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Share A Story on World Storytelling Day!

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World Storytelling Day (20th March) is an annual global extravaganza that is dedicated to storytelling. So what better way is there to celebrate than to spend time sharing and listening to as many stories in as many languages and as places as possible?

Storytelling is a big part of our #ShareAStory campaign which encourages parents, carers, siblings and friends to read to one another. Spending just 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories with children can make a crucial difference to their outcome; plus it’s fantastically fun for everyone involved!

2019’s World Storytelling Day theme is  Myths, Legends, and Epics and to help you have a fantastic day filled with storytelling, we’ve put together a list of books about gods and goddesses, heroes, monsters and magical creatures! For even more reading inspiration, discover our recommendations for for all ages here

0-5

Zog and the Flying Doctors, by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, published by Macmillan

There’s much to do, as they fly around tending a sunburnt mermaid, a distressed unicorn and a sneezy lion. But should princesses really be doctors? Pearl’s uncle, the King, doesn’t think so – until he himself falls ill, and only Pearl knows how to cure him. This guaranteed bestseller from the creators of The Gruffalo and Stick Manshows Julia and Axel at their sparkling best.
 
Mini Myths: Good Job, Athena! by Joan Holub, illustrated by Leslie Patricelli, published by Abrams Appleseed
 
After Athena ties Arachne’s shoes for her, Arachne takes the credit for Athena’s hard work. But when their friends ask Arachne to teach them how to tie their shoes, Arachne must admit the truth. So Athena comes to the rescue and teaches everybody this important skill. All is forgiven, and the girls are friends again. Conceived and crafted by Greek-mythology expert Joan Holub and illustrated by the bestselling Leslie Patricelli, this book also includes a summary of the original Arachne myth.
 
There’s a Dragon in Your Book, by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott, published by Penguin

OH LOOK, there’s an EGG in your book!

But this isn’t any old egg – there’s a dragon in it . . . And pretty soon she has set your book ON FIRE. OH NO!

Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott have created a fantastically interactive sequel to their bestselling There’s a Monster in Your Book. Children will love stroking, poking and flapping the book to make magic happen as they turn the pages. Can they help Little Dragon find a way to stop the fire and fly off on her own adventure?

The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, by Helen Docherty, illustrated by Thomas Docherty, published by Alison Green Books

Leo the mouse isn’t like the other knights. While they like fighting, he’d rather read a book. Leo’s parents are keen to turn him into a proper knight, so they pack him off on a mission to tame a dragon. But Leo knows that books are mightier than swords, and he tames not just the dragon, but a troll and a griffin, too – by reading them stories. With its witty rhyming text and glorious, detailed illustrations, The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight is a joyful, magical picture book about the power of stories.

5-8

Unicorn Academy: Rosa and Crystal – Unicorn Academy: Where Magic Happens, by Julie Sykes, illustrated by Lucy Truman, published by Nosy Crow

Imagine a school where you meet your own unicorn and have amazing adventures together! That’s what happens for the girls at Unicorn Academy on beautiful Unicorn Island. Rosa is over the moon to be starting school at Unicorn Academy. She can’t wait to go on a big adventure with her amazing unicorn, Crystal. When the magical map stops working, Rosa is sure a secret trip to the glittering cavern holds the answer. But to find out, she and Crystal must learn how to work as a team – fast! 
 
East Lothian Folk Tales for Children, by Tim Porteus, published by The History Press Ltd
 
EAST LOTHIAN’s landscape has mysterious and intriguing stories sewn into it. This collection of tales has witches and wizards, magical creatures and eerie happenings. There are dragons, faeries, ghosts and selkies. You will be whispered secrets by an ancient tree, discover why the Skeleton Boy made his home in Hanging Rock Cave, and how a rat became more than just a rat. 
 
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, by Marcia Williams, published by Egmont

A comic-strip re-telling of some of Britain’s best-loved Arthurian stories and legends.

Aided by the magician Merlin, Arthur draws the sword from the stone to become King of Britain, and Lord of the Knights of the Round Table. Read of their valiant deeds as King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and other heroic knights rescue maidens, defend Excalibur and search for the Grail.

The Atlas of Monsters, by Sandra Lawrence, illustrated by Stuart Hill, published by Big Picture Press

One day a collection of very old maps in found in a dusty library. They show where in the world monsters from mythology and folklore can be found. According to the notes left with them they were made by Cornelius Walters, an intrepid explorer from the 15th century. But did Walters really make these elaborate maps, or is it all a hoax? The librarian who discovered them is not certain … and what are the strange messages in a cryptic code that Walters records in his ship’s log?

Inside this wonderous atlas are trolls and dragons, minotaurs and krackens, goblins and giants … and there is a puzzle to solve. 

