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



Spring 2012 Magazines
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

Dig is an exciting resource for pre-high school students wishing to unearth secrets from past civilizations and dig deeply into the fields of archaeology, paleontology and earth sciences. Subjects include dinosaur skeletons, ancient tombs, shipwrecks, long-lost cities, mummies, and more.

For a sense of Dig's broad topical reach, look at recent issues. The magazine has thematically focused on ancient medicine, "Home Sweet Home," humor, and bison! Yes, the magazine's cartoonish host Dr. Dig is everywhere, but the magazine doesn't dumb down real science into cartoon terms.

The issues are extensively departmentalized. Most of Dig's pages are filled with regular columns and departments readers can count on turning to, including "Ask Dr. Dig" (readers writing in questions), "DIG Facts" (scientific one-liners from facts about smiling to riddles about the Sphinx to the average annual heartbeat), "Stones & Bones" (archeologically oriented short news bytes), several games columns, Awesome Art (sent by readers), the comic strip "Adventures of Dr. Dig," and the back-cover regular "What's This?" (identifying archeological objects).

Dig assumes that its demographic has a short attention span. Each issue has only a couple of long stories, and even those are broken into segments with lots of high-quality art, sidebars, boxes of quickie info and extended captions with photos. But there are always a couple longer pieces, typically well-researched and well-written, usually compelling reading about active, in-the-field findings about a variety of past and ancient cultures-from Andean skull surgery 5,000 years ago to slave quarters at Mount Vernon to the jokes of ancient Chinese cultures.

If there's a criticism, it's that Dig typically is 32 pages, which is thinner by 8-16 pages than most of the competition in the kids' magazine arena. But for bright youngsters intrigued by the mysteries of buried treasure, even if the treasure is knowledge, this is still an excellent magazine that will spark their curiosity with the thrill of discovery with each issue.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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