When I need inspiration for displays and blog posts, I often turn to Chase’s Calendar of Events and Brownie Locks. I’m guaranteed to find many listings, whether they are historical, cultural, or just offbeat. Children’s Magazines Month has been listed in both resources for several years; although I can’t find any information online about the promotion that I can share with you, I thought it would be fun, regardless, to have a discussion about children’s magazines.
What’s the big deal about children’s magazines, and why should libraries invest in them? For one, they offer a great variety of stories and activities for young readers; issues may contain not only short stories but poetry, riddles, craft activities, and picture puzzles. They are attractive to readers who may otherwise find reading intimidating. They often encourage readers to submit writing, art work, letters to the editor, and questions, which can make writing an appealing activity.
Ask: Arts and Sciences for Kids is one of the many magazines published by Cricket Magazine Group; in addition to Ask and Cricket, they publish Cobblestone (American history), Faces (cultures around the world), and Babybug, which is written for very young children. October’s issue includes articles about watermelons, Galapagos penguins and other unusual creatures, and snow monkeys. Regular features such as a “Contest and Letters” section and “Whatson’s Book Corner” help to liven up each issue.
Each issue of Boys’ Quest is dedicated to a single topic, which is explored thoroughly through stories, factual articles, and puzzles. Readers of the October issue will enjoy reading about pets through short stories (including a mystery), information on how to pick a name for your pet, instructions for making an automatic water dispenser for thirsty pets, dog jokes, and riddles. No matter the topic, each issue will contain a science experiment, instructions on making items, and riddles.
Young animal lovers will gravitate to the venerable Ranger Rick (Ranger Rick Jr. is also available for young readers). Published by the National Wildlife Federation, issues contain lots of fun and informative tidbits. October issue readers will learn about red foxes, prickly animals, and the great horned owl. Readers can also look forward to reader mail, crafts, and games in every issue.
Stone Soup is a classic in the field of children’s magazines; since 1973, it has showcased original writings and artwork by children ages 8-13. In addition to short stories and illustrations, young writers may also submit poetry, letters to the magazine, and book reviews. Pictures of the authors and illustrators are included with their published work, which makes the creations much more personable.
I know I’ve left out many other high-quality children’s magazines. Tell us about your favorite children’s magazines in the comments!