Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

Cricket Magazine Give Away!

Babybug

Ages: Infant – 3 yrs.
Publisher: Cricket Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

 

Cricket Media’s scaled-down signature mix of words and pictures serves its youngest audience with a delightful baby book format. Its sturdy, non-toxic pages feature colorful short stories, poems, and varied and vibrant illustrations and photographs that reflect the lives of babies and toddlers, offer a closer look at objects, actions, and places (napping, a playground, things that fly), and invite practice in identifying colors, parts of the body, and such concepts as big and little. A “Kim and Carrots” story, featuring a little girl and her toy rabbit, is a regular feature, as is a theme-related “Guide for Caregivers” with tips for read-aloud experiences, fingerplay, and simple crafts to enhance learning and together time.

 

Ladybug

Ages: 3 – 6 yrs.
Publisher: Cricket Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

 

When I was little, I discovered pill bugs beneath a loose, damp-bottomed brick in our breezeway. Before my mother advised me that they would probably rather be left alone, I was fascinated by their hard shells, multiple legs, and how they rolled up in my palm. While perusing a recent issue of Ladybug, I was surprised to learn that pill bugs aren’t really bugs, but are related to sea crustaceans, and that, like fish, they breathe through gills.

Not surprising at all is that Ladybug’s editors use reading as both a source of pleasure and discovery to propel each issue of this thoroughly engaging magazine. Its humorous and thoughtful short stories, poems, and songs, outstanding artwork, cut-out crafts, and recurring games and puzzles invite children to wonder, observe, and play, while subtle verbal and visual lessons in empathy, friendship, and compassion thread throughout.

 

Spider

Ages: 6 – 9 yrs.
Publisher: Cricket Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

 

“I really like your magazine. I almost scream when I get a new one.” So began one 9-year-old Spider subscriber’s letter published in a recent issue, and such enthusiasm from fans is common and understandable. Geared to ages 6 to 9, this literary magazine, populated throughout its margins by its host cast of cartoon insect characters led by googly-eyed Spider, is a notably smart and funny compendium of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and artwork by talented writers and artists; as well as word puzzles, recipes, games, and crafts. Some of the content takes aim squarely at funny bones; some invites thoughtful contemplation; and some opens a window on the world at large, with stories and poems about the customs and everyday life of other cultures (Diwali, the Indian New Year and Festival of Lights, for example, the spectacle of human tower-building in Barcelona, Spain; a retelling of a Maasai folktale from Kenya). And as always, each issue devotes page space to the original artwork and writing submitted by fans.

 

Cricket

Ages: 9 – 14 yrs.
Publisher: Cricket Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

 

Several decades old and showing no signs of age, this exceptional literary magazine remains timely and fresh, and despite the ubiquitous attractions of electronic devices, its fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art are enjoyed as fiercely by today’s audience of tweens and teens as they have been since the magazine’s inception in the 1970s. Well-conceived and wide-ranging, Cricket stories are often serialized, giving readers engaging substance, whether set in the real world or in a fantasy realm. Recent non-fiction pieces explored the roots of an Irish legend, the hard lives of 18th century chimney sweeps, and the accomplishments of a busy horror actor and a pioneering female acrobatic swimmer. Readers are welcomed as active participants through a vibrant two-page letters section, short story, poetry, and art contests; book recommendations, artwork, and favorite first lines from books. In addition, the magazine includes excerpts from readers’ contributions to Cricket’s online, ongoing, interactive fantasy adventure, “Kyngdom.”

 

Head on over to our Facebook page for more information and to enter!

https://www.facebook.com/parentschoicefoundation/