Myths and Legends, by Sandra Lawrence, illustrated by Emma Trithart, published by 360 Degrees

Uncover mythical legends and legendary myths in this beautifully illustrated handbook of stories. Delve into different cultures and religions, meet powerful gods and brave heroes and travel on fabled quests from tales of old.

8-12

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, published by Puffin

Half boy. Half God. ALL Hero.

Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God.

I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive. This is the one where Zeus, God of the Sky, thinks I’ve stolen his lightning bolt – and making Zeus angry is a very bad idea.

Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths, by various authors, published by Usborne

A wonderful collection of six classic Greek myths and legends, specially retold for younger readers. Includes the stories of ‘The Wooden Horse’, ‘The Minotaur’ and ‘The Odyssey’, as well as a guide to the Greek Gods. Beautifully bound in padded hardback, and packed with information, colour and culture, this makes a thrilling read for any child.

 
How To Train Your Dragon, by Cressida  Cowell, published by Hachette

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is a smallish Viking with a longish name. Hiccup’s father is chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe which means Hiccup is the Hope and the Heir to the Hairy Hooligan throne – but most of the time Hiccup feels like a very ordinary boy, finding it hard to be a Hero.

In the first How to Train Your Dragon book Hiccup must lead ten novices in their initiation into the Hairy Hooligan Tribe. They have to train their dragons or be BANISHED from the tribe FOR EVER!

But what if Hiccup’s dragon resembles an ickle brown bunny with wings? And has NO TEETH? The Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus is stirring and wants to devour every Viking on the Isle of Berk . . .
Can Hiccup save the tribe – and become a Hero?

Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters, by Donna Jo Napoli, published by National Geographic Kids

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard Illustrated Edition, by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Chris Riddell, published by Bloomsbury 

Mischievous and witty, these five rollicking tales are a deeply satisfying read in the tradition of all great fables and fairytales. Kindnesses are rewarded and selfishness shown to be the ruin of many a wizard. Burping cauldrons, hairy hearts and cackling stumps are met along the way. Each of the tales is accompanied by a deliciously subversive and insightful commentary by Professor Albus Dumbledore, all brought vividly to life with Riddell’s trademark wit and elegance.
 
Much loved by generations of witches and wizards since they first appeared in the fifteenth century, this beautifully illustrated edition is set to become a firm favourite at bedtime in non-magical households the world over.

Beasts of Olympus, by Lucy Coats, published by Piccadilly Press

A boy is reunited with his long-lost father, the Greek god Pan, only to find himself taken to the kingdom of the gods.

What begins as just another ordinary day for Demon ends up being far from normal . . . because travelling on a rainbow to Mount Olympus is a bit odd for anyone, even if your dad is the Greek god Pan! When he arrives, Demon is in for a shock. The stables are full of mythical beasts like the flatulent Cattle of the Sun and a very grumpy Griffin. All Demon’s animal husbandry skills, polished on his mother’s farm on Earth, are going to be put to a rather exacting test as he tries to sort out the chaos and deal with the upset and concern of the gods. Can the stableboy help the Nemean lion that Heracles has hurt, and avoid incurring Hera’s wrath if he can’t heal her pet Hydra . . .
 

12+

A Thousand Nights, by E.K. Johnston, published by Macmillan

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife.

When Lo-Melkhiin – a formidable king – arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice – leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man.

But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king . . . if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it.

The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, published by Walker

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Demons. First in the New York Times No. 1 bestselling series that has swept the globe, City of Bones is also a major movie and Shadowhunters, the TV series based on the book, is currently airing on Netflix. Irresistibly drawn towards a group of demon hunters, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City and the dangers of forbidden love. 

 
Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower You, by Ann Shen, published by Chronicle Books

From the beloved author and artist behind Bad Girls Throughout History comes this lushly illustrated book of goddesses from around the world. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess whose love overcame mortality. Mazu, the Chinese deity who safely guides travellers home. Lakshmi, the Hindu provider of fortune and prosperity. These powerful deities and many more are celebrated in gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays that explore the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves. Ann Shen’s signature watercolors make Legendary Ladies a unique, gift-worthy homage to the mighty women within.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, published by Random House 
 
Overnight, the simple life of young farm boy, Eragon, is changed forever. After finding what appears to be a polished stone in the forest, a dragon is born and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic and power. 

With only a sword and the advice of an old storyteller to guide him, Eragon and the dragon must navigate dangerous terrain and battle the dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a evil king. Can Eragon become the next legendary Dragon Rider? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands… 

 
We’d love to hear what your favourite myths, legends and epics to share are, so tweet us @WorldBookDayUK and let us know!
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