Sparkle Stories Blog

sparkle kitchen – latkes | sparkle kitchen | latkes

In this week’s Martin & Sylvia, brother and sister enjoy their town’s December traditions, including a “Festival of Lights,” where the shopkeepers decorate their storefronts in lights. When Martin learns that Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights, he begins to discover the similarities between all the festivals and holidays that take place during this time of year.

Hanukkah commemorates the miracle of holy oil that should have only lasted for a day, lasting for eight days—enough time for more oil to be properly made. As such, many of the foods traditionally served at Hanukkah are fried in oil. The most famous of these is potato latkes. Continue reading “sparkle kitchen – latkes” »

Four Free Audio Stories for Christmas!

Happy Holidays, Sparkle Friends!

Here are four of our
favorite stories for December,
as our holiday gift to you!

(One is a free preview of the brand-new
Martin & Sylvia “Twelve Days of Christmas” Audio Book!)

Continue reading “Four Free Audio Stories for Christmas!” »

Why 12 Days of Christmas? | "12 Days of Christmas" Audio Book

Today is December 12 or 12-12 and at 12PM I started this blog post. It would have been great if the year was still 2012 – but I can say that when it was 12-12-12, we lived on 1212 Prindle Road in Charlotte Vermont. Pretty great.

Now, I want to talk about 12 for two reasons. One is that twelve is a huge number for human beings. 12 hours in a day, 12 months in a year, 12 signs in astrology, 12 apostles, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 knights of the round table, 12 Imams, 12 stars in the crown of Mary – and then – there are 12 days of Christmas. Continue reading “Why 12 Days of Christmas?” »

friday’s kind words

Whenever a Sparkle family takes the time to share their experience with the stories, we are delighted and moved.  Each week we like to share some of the kind words we receive!


I just wanted to take a minute and thank you again for everything you do. We have been avid Martin & Sylvia fans for years, but, because of the podcast, my kids have really gotten into the Junkyard Tales lately (and are getting a subscription for Christmas this year). We love many of the Sparkle Stories characters, but we all agree that Spiro the skunk has the best voice.

Also, my 4 yr old wants me to tell you that the line about “What is this, some sort of flim flam???” from the Junkyard Tales Thanksgiving is her favorite quote from Sparkle Stories ever : )

We are also enjoying the Martin & Sylvia advent calendar—amazing! Forget the kids, I really look forward to hearing it each day. The day with Rufus the dog was an especially big hit.

~Kathy, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Announcing! New Christmas Audio Book!

We’re so excited to INTRODUCE:

The Martin & Sylvia
“Twelve Days of Christmas”
Audio Book!

It’s Christmas Day.

All the presents have been opened.
Christmas breakfast is complete.
The children sigh… Is all of the fun over?

But look!
There’s one more present hiding in the Christmas tree!

It’s a gift that can be enjoyed for twelve full days:
an old vinyl record called
Twelve Tales of a Tullyport Christmas.”

Daddy pulls out his childhood record player, and the fun begins.


This Audio Book contains twelve stories, for each of the
traditional Twelve Days of Christmas
(December 25th to January 5th)

Perfect for ages 4 and up.

Join Martin and Sylvia’s family
as they are inspired (and tickled)
by the historical tales of
Christmas in “Tullyport” Maine!


Find the
Martin & Sylvia
“Twelve Days of Christmas”
Audio Book


(Just scroll down.)

Or give it
as a GIFT!

Continue reading “Announcing! New Christmas Audio Book!” »

sparkle crafts – stitched snowflakes and cranberry garlands | martin & sylvia: saturdays! | stitched snowflakes

In this week’s Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story, “Snow That Stick”s, Martin and Sylvia – along with Mama – figure out a way to make a bit of snow even when there’s none outside (even though it’s so very cold!) And though their handmade snow isn’t chilly, it is beautiful, a lovely preview to what’s sure to come this winter. With some simple materials – a bit of yarn, some recycled cardboard – you can make your own snowflakes that stick around even if there’s none out your door. Add a bit of garland made of wheat-O’s and cranberries and you have a festive, wintry scene! Continue reading “sparkle crafts – stitched snowflakes and cranberry garlands” »

sparkle kitchen – struffoli | sparkle kitchen | struffoli

In this week’s Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures!, Martin is frustrated with how the days get so short at this time of year. Daddy tells brother and sister about how it is considered the storytelling time of year, and suggests that they spend the evening together telling stories.

Like Daddy, I love all of the seasonal stories that families tell as the calendar is bombarded with holidays of light and love at the end of the year. One of my newly discovered favorites is the tale of Old Befana. Continue reading “sparkle kitchen – struffoli” »

friday’s kind words

Whenever a Sparkle family takes the time to share their experience with the stories, we are delighted and moved.  Each week we like to share some of the kind words we receive!


Hello! I wanted to take a moment and say thank you, thank you so much for your work and your words. We are listening to your Martin & Sylvia  “Giving Thanks” Audio Book and I was moved by the magic of your stories. My husband and I have both become weepy at different parts of the stories. Our tears stem from a whole body feeling of gratitude; we are grateful that our children have a place to hear stories that are filled with such kindness, respect, and love. And great humor too:). 

~Becky, Bellingham, Washington, USA

COMING SOON: Two NEW Audio Books for Christmas

Martin & Sylvia’s
“Twelve Tales of Christmas”

Join Martin and Sylvia as they explore what it means to celebrate the
traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas,”
inspired by twelve delightful stories from 18th century Maine. 


bTbT.12.Tales.Tullyport (2)

By Thistle By Thimble
“Twelve Tales of a
Tullyport Christmas”

These are the stories from colonial Maine,
featured in Martin & Sylvia’s “Twelve Tales of Christmas”,
but in their own separate Audio Book. 

Each shares a delightful bit of history from this unique New England town,
as immigrants from around the world celebrate the twelve days
between Christmas and Epiphany (or 12th night).


Free “Printable” Advent Calendar!

Mark the days of the
Martin & Sylvia Audio Advent Calendar
with our
FREE “Printable” Advent Calendar!

Martin & Sylvia Advent Calendar

Each of the little pictures in the calendar is a “clue” to the story of the day. 

As you enjoy Martin & Sylvia’s Advent Adventures, listen for the clues!  And you can mark the days as you listen, by coloring them in.

Download the “Printable”
Advent Calendar HERE.


Find the
Martin & Sylvia

Audio Advent Calendar

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