30 exciting, magical and inspiring short stories for children aged 7 and over, including grown-ups.
Imagine being the tooth fairy for a night, because the real one has to attend a first aid course! Or facing the Dragon King in China. What if you discovered a portal under an old tree, or met your future self?
I played Christmas carols while I wrote, recalling reading ‘T’was the night before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore to my children in front of the sparkling Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.
I loved lifting the magical atmosphere of Christmas Eve for them. What a great poem. Inspired by that memory, I wanted to create a modern version. A story that almost smelt of pine needles and excitement, stars and magic.
The Easter Bunny is fabled, but to my knowledge the magic has not been explained.
I adore the magical household times such as Easter, Christmas and even the Tooth Fairy. I like them even more now I am almost a grown up. I think the art of growing up is never to quite grow up fully: Always save just a pinch of childhood so the magic can stay alive!
How fun it would be to watch all of the delivery rabbits gathered together in the Great Hall on the eve of Easter egg delivery. Surely there are thousands – that’s the rabbit way!
But how do they deliver? I hope you liked my answer.
There are new myths and legends, science fiction stories, gentle fantasy worlds, some more Magic Soup stories, the chance to be Cleopatra, meet Confucius, aliens and even save a whale!
I listened to recordings of reed pipe music as I typed, imagining the trees and the lake with the fish who enjoyed the effect of Noah’s music. The original version of this story was similar to The Challenge of the Feather, but my editor suggested I try making it different. Thanks India – this story is better now.
I researched North American myths, and the raven appears as one of the most common and powerful god spirits. I was also attracted to the idea that in traditional stories it is a trickster.
The idea that this story could explain bird song gave me a good ending to the attempt by the raven to steal Noah’s beautiful music.
There is also a moral to this story: When the raven tries to sing, he finds it is not tuneful. Noah explains that this is an accurate reflection of the raven’s spirit, implying justice for the raven’s attempt to take the music all for himself while pretending to be seeking it to share with others.
The artifact at the heart of this story exists, just as I describe it. It was found in 1929 in Gaza as part of the Harvard University Fine Arts Expedition.
I began the story with the vision of a boy in Egypt uncovering a treasure with magical powers. I searched images of ancient artifacts online until I found the image of this one. It is solid gold and I use all the facts about it to mould the story.
Ancient Egyptian amulets are fabled to have special powers.
Heka is the ancient god of medicine and magic.
It was only a short step to imagine visions that might come into the mind of someone who has an amulet.
Arnhem land appeared to me as gentle and dignified. The same sort of feeling you get when you are being kind to someone.Writing this story was a beautiful experience and brought me the tears I describe in the story. I am not going to speculate about the true origin this story, merely to tell you how it was for me as I recorded it.
In Chinese mythology the red dragon symbolises good fortune. This led me to stage my story at Chinese New Year: A time of hope and good luck for the coming year. I researched the events of the celebration and made my story as authentic as possible.
The Dragon King in Chinese culture is also known as the Dragon God. It is the god of water and the weather.
When I imagined the dragon god of water and the weather, he was angry. In the age in which I wrote this story there can be only one reason: climate change.
In my mind there was a connection between the almost regal yet feminine Jacaranda trees and the prestige and femininity of Cleopatra.
As soon as my character was asleep and became Cleopatra, I had to do a lot of research! How interesting and fun it is to just begin writing without a clear idea for the story and see what develops.
The bath process and the relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar are as true to history as my research allows. They did meet in secret. Caesar did have a soft spot for her and I read he liked the idea of becoming King. I also read that Cleopatra was very intelligent. History has painted her as glamorous and beautiful, and who am I to say she wasn’t, but it does seem that it was her mind that was her real asset.
Date plantations in Jhargram are a source of sap to make soap.
The tiger visiting Jai in his dream was the most interesting part of the story for me. I wanted to specify the link between the tiger and the golden leaf, and a dream is the best setting for a conversation between an animal and a human.
I imply that the tiger decides who gets the leaf. This ties in with the dream where the tiger wants the leaf back. The chuffing sound suggests the tiger is there at the end and is happy that Jai is returning the leaf. I like this link because it is magical and mysterious.
This story is based on a daydream I repeatedly played with as a child. Even as a ‘grown up’ sometimes: What if you had a secret laboratory under the grass in the back yard, with scientists that tried to create whatever crazy ideas you might have. How absolutely fantastic would that be: Anti-gravity paint, invisibility paint, flying eggs to replace cars, new physics break throughs, ways to solve climate change, a way to teleport, a kindness serum, an actual crystal ball.
There really is no limit!
This was one of my first short stories, and when I began typing I thought I was writing a children’s book. Maybe I’ll write the rest. Do let me know if you think that is a good idea.
At its heart, this is a simple story of the way friendship works. It isn’t a simple exchange of obligation, but rather the relationship of willingness to help the other whenever and however they should need it.
George’s friendship with the whale springs from his kindness and the simple wiliness to help another creature in distress. I know many people like this.
I also credit the whales with high intelligence. We know they are smart and have very large brains. It stands to reason. They also seem non aggressive.