Today I’m featuring the Cricket Media family of magazines, award-winning publications from a company that’s been providing content for kids since the early 1970s. And I’m thrilled to offer one reader in the U.S. a one-year subscription to a Cricket Media magazine of choice. To enter, just leave a comment about your favorite Cricked Media magazine or a memory about reading kids magazines on your own or with a child. To be considered, leave your comment before midnight (PDT) on Friday, July 28, 2017.
Here are my thoughts about magazines for kids and reviews of five Cricket Media publications.
I’m a great advocate for parents reading with their kids from the time they are born until (if the kids want it) the teen years and beyond. Yet books aren’t the only inroad to reading. Magazines for children are great at capturing their imagination, helping them learn, and stimulating their curiosity. And since these magazines are often a mix of fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry, they help children appreciate several types of literary styles and have fun reading them. That’s the key, I believe, to keep kids turning pages.
Some of my favorite magazines for children are produced by Cricket Media, which publishes 11 award-winning titles. I have highlighted some of the titles below.
Ladybug, for ages 3 to 6. A combination of short stories, poems, activity pages and fact-based stories that help young children learn about the world around them. The issue I read featured an I Spy activity, a story about a family at a carnival, and poems and others stories about gardens and nature. Kids can learn what it takes to make a watermelon grow, the layout of a baseball field, player positions, and activities in the stands, and more. Cut-out pages at the end could be turned into a carousel mobile.
Cricket, for aged 9 to 14. Cricket recognizes that its older readers have longer attention spans and can follow a story continued from one month to the next. So while it features illustrated poems and retold ancient myths and legends, it also features serial stories, with recaps from previous additions. There’s a crossword puzzle, and readers are encouraged to participate in contests. I also loved the feature, “Favorite First Sentences,” where readers submit openings from books they love. That could encourage kids to check out books they haven’t read before. the issue I read also featured the bio of a master bridge builder born into slavery and a history of Mother’s Day.
Other literary titles by Cricket Media: Babybug for ages 6 months to 3 years, Spider for ages 6 to 9, and Cicada for ages 15 and up.
Arts and Sciences
Ask for ages 6 to 9. Did you know that recently discovered amber contained thin feathers from a dinosaur? Or that there’s a rock formation in China nicknamed the “rainbow mountains”? I found out these facts in the Nosy News section of a recent edition of Ask. Most of the magazine is dedicated to one topic; in the edition I read it was glass. Articles explained what glass is made of, featured a team of glassmakers, and shared historical stories about how people have used glass in inventions and art. It’s the kind of content that would have fascinated my daughters at that age. What I really like about the focus on one topic is that it allows kids to learn in snippets, building on their knowledge about something as they progress through the magazine.
For instance, the article “What is Glass?” talks about how it’s made and what makes it transparent, as opposed to something like rocks. “Breaking News in Glassmaking” is a timeline of how glass has been used at different times in history. “The Glass Ocean” profiled a glassmaker who created sea creatures in glass that were so detailed, modern scientists have used them to know what extinct species looked like. There’s even a fun activity involving pennies in a glass of water.
Muse for ages 9 to 14. Muse also looks at one topic per issue in depth. In the issue I read it was water. Articles took readers on adventures on glaciers, into outer space, in the deep ocean and under a microscope. An experiment perfect for beachgoers illustrates how water moves through aqueducts. The variety of articles and information keeps the reading fun and interesting for budding scientists who enjoy learning how the world around them works.
Click for ages 3 to 6. What should you do if you find a baby bird on the ground? What tools does a vet use when she gives your dog a checkup? How to people work with panda babies to help them learn to survive on their own in the wild? All these questions and more were answered in a recent issue of Click. Subtitled, Opening Windows for Young Minds, Click features stories in small bites for young readers. Lots of photos and illustrations go with story content, helping kids keep up their interest and turn pages. There are also activities like counting birds in an illustration and a make-your-own-card game.
Other titles to explore for ages 9 to 14:
Dig (ancient history and archaeology).
Faces (geography and world culture).
For complete synopses of each title as well as more information about other Cricket Media initiatives visit cricketmedia.com.
The publisher provided me with a copy of these publications in exchange for my honest review.