Saturday, October 31, 2009

Children's Magazines Month: Full Steam Ahead

Children's Magazines Month will have to be unofficially extended to the first week of November. I was at the Virginia Library Association conference in Williamsburg Thursday-Friday. I loved listening to Tonya Bolden, winner of the Jefferson Cup, speak at the Jefferson Cup luncheon. BUT....the best part about the luncheon was that I was seated at the same table as Leonard Marcus! Leonard Marcus was our featured guest speaker at the Friday VLA business meeting, during which he gave a fascinating speech about the history of Golden Books (the subject of one of his latest books). He also wrote a fabulous biography of Margaret Wise Brown and edited an amazing collection of Ursula Nordstrom's letters, among other great books. I got to talk to him about Margaret Wise Brown, the Where the Wild Things Are movie, and his latest projects (working on an annotated edition of The Phantom Tollbooth and interviews with people who knew/worked with Madeleine L'Engle!). Very, very fun for a children's literature fanatic!

Enough of that, now! Let's get back to the magazines.


An archaeology magazine for children? Only Cobblestone could publish such a fun and inventive publication! This month's issue is all about mysterious Stonehenge, with a variety of great articles. Regular features include "Ask Dr. Dig," an art page, "DIG Facts," and games. Past themes have included China's hidden caves, Alexander the Great, money, King Tut, high fashion, and America's first cities.

Discovery Girls

For girls who have grown out of the American Girl magazine, but aren't old enough for the more teen-oriented magazines, Discovery Girls is a good stepping-stone. The current issue showcases articles about asserting yourself, friendship problems and how to solve them, hairstyles, and technology. Articles about boys do make appearances, but as this month's article shows ("Boys Can Make Great Friends!"), they're rather innocent in nature, of course. Regular features include quizzes, contests (girls can apply to be a "Discovery Girl"), crafts, and book reviews. Ads are scattered throughout the issue, but the majority of the ads are actually for books, with two ads featuring craft kits. Very nice.


Faces, another Cobblestone publication, focuses on world cultures. This month's issue is all about "kids making a difference." Readers learn about a girl who has donated more than 30 inches of hair to Locks of Love, a Mongolian girl who is a volunteer correspondent for the local public radio station, and an American teenager who volunteers in Malawi. Regular features include "Ask Faces," an art page, and activities. Past issues focused on Portugal, Islam in America, Ireland, Elvis, the US South, and teens around the world. Faces is one of my top favorite magazines.

We're not quite finished yet! I'll post about the remaining magazines soon.

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