,

stories for kids

P.S. If you didn’t subscribe in time to get Storytime Issue 59, you can pick up the back issue from our shop.

Storytime Issue 58 – Out Now!

Storytime Issue 58Storytime Issue 58 is out now and it’s an extra-magical edition! But first, our cover star is fairy-tale favourite, Little Billy Goat Gruff, who sets out to prove his heroism by discovering what’s inside Storyland’s spooky mystery shack. As in all good adventures, Little Billy uncovers more than he expected and learns a valuable lesson about bravery along the way. Regular illustrator Giorgia Broseghini created our cover and the artwork for this and all of our Storyland Adventures so far. They’re a real treat for fairy-tale fans.

What other magical treats are hiding inside Storytime Issue 58? Find out more here.

Inside Storytime Issue 58


Storytime Issue 58, Toy Story

Ekaterina Ledatko’s illustration for Too Many Toys – a modern toy story for Storytime Issue 58.

In our new story Too Many Toys (a Tale from Today), Mum wants to have a toy clear out, but Alice has other ideas… and it looks like the toys do too. Most parents will relate to this story and might even shed a tear. Ekaterina Ladatko’s illustrations melted our hearts a little bit and will probably do the same to you.

We’re excited to have Lucy Semple illustrating for Storytime again. This time, she has turned her hand to Edward Lear’s wonderful nonsense poem, Calico Pie. A combination of imagination and repetition, this is a fun poem to learn off by heart together. Give it a go.

In our Around the World Tale, The Kangaroo’s Pouch, children can enjoy an Aboriginal story about how this much-loved marsupial got its pouch. It’s a story about magic and kindness, made all the more special by Aurica Safiulina’s humorous illustrations.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Storytime Issue 58, kids magazine subscriptions

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for kids in Storytime Issue 58. Illustration by Alessandra Fusi.

There’s more magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the great William Shakespeare. We’ve taken his original play and turned it into a child-friendly fairy tale. Who can resist Bottom and Puck? We think Alessandra Fusi’s dreamy illustrations are the perfect match for this story and we hope you can read it on midsummer’s night. Who knows what might happen?

Teachers! If your school subscribes to Storytime, you can get a free bumper Midsummer Night’s Dream lesson resource pack to use with this story, which is packed with Shakespeare facts, puzzles, literacy activities and mini art projects. Visit our Storytime for Schools website to find out more.

Children can enjoy another animal story in our funny fable The Owl and the Echo, which reveals what happens when an owl gets carried a little away by its own vanity. Thank you to Alex Willmore for the illustrations.

If you’ve never heard of The Pooka, then our folk tale from Ireland is the perfect introduction to this mysterious creature. Begoña Fernandez Corbálan has imagined it brilliantly, but as nobody knows what they truly look like, her guess is as good as anybody’s! Why not have a go at drawing your own version of a pooka?

Our Persian tale Zal and the Magic Bird delivers Storytime Issue 58’s final dose of magic – and you won’t be disappointed. This wonderful bird, known as the Simurgh, lives atop a jewelled mountain in a castle surrounded by stars. Allegedly, it has golden feathers and all the wisdom in the world. It’s a gem of a story and Alessia Trunfio’s art truly does it justice.


With stories from Ancient Persia, Australia, Ireland, Aesop, Shakespeare, Lear and today, we’ve worked really heard to bring you a world of imagination and creativity in just 52 pages. As with every issue, we hope Storytime succeeds in sparking a life-long love of reading for your child and creates some happy memories too!

Have a magical midsummer,

stories for kids

Smart, Brave and Strong Fictional Role Models

fictional role models

Robin Hood – a smart, brave and strong fictional role model in Storytime Issue 57. Art by Mathieu Strale.

What kind of fictional role models do kids look for in stories? And do their parents look for the same thing? A recent survey by Scholastic (Our Diverse World) found that a huge amount of kids (36%) want to read about characters they want to be like because they are smart, brave or strong. Characters that face and overcome challenges came in a close second at 30%.

Fictional characters that are smart, brave or strong were even more popular with parents. 50% of those questioned wanted more characters like this in stories. Meanwhile, 47% desired characters that face and overcome a challenge.

So kids and parents are looking for the same fictional role models. They want characters that are tested and come out on top thanks to their own intelligence, courage and strength (inner or outer).

It sounds like our kind of stories. However, the truly exciting finding is that fiction like this isn’t just fun to read in the moment – the effect of reading about inspirational fictional characters is lasting. In the survey, 40% of children revealed they have learned a lesson from a fictional character. Incidentally, this is something we’ve known for a long time from talking to our readers.

So you could say that reading about inspirational, confident, problem-solving kids breeds a generation of… inspirational, confident, problem-solving kids. At the risk of sounding like a self-help manual, it turns out you can read yourself smart, brave and strong. That’s the undisputable power of stories!


Read Yourself Smart, Brave and Strong

With that in mind, we’ve selected some of our favourite Storytime stories with smart, brave or strong characters. These are the kind of fictional role models that can help you inspire your kids!



