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Magazines for Kids & Parents
I am a teacher in a very diverse school and I use lots of magazines as raw materials
collages and pictures for writing prompts. The problem is all the magazines and
catalogs I have almost exclusively picture white people, so I am looking for magazines
that picture people of color. I bought a couple of Esquire magazines and a People in
Spanish, but the ads and much of the content of these were way ''too much'' for 3rd/
4th graders. Too much sexual content and alcohol/cigarette advertising. I'm looking
for an inocuous magazine with a minimum of ''adult'' content! Please help! I would
love suggestions. Thanks!
Desperately Seeking Diversity
Oprah's magazine always features a lot of racial minorities, usually is a very
positive light. You might also look at Sports Illustrated for Kids.
African American magazines with generally positive and uplifing content-
''Ebony'' ''Black Enterprise'' and ''Essence.'' All of them are usually
available in most local bookstores and magazine stores.
You could try Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise or Jet magazines for
Black/multicultural magazines that might be appropriate for the classroom =
Ebony, Essence, Black Enterprise, Oprah,
There are tons of HipHop magazines which are extremely popular, but which
might prove inapproariate for the younger ones. Nevertheless, you may want to
check out . . .
Vibe, Source, XXL, Sister-to-Sister
Don't know of any specifically targeted to black and hispanic kids. anon
Essence Magazine and Ebony Magazine would be the best options, most probably: They have few
if any erotic photos, and both have lots of attractive ''family'' scenes and healthy
On the other hand, the magazines with the most diverse content and readership (black, Asian,
Latino, etc.) are usually music magazines: Vibe (especially), XXL, Source,
Sister-to-Sister, etc. The photos in these mags can sometimes be a bit sexually suggestive,
though. You'd have to leaf through a few of them and make your own judgment.
Good Luck. Antoinette
Someone else will probably mention this, but can you track down
old National Geographics? So many different kinds of people from
all over the world living their lives! Hilary
Try ''O: The Oprah Magazine.'' You'll find photos of diverse folks, and it's a good read
Try Mothering magazine. They are making an effort to include more people of color. Don't
know if they've succeeded. I haven't seen it in a few years.
Here are a couple of magazines that have some people of color with positive images are,
Essence, O, & Jet.
Dear Magazine Challenged,
There are some good magazines depicting people of color in very positive ways out there.
For African American images, I would try Ebony, Black Enterprise, Latina, Hispanic and
Essence. These are pretty common and can be found at Barnes and Noble. Also try DeLaur's
Smoke Shop on Broadway (between 13th and 14th) in downtown Oakland. It has a very diverse
collection of magazines -- maybe more than Barnes and Noble!
You might also try Marcus Books in Oakland. It's a African American book store with some
magazines. Also Shades of Sienna at 582 Grand in Oakland (near Grand Lake Theatre)is a
childrenof color focused bookstore
I'd also check out the magazine Teaching Tolerance. It's published by the Southern Poverty
Law Center and can be subscribed to via the web at tolerance.org. It has great positive
images of people of color and also suggests activities for kids and teens related to the
articles. It's a great magazine.
Hope that's helpful
A fellow educator who loves magazines
My mother wants to send my son a monthly magazine, so he can have the joy of
receiving reading material in the mail.
My son is 5, but loves to have things read to him from chapter books (i.e. he does
not need the pictures anymore to understand the story); however, he does like to
look at pictures by himself.
His grandmother had started with the National Geographic children's magazine, which
we assumed would be good due to the excellent quality of the adults' magaine.
After receiving the first couple of issues, we have been appalled. Every other
page is an advertisement, and there are very few actual articles; mostly it's
packed with little ''sound bite'' type bits of information. My son has been quite
uninterested in it, both for looking at, and for having it read to him.
So, what I am hoping is that someone can recommend something better to me. I know
magazines have ads, but is there a magazine for younger children out there with
fewer of them (or at least with them concentrated at the end of articles) -- and
more importantly, with interesting articles or stories?
It can be nature, science, or literary-oriented. It just has to be good quality.
We have enjoyed the children's literary magazines published by
Cricket (www.cricketmag.com). For pre-readers there is Babybug;
for early readers there is Ladybug; then Spider; then Cricket.
I highly recommend the Cricket family of magazines - we get
BabyBug for my 18 month old, and love it. they have like 20
different magazines, all educational and thematic, and I'm sure
you could find one that your son was into. I don't believe they
have any advertising in any of their magazines.
