Friday, 11 September 2015

Flashback Friday: Story Teller (and Little Story Teller)

Here we go 'round the mountain
singing our very own song.
When we're on our way
we shout "hooray!"
With a rat-a-tat-tat and a bing bang bong.

Doris and Morris, those adorable little magic hamsters ... Gobbilino ... Timbertwig ... My Naughty Little Sister ... Aldo in Arcadia and Digby.  
Mulit-coloured cassettes ... boxes ... binders...colourful magazines full of stories, puzzles and things to make and do.
  ..... Happy Happy memories.

I guess I'd better go back to the beginning for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about.  Back in 1983 Marshall Cavendish had a great idea, to release a fortnightly part-work magazine which contained stories, rhymes and activities all accompanied by a tape.  I have fond, yet hazy, memories of this series.

In all this was probably one of the biggest part-works published, there were three series of Story Teller (1, 2 and Little). Each series had 26 issues as well as three bumper Christmas issues (I can almost start playing these ones now with 15 weeks to go) and one song book.

image courtesy of
I distinctly remember having Little Story Teller issue 2 which would have been released around 1985 - I can hear My Naughty Little Sister - The Unexpected visitor being played in my head as if it was yesterday and the illustrations that accompanied it.  I remember The Naughty Paintbrush from issue 10, that story was fantastic.  But for some reason I didn't have the tape boxes for Little Story Teller, I had the red box from the older children's set Story Teller.

Picture courtesy of Antonio, Facebook Group admin

Most of the stories were narrated by people who have gone onto make household names for themselves, how many of them do you recognise?

Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat read by Sheila Hancock

The Hare and the Tortoise read by Bernard Cribbins
The Elves & the Shoemaker read by Brian Blessed
Sleeping Beauty read by Joanna Lumley
The Mighty Prince read by Una Stubbs
Drummerboy Races for his Life read by George Layton
Warrior Girl read by Floella Benjamin
Anansi and the Fancy Dress Party read by Tom Baker
Pinocchio read by Ian Lavender

and many many more

I was really lucky a couple of years ago to obtain the digital set of Story Teller and Little Story Teller which had all the mp3's for the stories and pdf's of the magazines, me and the boys love to curl up in the evenings to listen and read along, or they go to bed listening to the stories.  Unfortunately the distribution of this dried up due to copyright laws, please don't ask me to send it to you.

Of course we have fairy tales and Gobbolino in their own books, but it's just not the same:)  I really wish I had the real magazines so we could curl up instead of sitting around a computer or tablet, but when they are fetching £50+ a set I don't think it'll happen any time soon, I am of course keeping eyes open in charity shops in the hope someone may part with them and they won't realise their worth.

Marshall Cavendish have sold the part-work to Eaglemoss and there's a campaign for them to re-release the fortnightly magazines with CD's ........ it's 30 years later and there's no sign of it occurring yet but we can hope.

 If you are on Facebook please join the fantastic Storyteller group, without them this memory would have remained just that.

You may also want to pay a visit to The Magical World of Story Teller for more information on the series.

There are many many of the stories and magazines on YouTube if you want to check any of them out, my boys love to put this on the TV app when they can't listen to the CD's.

You remember I said The Naughty Paintbrush was one of my favourites, watch it and all the other greatness of Issue 10 here.

**ping** - wonder what that noise is during this video?  That's your cue to turn the magazine page :)

Do you have fond memories of this or another childhood collection?  Please share your memories.

*Thank you to the Facebook group for giving me permission to use their images.

1 comment:

  1. Omg, I finally remembered the story teller, I couldn't for years and desperately wanted my daughter to experience it but 18 years later, I'm sat on the bed with my five year old boy and ping! It came to me, I'm so glad that there are others who remember those lovely story's and to find out they are on you tube is a dream come true, thank you