  1. There are a large number of fairy tales and stories from all over the world in which an underdog uses intelligence to outwit a baddie. Three Little Pigs (Storytime Issue 6) and Hansel and Gretel (Storytime Issue 13) are both classic examples. From further afield, the African tale How the Jackal Fooled the Lion (Storytime Issue 18), Wolf Lullaby (Storytime Issue 25) from the Caribbean and Romania’s Stan and the Dragon (Storytime Issue 55) all feature savvy characters overcoming the impossible.
  2. Being smart isn’t just about beating bad guys – it can improve your life too. As the Indian rags-to-riches story The Mouse Merchant (Storytime Issue 8) demonstrates. Or, in Puss in Boots (Storytime issue 18), a cat’s cunning transforms his owner from a pauper into a prince. Meanwhile, The Crow and the Pitcher (Storytime Issue 19) deploys its intelligence to save its own life.
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    Clever Amaradevi in Storytime Issue 44. Art by Lenny Wen.

  4. Then there are those clever characters who use their smarts to prove themselves and assert their place in the world. For example, in the Cambodian tale Clever Amaradevi (Storytime Issue 44), a princess proves her worth to her father with the help of some skilful engineering. In the Greek story, The Clever Queen, a queen does the same to her king. Finally, in Harry the Narwhal (Storytime Issue 48), Harry shows his bullying cousins just how quick-thinking and clever he is.



  1. Is there any better example of bravery (and kindness) than the classic fable The Lion and the Mouse (Storytime Issue 2)? There’s a reason this fable has endured – it speaks to children who have their own lions to face, and it brings hope.
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    Hero Momotaro the Peach Boy with art by Quang Phung Nguyen. Storytime Issue 26.

  3. Then there’s the straightforward brand of bravery – or is it bravado? In these tales a hero or heroine takes on and overcomes a monster. See giant-slaying Jack and the Beanstalk (Storytime Issue 5) and also Odysseus and the Cyclops (Storytime Issue 18). Plus there’s the unusual Japanese hero Momotaro the Peach Boy (Storytime Issue 26) and demon-battling Indian hero Rama in Rama and Sita (Storytime Issue 50). Oh, and look out for Little Billy Goat Brave in upcoming Storytime Issue 58. (And the original Billy Goats Gruff in Storyime Issue 10.)
  4. Let’s bring on the girls. Courageous and devoted friend Gerda saves her best friend in The Snow Queen (Storytime Issue 4). Molly Whuppie (Storytime Issue 54) whups a giant and the Ecuadorian heroine in The Magic Lake (Storytime Issue 55) saves a prince and her brothers after facing fierce animals.
  5. Lastly, we love the quietly, brilliantly brave character in Eszter Molnar’s story I Want to Be a Pencil Sharpener (Storytime Issue 35). She proves that not all acts of bravery involve wielding swords. Sometimes bravery is found in daring to be different.



    fictional role models

    Hercules slays the lion in Storytime Issue 24. Art by Ricardo Fernandez.

  1. Strong characters can sometimes feel a little one-dimensional. They need a good dose of bravery or a decent back story to make them interesting. Greek hero Hercules in Hercules and the Lion (Storytime Issue 24) has immense strength, but it’s what got him there that makes him engaging. Theseus was powerful enough to defeat the Minotaur, but it’s Princess Ariadne’s smarts that led him to success (Storytime Issue 12).
  2. Yes, St George and the Dragon (Storytime Issue 2) is a story of strength, but it’s also one of bravery and chivalry. Likewise Robin Hood, who has three appearances in Storytime (Issues 8, 38 and upcoming 58) is strong and skilled with a bow, but he’s also defiantly brave.
  3. In the Polynesian tale Maui Tames the Sun (Storytime Issue 48), Maui uses sheer force to stop the sun in its tracks. However, it’s bravery that got him there in the first place.
  4. kids magazine subscriptions, fictional role model

    Nana Miriam has smarts, bravery and strength in Storytime Issue 34. Art by Bruno Liance

  5. For a great combination of wit, bravery and strength, you can’t beat Nana Miriam and the Hippo (Storytime Issue 34). She actually flings a hippo into space!
  6. And let’s not forget inner strength. Cap o’ Rushes (Storytime Issue 57) demonstrates mental fortitude when her father forces her out of her home and she is forced to become a servant. Cinderella (Storytime Issue 2) also shows great resilience when she is bullied. There are many more fairy tales with similar themes of staying positive and hopeful in the face of adversity. A true display of strength.


That’s just a small selection of great fictional role models featured in Storytime. There are many more smart, brave and strong characters in our issues and we always hope to inspire our readers. You can pick up any of the issues mentioned above in our Storytime Back Issue Shop.

What kind of character speaks to you most? Smart, brave or strong? Most importantly, what kind of characters do you want your child to be inspired by in Storytime? We’re always ready to take on board your feedback, so let us know on any of our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram).

Until next time… be smart, brave and strong.

stories for kids