Chirp is a good magazine for children ages 3-6. I think
children 7-8 would like it as well. I like to read it myself.
www.owlkids.com We recently subscribed to Nat Geographic for
Kids as well, and have been disappointed with it.
Try Cricket, a children's literary magazine with stories and
poems. I read it as a child, 25 years ago, and loved it. I
can't wait until my son is old enough for it, he's 17 months, so
it will be a while! I do have a stack of them I saved, and a
stack of children's history magazines if you want them, free.
If so email me.
I highly recommend subscribing to Your Big Backyard, a monthly
magazine for 4- to 7-year-olds published by the National Wildlife
Federation. My 4-year-old loves it so much that we keep and reread old
issues. I believe you can subscribe online at www.nwf.org. It's a nature/
science magazine with stories and articles, games, and NO ads
Check out the offerings at www.cricketmag.com -- they have both
science-oriented and literature-oriented magazines for children
of all ages. We've been subscribers to Babybug and then Ladybug
for years; my 5-year-old son really enjoys Ladybug (for ages 2-
6) and, when our current subscription expires, will ''graduate''
to Spider (ages 6-9). There are NO ads in these magazines --
except for bind-in cards advertising the publisher's other
magazines. The subscription price is a bit high, but well worth
it...especially considering there are NO ads, and the quality of
the magazine is excellent.
We also subscribed for a while to Your Big Backyard, which is
published by the National Wildlife Foundation -- they also have
Ranger Rick for older kids and Wild Animal Baby for younger
ones. Also no advertising. A bit less expensive to subscribe.
If your kid is into animals, an excellent choice -- our son is
of a more mechanical bent so didn't like it quite as much as he
does the ''general interest'' stories in Ladybug. But it is a
good quality magazine -- and no ads!
Finally, there is Highlights -- to which I subscribed as a child
and remember very fondly. We haven't tried it for our kids yet
because -- although they do have some features for pre-readers --
more of it is aimed at grade schoolers, and I don't recall
whether they have any advertising or not. But an excellent
magazine, and worth keeping in mind especially if your son is
beginning to read.
Hope that helps!
The ''Cricket'' family of magazines is excellent -- they have one for
I agree that all the ads in kids' magazines are appalling. Carus
Publishing has great kids' magazine, ad-free. Specifically for a
5 yo are Ladybug and Click. If you find these are too young, you
can change mid-subscription. They cost a little more, but
they're high-qualilty. Most Berkeley libraries have them in the
children's periodical sections if you want to take a look first.
I grew up with a wonderful children’s literature and art
magazine called Cricket, which is aimed at ages 9-14. They
have since expanded their selection based upon your child's
age; Babybug 6mos-2years, Ladybug 2-6years, Spider 6-9years,
Cricket and Cicada 14 and up. Each edition is filled with
stories and art work by some of the finest writers and artist
currently producing. Contributing artists to Cricket have
included Trina Shart Hyman, winner of the Caldecott Medal for
Saint George and the Dragon, and Brett Helquist, artist for the
Lemony Snicket series. The writing is just as wonderful and
the whole package is created to spark a child's imagination.
The website you will want to look at is www.cricketmag.com.
Carus Publishing also offers a series of science and discovery
magazines for children starting at age 3, a series of history
and culture magazines starting at age 7 and some wonderful
Try Ladybug or Click for ages 3-6. No advertisements. Age appropriate
lots of illustrations. They also publish Spider, Cricket, and other
magazines for older children. I used to read Cricket long ago and my son
enjoys Ladybug (stories) and Click (includes science and nature material)
Check out ''Ladybug'' magazine, and other magazines from the same
publisher, at www.cricketmag.com. My mother got my son a
subscription to ''Babybug'' as an infant, and to ''Ladybug'' since
his second birthday -- he was a bit young for it then but has
grown into it since. There are absolutely no advertisements at
all, except for a few of those tear-out cards (which I always
tear out and discard). There are several stories, poems and
cartoons per issue, including a few which feature the same
characters each month. My son absolutely loves this magazine --
I end up reading each issue to him several times over. The
same publishers have a magazine called ''Click'', geared to 3-7
year olds, which has a natural science theme (I may get a
subscription to this one too). I definitely recommend them!
I really like the Cricket magazines, my 3.5 year old gets
Ladybug. There's a nice variety of shorter and longer stories,
poetry, cartoons, activities and it's beautifully illustrated.
