Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2005 Magazines
Ages: 10 - 18 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $32.97 / 9 Issues
In Greek mythology, Zeus, a protector of an art or science, had nine daughters - each a different muse. Among them, Polyhymnia inspired singers, Terpsichore inspired dancers, and Urania inspired astronomers. Muse magazine, in turn, inspires budding artists and scientists with its superior articles, photographs, and illustrations. The magazine's muses, though, are not all Greek. Muses from many different cultures are included: a Native American muse of tunes and tricks, an Egyptian muse of animals, an Australian muse of crafts, and even a modern-day, American muse of software.

In a recent article by Alison Lurie titled "Was Cinderella Blonde?" readers explore racism in fairy tales. The same article also asks children to judge which fairy tale illustrations are too scary for children. This is especially thoughtful coverage of a popular topic. The courageous editors of Muse don't shy away from difficult subjects, and they in no way underestimate children's intelligence.

Muse is brimming with humor from its wry cartoons to its tidbits about the authors of articles. Alison Lurie, a professor who specializes in fairy tales, tries not to be a wicked stepmother, herself. Upon completion of his article on the deadly Australian box jellyfish, one of the most toxic creatures on earth, Graham Lawton chose to hike in a koala park rather than snorkel. These are clever conclusions to outstanding articles.

If readers don't read a regular feature called "Bo's Page" carefully, they may accept all the information unconditionally. One announcement about an artistic achievement or a scientific discovery is always a fabrication. This reader was horrified at the thought of genetically-engineered, glow-in-the-dark dogs -- until she read the fine print.

Muse gives its readers clever coverage of hot topics, attractive pages, and an intelligent humorous tone.

Mary Hollowell   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Mary Hollowell, the mother of two girls, is an associate professor of education at Clayton State University. She is a former science teacher and director of education at Cincinnati Museum Center.

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