Sally Saves Christmas

Some of the readers of this site will know that this story is the original piece of material behind Candlelight Stories. Back in 1994, I sat at a very flimsy folding table in a Los Angeles apartment with a box of pastels, crayons and ballpoint pens to scratch out a pile of illustrations that vaguely added up to some kind of Christmas tale. I still have all those original drawings in a big department store box.
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Children’s Verse: Brooke and the Ramshackle Ship

By Steve Bynghall

Steve Bynghall lives in London, England. Other poems about Brooke and her useless Dad appear on  Visit for more details.  If you want to be notified when a new Brooke story will be appearing please email [email protected].

Brooke and the Ramshackle Ship

Brooke’s Dad was the captain
Of the world’s most hopeless boat
It was ramshackle and rotten
It could hardly stay afloat!

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Children’s Story: The Ketchup Bottle Genie

By Mark L. Glosser

The Ketchup Bottle Genie

“Hey,” Eric yelped as he watched his younger brother Ian shake a huge glob of ketchup onto his sandwich. “You emptied the bottle. What am I supposed to put on my hot dog?”

“Mom got another bottle,” Ian mumbled as he stuffed half the sandwich in his mouth, Go look in the refrigerator.”

Eric stomped to the refrigerator and pulled out a weird shaped-bottle. “Genie Ketchup Company? I never heard of this brand,” said Eric as he unscrewed the lid.

A moment after the lid came off; all the ketchup in the bottle squirted to the ceiling, and started to spin like a tornado.Eric and Ian dove under the table.

A flash of light momentarily blinded them.  When their vision cleared they saw a man with long, black hair floating in mid-air. His red pants barely fit over his bulging belly, and his white shirt was splattered with ketchup.

Peeking out from under the table Eric asked in a trembling voice, “Who are you?”

The strange visitor floated down from the ceiling and looked under the table. “I’m the Ketchup Bottle Genie. Haven’t you heard of me?”

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Storybook: A Trip to the Market

by Bonnie Blake (Canada)

Hop…step…hop went Beth up the driveway. She flung open the wooden gate and galloped into the backyard.

“Please go to the store for me,” said her mother. “I’m not done planting the tulips.”

“What are we having for lunch?” Beth asked.

“I haven’t decided yet, but we need bread.”

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Storybook: A Puss in Boots Wants Red Shoes

by Karen Lewis (Canada)
illustrated by Kelly Dorman


Once upon a time there was a little black and white kitten named Wendy, who didn’t want to be a puss in boots. “I’m tired of wearing boots all the time,” she told her mother. “I want shoes, red ones. They would match my jumper.”

Wendy had first seen the shoes she wanted, in a shop window on her way to school. They were a lovely shade of cherry red, with shiny black soles and silver buckles. But her mother would not listen. “A nice pair of new black boots will wear longer and be warmer in winter,” she stated firmly. “And you can even step in puddles with them.”

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Storybook: The Creation of the Night

a Brazilian myth
written and illustrated by Maria Lucia Guimaraes Maier


When the earth was very young the night and the animals didn’t exist.

There were only trees, plants and people. During this time, the sun shined very brightly. The people were always very tired because they didn’t sleep well. The trees were faded because of the hot weather.

Only the Big Snake who was a witch could make the night appear.

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Storybook: Thumbelina

by Hans Christian Andersen


Once upon a time there was a woman whose only wish was to have a tiny little child. She had no idea where to get one, so she went to an old witch and asked her: “Please, old witch, tell me where I can get a tiny little child.”

“That is not so hard,” said the witch. “Plant this seed in the ground and see what happens.”

The woman paid the witch twelve gold coins and went home to plant the seed. No sooner was it in the ground than it started to sprout. A big beautiful flower grew up. It became a tulip that was ready to bloom.

“What a lovely flower,” said the woman as she kissed the red and yellow petals that were closed so tightly. With a snap they opened and became a real tulip. In the center of the flower sat a tiny little girl. She was so beautiful and so delicate, and exactly one inch long.

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Storybook: Hannah Banana

By Joshua Ingram

In the deepest jungle of Africa, there lived a family of monkeys. There was a Mama Monkey, and a Papa Monkey, and they had a young daughter named Hannah.
The monkey family lived very happily swinging and playing in the trees and vines. But unfortunately, it wasn’t all play. Papa Monkey had to make sure their home in the canopy was warm and protected.

Mama was responsible for the sewing and cooking of the family’s meals. Hannah helped with the cleaning, but her main chore was to collect all the bananas and other fruit for the monkey family’s meals.

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Storybook: Gentian’s Grumpy Day

by Kristen Collier (USA)
illustration by Kevin Scott Collier
There is also a Joy the Jellyfish web site.

Gentian the Great White Shark was grumpy. Nobody wanted to approach him today! Fish fled from his path. Joy the Jellyfish saw the commotion. She gulped and then approached the out of sorts shark.

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Storybook: Fairy of the Dawn – An Epic Fairy Tale

This is an epic fairy tale  that reworks the classic Grimm’s story, ‘The Water of Life,’ into a grand Nordic tale of magic, goddesses, fairies and heroes. Go on an epic quest with the young son of an emperor to find the magic of the Fairy of the Dawn.

Fairy of the Dawn
By John Brookes

There was once an emperor, very great and mighty, and he ruled over an empire so large that no one knew where it began and where it ended. But if nobody could tell the exact extent of his Sovereignty everybody was aware that the emperor’s right eye laughed, while his left eye wept. One or two men of valour had the courage to go and ask him the reason of this strange fact, but he only laughed and said nothing; and the reason of the deadly enmity between his two eyes was a secret only known to the Monarch himself.

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Storybook: The Panchatantra (a folktale from India)

translated and illustrated by Vaibhav Kodikal (Mumbai, India)

This illustrated story is one of the most wonderful things we ever received at Candlelight Stories. It was sent to us back in 1997 by a young man named Vaibhav Kodikal from Mumbai, India. This was one of his first illustration projects, finished while he was still in school. The Times of India did an article about how he made this story and published it on Candlelight Stories. He was and remains one of our very favorite artists. We hope he is doing very well indeed today.

The Panchatantra – The Brahmin’s Tale is from the oldest extant collection of fables in Sanskrit literature. Dating from the 4th century AD, it is based on still earlier collections of folk tales. The Panchatantra is sometimes attributed to an Indian sage, Bidpai (flourished about 300 A.D.). The tales, primarily about animals, are organized into five books on such topics as winning friends, losing property and waging war. They were originally intended to instruct a young prince in the conduct that would ensure his worldly success.

The Tale Begins

Long, long ago there was a poor Brahmin named Krishnan. He could not find enough work to do. Sometimes, he and his family had to go without food.

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