Plus: NO advertisments!
I know what you mean about the National Geographics, Kids
magazine. It's quite a surprise to see such a Saturday morning
cartoon magazine coming out of such a reputable organization. We
get it, and while some of it makes my son laugh (he likes the
sport comics alot), it's not a real crowd pleaser at our house.
My five-year-old son's hands down favorite magazine is Ranger
Rick, put out by the National Wildlife Federation.
http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/ It's got no ads, and the
focus is on animals and the environment. We read every issue
cover to cover, and sometimes twice. Ranger Rick is for kids age
7 and up, but I find my son really appreciates the level of
information. NWF also has a magazine for 3 to 7-y-o's called
Your Big Back Yard. We still get that one too, and my son still
loves it, though not as much as Ranger Rick. We also get Click
and Ladybug from Carus Publishing
http://www.cricketmag.com/home.asp Again, high quality, no ads.
My son prefers Click, because it's more science and real world
based while I like Ladybug which is more dreamy and story based.
Carus also has magazines for different age groups, and we are
looking forward to growing with them.
I faced a similar dilemna until I discovered two magazines that
are absolutely terrific: Ladybug and Spider. My son, who is
four, adores them both. We save all the old issues and reread
Both magazines are published by the same company, Cricket
Magazines (cricketmag.com), and contain top quality stories and
illustrations from well-known children's artists. Best of all--
there's NO advertising. They are readily available---I found
them at our local newstand in Noe Valley (SF). (Actually, try
the library---they probably subscribe).
Check out the magazines at Carus Publishing (Spider, Cricket,
etc.). They have many others, and I think they are wonderful!
For older readers, I first read here about Moo Cow Fan Club, and
that has proved to be a wonderful magazine as well.
I haven't read it myself, but you may like Stone Soup, ''the
literary magazine by children'' (www.stonesoup.com) which Ms
Magazine has called ''the New Yorker of the 8-13 set.'' Also, back
in the 1980s when I was little, I used to subscribe to a
wonderful children's literary magazine called Cricket. I don't
know if it still exists, but if it does, it might be more
age-appropriate for your 5 year old. Julie
My son receives Highlights for Children and loves it. There are no ads,
but lots of nice
stories and other interesting things for kids.
''Your Big Backyard'' is for children 3-7 and is published by the
National Wildlife Federation (also publishes ''Wild Animal Baby''
for kids 1-4 and ''Ranger Rick'' for kids 7 and up). My nephews,
3 and 5, have enjoyed it immensely for the past year, and I just
subscribed for my son. It regularly features animals (a
centerfold poster in each issue!), articles, games, science and
art projects, and recipes that are fun and hands-on and very
accessible for children in this age range. My sister reports that
there are very few/possibly no ads! Here's the site:
Muse or Ranger Rick. My son is 9 now, and has been getting both
for a few years. Both are monthly highlights for him. I think
Muse may come in a younger version as well.
Check out Ladybug magazine. They first started publishing when my
kids were about 4. Don't know about the currrent quality, but they were
top knotch back then (my kids are in college now). If you Google
''Ladybug'' you'll be guided to the right site. They were literature-
oriented, with wonderful illustrations, often by famous children's book
illustrators. Every month's issue would contain a poem, a short story,
an episode (tbc), a graphic-arts (comic book style) one page story, etc.
Something for everyone. It was a very traditional format-----all the
illustrations, too----no science fiction, monster, smarty-pants humor,
My kids didn't like Highlights----only the Look for the Pictures page. My
kids also liked Zoobooks and Ranger Rick magazines----don't know if
they're still around. They were good quality natural science/
environment/animals magazines. Neither Ranger Rick, Zoobooks, or
Ladybug contained ads. Ranger Rick occasionally mentioned the
work of its parent organization, The Wildlife Fund, as it pertained to
specific articles. That's about it. Good luck.
I highly recommend Kids Discover
I got a subscription for my nephew and he LOVED it. No ads and
each issue is focused on some theme like ''OCEANS'' OR ''FLIGHT''
It's more expensive and it might only be 10 issues, but totally
''Your Big Backyard'' Magazine from the National Wildlife
Federation is wonderful (see www.nwf.org and click
on ''magazines'' tab). It's for 3-7 year olds and is the followup
magazine to ''Wild Animal Baby'' which is also fun for younger
kids. Each issue is filled with great nature photos, essays,
games and NO advertising. It comes once a month (roughly) which
gives my daugther and I enough time to really enjoy each issue
before another comes. We love it!
