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



Spring 2012 Magazines
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $4.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

Ask is an arts and science magazine for young readers. The content is interesting and educational, and it's loaded with art, photography plus plenty of white space to keep its readers visually engaged.

A front section named Scoops is a two-page delight of short trivia pieces. We learned about a carnivorous plant that eats bugs in less than a millisecond, a beach hotel made from recycled trash, and a worm that lives two miles underground. Other regular features include a letters and a contest section, two highly entertaining comic strips, and Jimmy the Bug, who answers questions sent in by readers.

Each issue has a theme such as stars, or robots, and six or seven related articles. Articles are written in age-appropriate language, but they are not dumbed down.

One recent issue's theme was faces. There was a feature article on the science and art of designing a robot face, Jimmy the Bug explained why we blink, and another article described how scientists can recreate facial images from skeletons. There was also a fascinating piece on the face's purpose. It discussed why we have them, what functions different parts of the face fulfill, and why animals' faces are furry but ours aren't.

Feature articles use side boxes of trivia, photos or witty thought bubbles to break up content, which creates a nice reading pace.

The magazine is engaging for its target age range. It presents serious subjects in a friendly way, and there is plenty to entertain young readers.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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