What is best in life?
Legend tells us that the great Mongol warlord Genghis Khan asked his generals this question: ‘What is best in life?”
People have debated this question for a long time and have come up with no definitive answer! However, some scientists have suggested that the best and most fulfilling thing in life is to create something.
We here at Storytime Towers find it a joy to create a new and wonderful magazine for you each month, so we are inclined to agree! And as it happens, almost all of the stories in the latest issue of Storytime are about creating something amazing…
Our cover story, The Racer from Outer Space, is about three kids who team up to build a boxcar racer for a downhill derby race. Things take a sci-fi turn, though, when a UFO crashes into their barn and wricks their racer… can the alien pilot help them to rebuild it… or maybe give it a high-tech upgrade? This tale is about the joys of working with others, and we experienced this dynamic while developing the story. Artist Carlitos Pinheiro came up with some brilliant ideas for the design of the alien and his ship, as well as the other racers in the derby. We’re sure you will love them as much as we did.
For a story that is a bit more down to Earth (literally!), you must check out Building the Future! The fantastically named Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the greatest engineers and inventors of the nineteenth century, and if you live in the UK it is very possible that you have travelled through a tunnel, over a bridge or along a railway line that he built! He helped to make modern Britain with his creations, and this story is all about his incredible childhood. Buse Ustaoğlu combined historical research and great creativity to create the art.
This month’s bedtime story features an engineering marvel with a fairy tale twist. When the Billy Goats Gruff go to the seaside, they decide to build the biggest castle EVER! Guess who turns up to help? You’ll love the fun and characterful art of The Billy Goats’ Sandcastle, courtesy of the inestimable Jesga Machado.
The Cuttlefish’s Love Story is a classic tale by Baroness D’Orczy, an exiled Hungarian aristocrat who also created the dashing master of disguise known the Scarlet Pimpernel! This imaginative story is about a tentacled mollusc called a cuttlefish. He composes a beautiful underwater symphony so he can be near the mermaid he loves. This story is unique, and we needed a unique artist to illustrate it! Sara Gaiaudi was the ideal choice, as she is amazingly good and LOVES the undersea world. She really brought this tale to life.
Our latest fairy tale is a version of the tale of a distinct Italian flavour, which is only fitting as the title character in Petrosinela is named after parsley! When she is kidnapped by an ogress and imprisoned, her mother makes a garden of parsley in her memory – remember, planting a vibrant garden can be an act of creativity, too! Giulia Lutri’s vision of what the characters look like are eye-catching and original, and will linger in your imagination.
We have featured previously stories of Anansi, the trickster spider-god found in many African tales in previous issues of Storytime. What does the tricky spider make in Anansi Gets Hungry!? A meal – out of dozens of gullible fish! We’re sure you will love this story, especially as it features vibrant African-influenced art from amazing Ani Manzanas!
The Three Dolls is a fable about something very near and dear to our hearts: storytelling! A king is challenged to find out the difference between three identical dolls. A wise man and a fool fail to figure out the difference, so a storyteller has to come up with the answer. The character design and Indian-influenced costuming in Blanca Martinez’s illustrations are a feast for the eyes and make this tale a treat.
Well, not all of the stories this month are about creating something! Thor Goes Fishing is a Norse myth with a self-explanatory title, but that doesn’t make it any less fun! Rafael Gandine captures the fun and the action of this legend which includes Thor hooking a massive sea serpent that encircles the entire world!
Do you think that creating something is the best thing in life, and what is the best thing you have ever created? Let us know!