LadyBug and Spider Magazines are fantastic. Best of all there are
We had the same reaction to the National Geographic kids
magazine. We have liked the series of magazines put out by
Cricket Publishing. They do not have advertisements and they
have a range of publications for different age groups and
interests. You can get information on their website. Just look
for Cricket Publishing.
likes no ads
My 4.5 year old son loves Your Big Backyard (from natl wildlife
federation) and Highlights. Both are easily googled.
My son recieves My Big Backyard, from the National Wildlife
Federation. 1-800-611-1599, $20 year 12 issues. We enjoy it.
It is only about 30 pages, and the pictures are great. Not a
lot of reading content but it seems age appropriate and with
little or no ads. In each issue their is a craft, poster
picture, recipe, games and a ''cut out'' make your own book.
Big Backyard fan
Not all kids' magazines have ads. Check out http://www.cricketmag.com
kid magazines for all ages with no ads. And the content is great, too.
My 6 and 3 year olds (especially my older boy) adore Click:
No ads, great mix of facts and fiction, fun themes and
activities. It isn't cheap, but the lack of ads makes it well
worth it. They have it at the Berkeley Public Library if you
want a preview... as well as other good kids magazines. I think
Ladybug is for slightly older kids, we haven't tried it yet
Maybe one of the Carus Publishing magazines will suit you. Their
classic is ''Cricket'', it's probably for a bit older children, but
''Ask'' or ''Click'' might be a good idea. Pegasus Books in Berkeley
carries some of them, you can take a look there; or to browse
their entire collection: http://www.cricketmag.com/
I get Highlights magazine subscriptions as Christmas presents for
several kids in my family and they all like it.
sounds like it would be perfect for your child.
My kids love Ladybug and Click magazines -- and they're ad-free.
Ladybug is literary: beautifully illustrated stories and poems.
Click is science-based. You can find them at
My daughter enjoys Ladybug and Click, both by the publisher of
Cricket but for slightly younger children. Neither magazine has
She also likes Your Big Backyard put out by the National Wildlife
Federation. Also no ads. www.nwf.org/yourbigbackyard/
We love ''Your Big Backyard'', published by the World Wildlife
Federation. There is one
longish story in each magazine, but mostly it is short articles and ''to
do'' pages (e.g.,
mazes) with lots of fantastic pictures and blurbs about all kids of
animals. I learn
things too! And there is no advertising.
In November or December, on one of NPR's radio talk-show
programs, I heard a recommendation for an introductory science
magazine for young kids. I didn't write down the name and a
Google/NPR search hasn't come up with anything. Any
recommendations or suggestions? Thanks.
I'm not sure what you want in a science magazine or how
young the child (or children) are, but my son gets a
magazine called ''Click''. I think it's from the Smithstonian,
and they have a variety of magazines for children of different
ages. Click is probably appropriate for 4 to 8 year olds. My
son and I both love it. Each issue focuses on a different
topic. Many, but not all, are related to nature and the
environment. Topics have included the sea, the jungle,
eyesight in animals, how books are made, camouflage,
seasons, etc. There are also the children's magazines put
out by National Geographic (Your Big Backyard for the very,
very young and Ranger Rick for slightly older.)
I didn't hear the radio program you refer to, but I can HIGHLY
recommend the magazine ''Muse'', which is published by the
Smithsonian in partnership with Carus, the publishers of
Ladybug/Spider/Cricket magazines. My 12 year old daughter has
been devouring every issue since she was 9, and is constantly
surprising me by the depth of her knowledge of science and
history, gleaned from ''Muse''. There are also science/exploration
magazines by the same publishers for younger readers - ''Click'' is
for ages 3-7 and ''Ask'' for 7 to 10. I don't know these as well
since we found ''Muse'' when my daughter was older. You can get a
copy at the Berkeley Public Library if you want to get a feel for
them - check out a back issue on a topic of interest to your
child. ''Muse'' is engaging and well-written, and I believe it is
part of what has helped to sustain my daughter's continued
interest in science.
When I was a kid I LOVED Ranger Rick magazine. Now I am a
scientist. I checked amazon, it still exists!
Not sure what the magazine was that you heard about, but my
son, the science buff (11-y-o now) has loved Kids' Discover for
several years and recently also started reading & enjoying
Oddysey. Good luck!
