The i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed on our latest Story Box, as the book and resources have gone to print and the Box will be arriving next week for you all!
To give you a sneak peek of what to expect from May’s Story Box Club, we’ve interviewed Co-Founder and Creative Director of One Third Stories, Jonny Pryn. Jonny is the creative mind behind all of our stories and activity books. Each month, you’ll find him dreaming up new characters and adventures for our storybooks, as well as overseeing all of the illustration and design work that goes into our supporting resources.
Hey Jonny! So, we know that this month is a totally new story, rather than a re-telling of a classic fairytale. Can you tell us a little bit about the storyline you’ve created?
“This month’s story features Emerald, Green and Digger, the owners of a forest removal company. If an animal wants to move to a new hole or a different nest, they will give Emerald, Green and Digger a call for help. The trio will pile all of the animal’s furniture up in a wheelbarrow, shoot off to a new area of the forest and help them move in. They’re very good at their jobs, but one day they’re helping the cuckoo move house and he has a very valuable, expensive clock. Somewhere in the moving process, they lose that clock and have to track it down in the forest, using only a strange snoring, ticking sound…”
Wow! Where did this brilliant idea come from?
“Well although this is not an existing fairytale for others, it’s a story that already existed for me because it’s a story that my dad used to tell when my sister and I were little. So the story comes from a Pryn, just not this particular Pryn! I’ve adapted and updated the story. It’s been a really satisfying process, having listened to those stories when I was younger, I’ve loved being able to take ownership of the story with a new twist and see it come to life as a published book.”
What language skills and vocabulary will children practise and learn from this month’s Story Box?
“The vocabulary in this month’s Story Box focuses on furniture, rooms in the house, and the words ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘under’. We were really keen to have all of this in one Story Box, as once children learn those topics, they can start to construct more complex phrases – such as “the clock is in the bedroom on the table”. In all our stories, we use bits of vocabulary which link together, so that children can use their new language skills in a way that’s useful and applicable. We’ve found that this approach gives kids so much more confidence, because they can begin to describe the world around them and find practical uses for their vocabulary.”
A lot of children have been loving the activity book that comes alongside the storybook! Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s in the activity book this month?
“I think this is actually the most excited I’ve ever been about one activity, I can’t wait for children to see it! The extra activity that comes in the Box this month is a game we’ve created, where you can cut out your own stand-up gnome house with windows and labelled rooms. There are some cut-out furniture cards that come with the house, so children can practise posting the furniture cards through the windows of each room and saying out loud what they are doing. You can turn it into a memory game to reinforce vocabulary and I’m hoping that the kids will have loads of fun with it. It’s exactly the type of game I would have spent ages playing with when I was younger!”
It must be so rewarding seeing children make big progress with their language learning through the books and resources you create. What’s been your favourite feedback from children who are part of the Story Box Club?
“It really is! There was a video someone posted to our Facebook wall of their child using our flashcards and pronouncing the vocabulary brilliantly, that made me really happy to see. Also, we heard this week that there’s someone in the United States who is reading our stories to their 11 month old child, which I think is amazing. We all know that the earlier you start with a language, the better. I love the idea that we’re attracting language learners of all ages.”
Want to get your hands on language learning resources delivered to your door every month? Start building your subscription to become a member of the Story Box Club.
Psst… Remember that if you want to join our Story Box Club in time to receive the Emerald, Green and Digger Box for your little one, you’ll need to sign up before the 17th May.