A Tribute to the Collection of the World's Best Children's Stories Published by Marshall Cavendish
Release date: 15.03.1983
Cover: on the cover of this splendid issue of ST there were 3 pictures: Beauty and the Beast, the Flying Piggy Bank and The Moon and the Mill Pond
The colour theme of this issue was purple and the meaning of purple is healing, quite fitting for an edition which spoke in several of its stories about people who were not ‘feeling well’ in one way or another.
Stories in this issue:
The music for this issue of ST was from a variety of composers but to my mind the best and most atmospheric pieces are to be found in The Beauty and the Beast – the principle composer was Richard Harvey and the pieces used were titled: Victorian Lullaby The Waiting Silence Night. The final piece used was Butcher Bouquets and composed by Laurie Johnson.
Those authors which contributed to this issue included: George Layton and Patricia Brake. Coincidentally George was the Narrator for the excellent children’s cartoon Pigeon street in 1981 and had a recurring role in Eastenders as Norman Simmonds in 2011/2012. Patricia Brake is best known for her role as Ingrid Fletcher in the BBC sitcom Porridge.
Issue 6 of Story Teller volume 1 was indeed a stalwart of the series. It heralded the second adventure of one of the best characters Story Teller ever produced: Timbertwig. In which Granny ends up with a hairy nose but it all pans out alright in the end.
The poem, The Land of the Bumbley Boo was complete nonsense but a lot of fun to read – thanks to Spike Milligan with his zany sense of humour for this now classic piece of poetry.
Beauty and the Beast was new to me at this stage and after listening to it left me with a strong Impression – one of heart and caring for others! The music was beautiful and haunting and stays with me to this day. An interesting point is that this story was originally written in French and when translated the young girl’s name (which is Beauty in the story) is actually Belle. Perhaps Disney was on to something when they chose to keep the name of origin. It has a certain ring to it – what do you think?
The Moon and the Mill pond gives us a fine example of Brer Rabbit’s adventures of which Uncle Remus is the principle contributor. In actual fact the author was called Joel Chandler Harris. His stories revolutionized literature in his process of writing them. I think we can be thankful for his efforts indeed and to Marshall Cavendish’s wisdom in choosing such a fine eclectic collection of stories as demonstrated in issue 6 of Story Teller.
Review by Graeme Johnston