This is not exactly what you asked, but I would NOT recommend
National Geographic Kids magazine. My daughter got a
subscription for Christmas last year and while she very much
enjoyed getting a magazine in the mail every month, I was
pretty disturbed by the amount of advertising that masqueraded
as text. There were ''articles'' on the new Harry Potter movie,
new electronic products and so on -- in a magazine allegedly
about nature. If your child is about 4-7 y.o. Your Big
Backyard really is about nature, mostly animals, and doesn't
Take a look at the offerings here:
They publish a number of science magazines for various age
groups. I have personal experience only with the ''literary''
magazines but have always heard only good things about
everything this company publishes.
National Geographic puts out a version for kids that looked
good. There's also a magazine called ''Junior Rick/Ranger Rick''
or something like that that is supposed to be good.
I was thinking of giving magazine subscriptions to some of the
cousins for Christmas gifts. They range in age from 6 to 17,
right up the ladder. The magazines don't have to be strictly
educational, just something they would actually enjoy reading.
Try Moo Cow Fan Club Magazine. Don't let the strange title
throw you; this is a FABULOUS children's magazine! There are
no advertisements and plenty of really interesting and engaging
stories and drawings. My children (ages 8 and 10) love this
magazine and my niece and nephew (ages 11 and almost-15) also
enjoy reading it when they're visting. Check out their
I got my daughter (almost 8) a Highlights for Kids subscription
two years ago (I had one when I was a kid, too), and she
gobbles it up every month - reads the stories, does the
puzzles, etc. It's wholesome and educational without being
stuffy, and there are no ads (unlike NatGeo for Kids, which is
one big ad for the Cartoon Channel.)
She also loves Zoobooks (check out Zoobooks.com), a monthly
glossy covering one neato animal a month, and she loved My Big
Backyard when she was younger. I am looking into getting her
American Girl when she's a smidge older.
I don't know too much about the older kids, maybe a
subscription to Popular Science, if they're into that?
Good luck - Magazine subscriptions make great gifts. My dad and
I give each other gift subscriptions every year.
I really like the Carus Publishing Group. They publish Cricket,
Spider, etc. but also many less well known magazines that cover
an amazing array of topics and age groups. Their web site is
http://www.cricketmag.com/home.asp. We get Faces, Appleseeds,
and ASK, all of which my 8 year old daughter enjoys. She also
likes American Girl, and I think it seems like a quality
publication as well.
You can't go wrong with any product from the Ladybug magazine group. They have
them for all ages. Great reading and they're wholesome without being
We've used Highlights for Children...my younger son still likes
to do the ''find the hidden things in the picture'' activity.
They have stories, activities, ethical issues, stories about
various cultures, holidays, etc.
Also ZooBooks puts out a Mazazine for the nature-interested kid.
We used to get Ranger Rick which also has a line of good mags as
kids get older.
Ladybug, Sports Illustrated has a kids issue as well as a teen
My 13 year old now gets Mad Magazine, and an Anime magazine.
If you check on line you could probably find dozens of kid mags.
Good luck....great idea
Here are two suggestions:
cricketmag.com has subscriptions for a variety of ages
National Wildlife Organization (nwf.org) has a nice series of
magazines like Wild Baby Animal (1-3), Your Big Back Yard (4-7),
Ranger Rick (7+)
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), has magazines that are
nature based and full of activities and stories, poems and facts.
We've been getting them since my child was a baby. Your Big
Backyard, ages 3-6 Ranger Rick for 7-13. If those don't appeal
to you, Cricket publishing has several literary, art and science
based magazines. Also, Smithsonian and National Geographic both
have youth versions. They all have websites. It's a gift that
lasts a year. We love it.
We recently gave Popular Science to an 11 year old boy. It was a
My 9-year-old daughter (3rd grade) likes Kids Discover magazine,
which she has been getting for about 2 years. She really reads
them this year, but enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading
some of it in 2nd grade. It was too much for her as a first
grader. Kids Discover is not just about science, each magazine
features one topic - once it was ''Money'' - that was a big hit,
Highlights, an old standard in waiting rooms, is generally
popular with elementary school kids
you might check out New Moon magazine for any girls 9-13 on your list--
www.newmoon.org. lots of the content is written by girls themselves and is very
empowering and enjoyable.
