We are taking a break from talking books this week, so that we can tell you about a couple of The Nine-Year-Old’s favorite magazines. Whenever The Nine-Year-Old’s fourth grade teacher tells her she needs to mix a little more non-fiction into her reading diet, she invariably reaches for one of these.
Ranger Rick by the National Wildlife Federation
What the magazine is about: Ranger Rick’s lively format includes articles on animals, puzzles, riddles, a reader question and answer section called Ask Rick?, and the recurring comic strip “Ranger Rick’s Adventures.”
Each issue has two or three articles that take up multiple pages, but most items are contained on a single page and feature only limited text. Reading the feature articles takes a bit longer, but those longer articles are full of pictures to push younger readers along.
Reading the entire magazine takes The Nine-Year-Old about 45 minutes — just a bit longer than eating her after school snack.
Who would enjoy this magazine: Kids ages 7-10 who enjoy reading about animals and getting stuff in the mail. Seriously, getting something addressed to her in the mail on a regular basis is a large part of the charm kids’ magazines offer for The Nine-Year-Old. (Oh, and it’s ad-free, which is pretty important to me as a parent.)
ASK Magazine by Cricket Media
What the magazine’s about: ASK magazine bills itself as a science and arts magazine for kids. Perhaps inevitably, the sample issue I picked up from The Nine-Year-Old’s desk has lots of articles about animals both past and present, including monarch butterflies, eels, and dinosaurs. But it also talks about King Tut, how doodling helps you remember stuff you hear in class, how makeup artists transform actors into monsters for movies, and four brief reviews of books about science.
Who would enjoy this magazine: Curious kids who have questions that go a bit deeper than your standard kids’ magazine will cover. That dinosaur article I mentioned — it talks about the difficulty paleontologists have in telling whether the dinosaur they just found is an entirely new species or just the teenaged version of an existing one. ASK is also ad-free, by the way.