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

Magic Dragon

Magic Dragon

Spring 2012 Magazines
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $5.50
Subscription Price: $22.00 / 4 Issues

The idea of Magic Dragon is spectacular: offer a creative, juried space where children's creative art can be showcased and shared. Content is a beautiful blending of artwork, poems, longer prose writing and other types of creative content. Artist's names are featured prominently. The reproduction of the artwork (particularly the scanning and photography of artwork created with a wide variety of media) is beautiful, with nice color balance, and appropriately grouped items.

Additionally, it is an enjoyable magazine to hold: paper is thick with bright whites and pages with the perfect amount of sheen to showcase the beautiful colors. Thematic selections showcase how different artists use the same media, and respond to the same 'assignment' in slightly different ways. Different poems are separated with different font selections, making it clear which pieces were done by different authors. The "Write It" and "How to" sections are clever in their approach, with creative activities shared and valuable information given, yet the language graphic design would appeal more to adults working with children, than with children. Still, we liked these sections and wished they had been featured more prominently in the publication's beginning pages.

Ultimately, children will be inspired enough to want to submit their content to the magazine, but they may not have the attention span to commit to a magazine with content that has not been specifically designed for them. My own children thumbed through issues quickly, but -- even after I called attention to specific artwork done by other children their age - they lost interest just as quickly. Perhaps the greatest gift offered by Magic Dragon is in the publications' ability to inspire creativity in children, as well as their artistic coaches and teachers. We would recommend Magic Dragon to a select group of friends and colleagues, not as a 'must have' publication for all children in the intended age range. To those to whom we would recommend it (mostly teachers and parents working actively to engage their children creatively), we would do so enthusiastically.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
Association for Encouragement of Children's Creativity/Magic Dragon

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