My 8yo son really enjoys Ranger Rick. Its focus is on animals. Every month it has
stories about really neat animals, plus puzzles and riddles. You can find it online at
I don't have kids that age, but I remember really enjoying
National Geographic Kids as a child - it's geared for ages 8-14,
but I think we probably started when I was 5 or 6. It's 10
issues (1 year) for $20. It's nice because it covers a lot of
different topics - animals, science, faraway places, crafts,
etc., often tied to movies or other current stuff (but not in a
commercial way, just stuff kids are into). More info at
Check out the multitude of offerings for that age group --
fiction and non-fiction -- at www.cricketmag.com
I'm more familiar with the magazines they publish for younger
kids (my son LOVES his Ladybug), but I've never heard a bad
review of any of them.
Of course, it depends a little on their interests but here are a
few ideas (I prefer magazines for kids with no -or very little -
advertising). Google any of these titles for more information.
New Moon (my absolute favorite for girls age 8-13. Mostly by
girls, but very professionally done; celebrates the specialness
of every girl)
American Girl (girls, age 9-12)
Spider (mostly stories, ages 6-10)
Click (science/exploration, ages 4-9)
Muse (by the Smithsonian; science/history/art age 9 and up)
Ranger Rick (nature, ages 3-9)
Mental Floss (for both boys and girls at the older end of your
age-range, as well as adults; does have advertising, but none for
tobacco or alcohol)
Kids Discover (age 6-12 and up; lots of interesting information
on all kinds of things).
Some I do not like (some are just non-stop ads for themselves):
Nickelodeon; Nintendo Magazine; Girls Life (GL)
For kids 8 to 13 I recommend Stone Soup, which is a creative writing
mag for kids based out of Santa Cruz. The quality of the writing is superb
and it's all written by kids, so it's very inspirational. www.stonesoup.com
Cricket and all the other Carus Publishing magazines. Spider,
Cricket, and Cicada have short stories, and other magazines
like Muse and Dig are nonfiction. www.cricketmag.com
I would like to know if anyone knows about Ladybug magazine for
children ages 2 to 6. It is published by cricketmag.com. I am
interested to know what it is like and if folks find it ggod for
their children. I am particularly interested to know about its
content in terms of advertising of products and how it deals
with gender issues. We currently subscribe to Baby Animals from
an environmental organization and really like it. Thanks for any
info you can provide.
The Ladybug/Babybug/Spider monthly publications are absolutely
wonderful. There are no advertisements. They are very
sensitive to ethnic and gender issues (in fact, my son gets more
diversity exposure in these books than he does in our
neighborhood). My son at 18 months loves Babybug and my niece
has gone through the whole series. My mother, who has been a
reading and language arts specialist for public schools in
southern California since the 1960s and teaches university
teacher education courses on early childhood reading, is very
supportive of them and always gives them as new baby gift
subscriptions to friends and family. [She is also very picky; I
remember that she abhored the children's
publication ''Highlights'' and as kids my sister and I could only
read them in doctors' offices because she refused to bring one
of them into her house...]. All the many children she has given
subscriptions to Babybug or Ladybug to have really enjoyed them.
LadyBug is a terrific magazine, and I recommend it highly. I subscribed for my oldest son and we are re-reading those magazines
now, 7 years later with my 2 year old. The issues don't date, so if you can keep them around, you can re-use with younger sibs. We get a full hour of enjoyment out of a Ladybug magazine, including the little craft project.
We have been getting Ladybug for over a year. I think that it is
very nice. No ads at all, and the stories and cartoons are about
all kinds of boys and girls. Every magazine has a theme, often
about the season, and the poems and stories all fit into the
theme. There is often a nice pull out activity page that we
enjoy. My daughter is 3 and I would recommend it.
We have subscribed to Babybug and Ladybug. They are both very
groovy and hip in terms of gender issues, mixed race families,
environmental stuff -- very gentle and loving, with a nice mix
of fiction and more factual stuff, as well as poems and songs
and craft ideas. There is no advertising, except for Cricket's
other mag products.
We are big fans of the Cricket Magazine group. My toddler's
Baby Bug magazine just expired and we are considering the next
step up...Ladybug. My older daughter used to subscribe to
Ladybug when she was younger and it was very good; she currently
subscribes to the Spider magazine in the series. My toddler is
in-between Baby Bug and Ladybug now (she's almost 2 1/2) and
some of Ladybug stories seem geared for older children (long
stories), although it is advertised as being for 2-6 yr. olds.
