by Juan Manuel Cobos Gago
I was introduced to Cuenta Cuentos in 1983 when my father returned home one day with magazine and cassette number 5. The first story I heard was Timbertwig (Palitroque in the Spanish version) and thus began my love story with this collection, which still goes on today. I was only four years old and I did not even know how to read yet, but one of the reasons I tried harder to learn was to be able to read these stories by myself.
Over the following months I collected the rest of the collection, and I met and loved more characters such as Gobbolino, Grogre, Jester Minute and many others. They made my childhood a little happier. As I grew older, I never forgot these beloved stories. Years later, I read them again and I remembered those happy years of my childhood: they were still my stories, they were still my beloved characters … there was still magic.
I have kept all 39 issues published in Spain. I no longer have the cassettes, but I still sometimes listen to the audio on the internet and I enjoy them as much as I did in 1983 when my father bought me my first issue. I am happy that this website has allowed me to collaborate and share my memories with other fans of these unforgettable stories.
I will never forget Cuenta Cuentos/Story Teller. I hope that future generations will read and listen to the stories, because surely they will enjoy and love them as much as I did.
Following the huge success of Story Teller in UK, the Spanish publisher Salvat acquired the rights for the Spanish edition, Cuenta Cuentos. The first issue came out in March 1983.
The collection had the same format as the British edition but, unfortunately, it was incomplete because only 39 parts were published. The final 13 parts and the Christmas specials were not released, depriving Spanish children of classics like Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, among many others. Part 39 was published in 1984.
The collection was re-edited in 1986 with a different format, reducing the number of pages in each magazine by half and shortening the duration of the cassettes. Sixty-five parts of this new format were published, although the stories were exactly the same as in the previous version. The covers were different, however (as seen below).
Personally, I think Cuenta Cuentos was quite successful in Spain, and it will always be a mystery to me as to why the collection was incomplete. Perhaps the editors expected even better sales? Unfortunately I have not found any information on the internet.
The TV Advert
Here was the TV advert of Cuenta Cuentos:
For Cuenta Cuentos, some of the most famous voice actors in Spain were hired, including Constantino Romero, who died a few years ago and who was a celebrity in Spain. He was a famous television personality and he also worked in the theatre. Another example of a celebrity who read for Cuenta Cuentos was Marta Martorell, a veteran voice actress whose distinctiveic voice has appeared in many movies and TV series in Spain.
UK vs Spanish Edition
The main difference between the two editions is, as I have said, that the Spanish version only had 39 issues instead of 52.
Apart from this, Spain’s Cuenta Cuentos is almost identical to the British Story Teller, but I have found three important differences:
The magnificent short poems of the UK edition were replaced in Spain by beautiful songs performed by Rosa León, a singer famous at the time and who will always be remembered for these children’s songs. These were three of them:
In magazine 12, the story The Mighty Prince was not included in the Spanish edition. In its place was published a story called El cóndor de fuego (The Fire Condor) whose main theme was human greed.
In magazine 27 (which is the equivalent of Story Teller 2 Part 1) three good stories, The Creatures with Beautiful Eyes, The Circus Animals’ Strike and Yushkin the Watchmaker, were not published. These were replaced by Snow White and Aladdin and his Magic Lamp which in the UK were published in Christmas Story Teller 1. I do not know why, although I guess that since the Christmas specials were not published in Spain, the editors wanted to include these two very famous stories in somewhere in the series. Unfortunately, because of this we lost the three wonderful stories mentioned above.
Finally, here is the goodbye message from the editors published on the back page of the last issue: