A Tribute to the Collection of the World's Best Children's Stories Published by Marshall Cavendish
What is Story Teller?
Story Teller is a collection of children’s stories and poems released as a partwork by Marshall Cavendish in the 80s. Think of a partwork as a book released in instalments. Each “instalment” consisted of a full-colour, 32-page magazine and a 45 to 50-minute cassette tape.
When was it published ?
The original Story Teller series (now commonly referred to as Story Teller 1) was released in 1983. Story Teller 2 was launched the following year, and Little Story Teller was published in 1985. Three Christmas edtions were published over these three years. The last Story Teller title was published in 1986, a little known collection of songs called the Story Teller Song Book.
How many issues were published?
There were three series of Story Teller (1, 2 and Little). Each series had 26 issues (although Part 26 of the first series also contained a “free” preview issue of the second series). In addition, three bumper Christmas issues and one song book were published.
Were CD versions of the tapes ever made?
Only cassette tapes were released in the UK. However, I have heard that the Greek, French, Afrikaan, and Italian editions of Story Teller have been released on CD.
Does Marshall Cavendish have plans to re-release Story Teller in the near future?
Marshall Cavendish sold the rights to Eaglemoss in 2008. Members of the Story Teller Facebook Group have emailed both Marshall Cavendish and Eaglemoss to campaign for Story Teller’s return. The latest statement from Eaglemoss is that they know how popular the series is and it is in their “maybe” list of partworks to publish in the future. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to convince Eaglemoss that Story Teller deserves to be republished! You can also post a comment on the official Eaglemoss Facebook page.
Was Story Teller published in different languages?
Indeed it was. Story Teller was published in Spanish, Dutch, French, Afrikaan, Italian, Greek, Russian and probably other languages. In Australia and New Zealand, the series was published as Story Time (not to be confused with Disney’s Storytime which was a similar collection published around the same time). The UK edition was also sold in other countries including Ireland, Malaysia and South Africa.
How successful was Story Teller?
I do not know what circulation figures Story Teller had when it was published but we can fairly assume that it was a big success because it was originally intended to run for just one series but eventually run for two more because it was so popular. According to Peet Ellison (writer and illustrator of Timbertwig), Marshall Cavendish even organised a lavish party attended by the writers, illustrators, and readers to celebrate Story Teller’s success. It was no wonder that other publishers released similar partworks to ride on the Story Teller mania, including Once Upon a Time from Fabbri and Storytime from Disney.
Where can I get copies of Story Teller?
Even though Story Teller is more than 20 years old, it’s still surprisingly easy to acquire copies or even complete sets if you know where to look and have the money to spend! Car boot sales and charity shops are always worth trying especially if you’re after complete collections. There are always auctions on eBay for individual issues as well as full sets. You would normally expect to pay around £80 for a complete set of Story Teller 1, for example. I have seen a copy of Christmas Story Teller 3 in good condition going for £100! Partworks.co.uk is a good website if you’re looking for specific issues – but the postage charges are quite high.