In any case, they are all very high quality magazines. I don't
recall any advertising of products in the magazines, just
stories and poems with beautiful illustrations. The only
downside is the price (about $37 dollars, which seems high to
me). I would recommend not only the Ladybug magazine, but the
others as well. You can check them out at bookstores, too. I
recall that Pegasus/Pendragon on College Ave. has some of the
magazines, but I can't recall if it was Ladybug or Spider.
They actually sell this magazine along with New Moon at the book
store, Pegasus on Solano Avenue and most likely at Cody's on
Fourth st. or on Telegraph, all in Berkeley. I have not read
Ladybug but just saw it last night! My daughter read New Moon
for awhile at age 11 and 1/2 and loved it. Very New Age and
responsible. Why don't you go in and look through it? I wonder
if Ladybug is a spinoff from New Moon for younger kids? That was
what I thought when it caught my eye last night as the cover
style seemed similar.
We've been loyal customers of Cricket magazines since my eldest
was born four years ago. Someone got us a subscription to
Babybug, and when she turned two, we changed it to Ladybug. I'm
impressed with the magazine on several levels. It is beautifully
done with lots of different styles of art. They seem to pay
special attention to representing families other than middle
America; there are lots of people of color, biracial families and
on occasion, a gay family. Its a bit pricey, but given there are
no ads, its totally worth it. And you get a lot of mileage out of
it. I think in terms of gender issues its great. They often have
girls doing typically boy things and vice versa. I rarely find
myself cringing at reading a story! Hope this helps.
We love LadyBug magazine. The only advertising is for
publication-related products and books, and they are not in the
actual issue but in tear-outs. They have good stories that cover
fun, diversity and different things that children experience,
from moving to new towns to death. They have poetry and
beautiful artwork in every issue, and a fun cut-out papercraft
or game in the back. We still have 3 mobiles hanging in the
livingroom that we made from our magazines. They used to have a
parents' section attached to the back with articles by Mr.
Rogers, but have replaced this with an online version.
I recommend LadyBug!
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. No ads, short stories and
poetry, nice repeat features so they start looking for
characters over and over. Running themes (water, winter,
planting, beds, etc), cultural diversity (a story about Divali, a
story about a little boy from Africa who is afraid his American
friends won't like his favorite meal at his birthday party (they
do), etc. etc.) and gender diversity. Well done, not commercial,
works well for a range of ages. My daughter is five, and has
loved it since we began subscribing when she was three and a
half. They sometimes have it at the library if you'd like to
check it out. If they don't have Ladybug, you'll be able to get
a feel for it by looking at the older kids version, Cricket.
We don't get Ladybug, but instead receive the version for under-
twos, Babybug. My kid loves it. I have read every issue until
they are memorized. There are NO ads in Babybug, and it shows
both boys and girls in all kinds of situations. In fact, there
is an ongoing story about a non-gender-specific kid named Kim
and his/her pet bunny. The author is very careful not to label
Kim as either a boy or a girl.
My 16 year old cousin has read her way up the Ladybug ranks,
and is now enjoying Cicaida, their magazine for teenagers. I
highly recommend these great publications.
We don't currently subscribe to Ladybug, but my son has enjoyed
it in the past. We got babybug for two years and just loved it,
but the subscription cost is rather high so we didn't ''move
up'' to Ladybug, just read it at our local (Richmond) public
library. I can't remember how it deals with gender issues, but
as for advertising, the only ads in it are for other magazines
in the ''bug'' family and those are low key and easily
You might see if your local library subscribes -- that way you
could see some issues before you decide. I think it's also
available in some bookstores.
Sorry I can't offer an opinion about LadyBug magazine, but my 4-
yr.-old loves Your Big Backyard published by the National
Wildlife Federation - www.nwf.org. It has great photos of
animals, games and information mostly relating to wildlife.
You might try reading a few issues in the library. All
Berkeley branches have a subscription, and you can check
out the back issues. They don't carry any advertising, and
are very good about presenting a diverse range of people.
My toddler likes it okay, but the magazine format tends to
make things a little thin for his tastes--just when he finds a
story or topic he's interested in, he turns the page and it's
over. Because of that, we rely on library issues rather than
Ladybug magazne is great. There is no advertising. Just
stories and poems- usually very good. Check out your local
library for a sample. They probably have it.
