Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Babybug: A Magazine For the Short-Attention Set

I'm sure Mira is a girly-girl in the making. For example, she has a strange fascination with shoes. Any shoe in our house is sure to be picked up and examined, and if she finds one that she thinks is pretty, she tries to put it on her foot. She loves satin ribbons, jewelry, and feather boas. And she steals every one of my magazines. Mira watches me read magazines, and has decided she needs to be doing the same. But Self and People aren't exactly ideal reading for babies, and I get tired of trying to read around the half-ripped pages.

Now she can have a magazine designed for her age group. Parent Bloggers told me about Babybug, a magazine designed for children 6 months to 3 years old. I'll admit I wasn't sure what to expect, since I didn't know how a periodical could be designed to interest someone who can't read or even understand that many words yet.

What arrived in our mailbox looks like a board book, much smaller than your average magazine. Each page is thick - not cardboard, but very thick paper. This gave me hope that each issue might survive more than a week without being shredded. The outer cover had an introduction to that issue for parents, discussing the theme of that month's issue and suggestions on how to make reading these stories and poems to your child more interesting.

Inside Babybug, there are lots of poems and very short stories. The longest story is 6 pages long, and it is the continuing adventures of Kim and Carrots. Kim is a little girl, and Carrots is her stuffed bunny, and the first pages of each issue feature a new story about them. Following that is a series of poems and rhymes, emphasizing simple words and lots of repetition.

Each page features large fonts and is filled with bright, colorful illustrations. I know the large font was probably intended for children, to help with letter recognition, but I appreciate being able to read the text without difficulty as I hold it out so Mira can see the pictures well.

The illustrations are beautiful, too. Some look like watercolor paintings, some look like cut out shapes and animals, and some are very detailed drawings. Lots of animals are represented, and I like that there is a lot of human diversity represented in the illustrations as well.

Mira loves listening to the rhymes and short stories. Like I said, the longest story is 6 pages, and there isn't a lot of text on a single page, so this is perfect for the short-attention span set. Sometimes we'll sit and read the entire issue. Other times I'll read a page or two and then she's off to do something else. She also will pull Babybug off the table and page through it herself at least once a day.

And my initial hopes about the weight of the paper came true. She cannot rip these pages! It takes a lot of effort to tear out an entire page, and even more effort to rip a page in two. Even my determined ripper has yet to pull out a page, although she continues to try. I can see each issue adding to our library, right next to her board books. With how well they hold up, it's like getting a new book each issue.

Babybug has 9 issues a year, and is only the first in several magazines for children published by Cricket. As children get older, they have developmentally appropriate magazines for each age group. I'm a big fan of Babybug, as is Mira, and I think we'll continue to enjoy this magazine as it fosters a love of reading in my little girl.

4 comments:

Amelia Sprout said...

Oooo, I totally wanted to get this, but wasn't sure if it was worth it. I have a page eater, so I hope it holds up.

Mandy said...

Hi Ameilia, if you'd like to try out a sample issue, go to http://www.cricketmag.com/form/index.asp?nFormId=42

fill out the form and choose the "Bill me option". Your issue will arrive in the mail, if you're not satisfied, you'll get a bill in the mail and you can just write cancel on it and send it back!

Hope you enjoy Babybug!

WendyZ said...

Babybug is great. We ordered it for my neice (who's now 9) and those issues got passed along and re-read over and over again!

Now on another note: Since I can't reach you via an email link, I wanted to ask for recommendations from you. I am an early childhood educator working for the site http://www.bodymindandchild.com. You might have heard their popular podcast hosted by Rae Pica, an Early Childhood Physical Activity Consultant. I have just been recruited by them to seek out free or inexpensive summer activities for young children and their families. Email me at wednesdayo@hotmail.com if you're interested in helping. THANKS SO MUCH!!!

jcbvwb said...

My DD LOVED Babybug magazine. I tried to pass them on but she will not let me and she is 6 now. She can read them herself but still loves every issue. I got the next one up (Ladybug) but the small size of Babybug is so comfy and easy to take along. Ladybug is not a favorite.