My daughter loves getting her Ladybug Magazines in the mail.
But I think she liked Babybug even more (thats a stiffer paged
simpler version for younger kids). Babybug was one of the first
books she regularly requested as soon as she could talk. There
is no advertising in Ladybug or Babybug (except those tear out
cardboardy pages advertising their own magazines). Both are
racially diverse and don't gender stereotype. Each month
Ladybug has a 'Molly and Emmet' episode (about a girl and her
cat), a cartoon about a set of twins, and story with a black
girl and white boy (or vice versa?) who are friends (in the
December issue they went to a Kwanza celebration together).
There are some poems, a song (which you can hear on the
internet) and a couple of longer stories with less pictures.
There have occassionally been interactive read along stories
that mix pictures in with the words so a non-reading child can
help you read. There is also a cut out at the end - usually an
art project, but this month it was a calendar. Anyway, as a
parent I think they're great.
There is no advertising in any of the Cricket publications. As for
gender issues, I cannot think of anything I've seen or read in any
of their publications that ever made me think ''wait a second...''.
They're so good at depicting multi-cultural mixes and genders
doing any old thing that it's become ''invisible''.
Most libraries have them, so check out a few issues.
My 4.5-year-old son has been receiving Ladybug for nearly 2
years now and loves it. There is no advertising in the magazine
and I believe they do a great job representing people of all
races and gender in very positive ways. You can buy copies at
Cody's if you want to check one out for yourself.
Ladybug has no advertisements and uses no commercial
characters. There is a parents' portion that often has really
nice articles by Mr. Rodgers of the Neighborhood.
Ladybug (and the publisher's other chldren's magazines) has NO
ads. It is wonderful (but not cheap). Most libraries should
have it so you can look at it. Individual issues are available
(and can be browsed through) at Pegasus books (probably other
I've only read one of the magazines but I like it a lot! I'm
planning to order it. In terms of gender equity, there's a story
abt a dad and daughter baking cookies for the mom. There
are no ads or product placement.
My son loves Babybug. (There are plenty of boys pictured in the
other 'articles'.) I definitely add my voice to the general
approval of these mags.
As a toddler my daughter was given a gift subscription to Ladybug
Magazine. It was really great and she liked it a lot. It's made with
heavier paper stock, so doesn't tear easily. The only problem was that
it was very pricey which is why I didn't re-subscribe. Let me know if
you're interested and I'll get more info for you. I'm sure we still
have some old copies lying around. Cathy
There is a series of "bug" magazines your child can grow up with
called Baby Bug, Ladybug, Spider and Cricket to take them from
toddlerhood to adolescence. We have subscribed to all but Baby Bug,
which wasn't available when my daughter was the age for it. The
entire series is great, with quality stories, poems, projects, and
educational articles. My complaint about many children's publications
is that they are too earnest and not fun. This series is good quality
and fun as well. Eleanor
My daughter has a subscription to LadyBug, which is from the Cricket
magazine group. They have a Web page: http://www.ladybugmag.com/home.html
We really enjoy LadyBug, which is for ages 2 and up. They have wonderful
illustrations, poems, stories and cut-out activities. There is a parents'
section at the end of each issue that has a nice essay by Mr. Rogers of the
PBS Television show. I recommend it! Jeanne
Babybug for birth to 3 yrs--publishers say to 2 yrs but my daughter still
enjoys it at nearly 3
Ladybug for 2.5 to 6 or so-publishers say from 2 yrs but Babybug is a lot
more fun for that age
Your Big Back Yard--published by National Wildlife Federation for the
Babybug takes such pleasure in language--it is enjoyable for grownups to
read. Ladybug and Your Big Backyard both have combinations of poems,
stories, articles, projects, and mazes. All 3 include information for
parents or caregivers, like tips on how to expand on the articles,
information on child emotional development, and easy cheap arts and crafts
We liked babybug and it's followup Ladybug. They are published by the folks
who do Cricket magazine. Babybug has almost a boardbook feel to it. We got
it when my six year old was a toddler and we now re-read the magazines we
got then with our two year old. They have a trial subscription available
on the web.
Another one that both kids seem to enjoy is Your Big Backyard which is
published by the people who do Ranger Rick. My two year old loves anything
with animals, particularly anything with baby animals, and there are almost
always a few of these. It's published by the National Wildlife Federation.
They have a web site that you can look at to see if your child might like it:
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