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



Spring 2013 Magazines
Ages: 4 - 6 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

If you have a story- or poetry-loving child in preschool or kindergarten, Ladybug magazine is well worth a look. Like the other magazines in the Cricket literary magazine family, Ladybug offers well-written, beautifully illustrated reading material that is nicely adapted for its target age group. Each issue provides a reliable selection of features, beginning with a story about the various activities that friends Max and Kate do with their parents, and always including one children's folk song, one look-and-find picture, one or two longer stories, and several poems. The back page folds out to a cut-out craft activity.

The stories and poems provide a nice balance between the familiar and the world-expanding; some poems and stories treat subjects of immediate interest in children's everyday lives, such as going to the barbershop and starting kindergarten, and others introduce topics that may be new, such as water festivals in different cities. A few stories help children imagine the deeper stories behind their seemingly mundane everyday activities, by narrating how letters get from one place to another or by tracing each individual component of a tea party (the table, the cups, the tea) back to its source. The illustrators are attentive to issues of diversity; the children who dance and play across the pages of Ladybug not only come from a variety of racial backgrounds, they are occasionally are pictured in wheelchairs, which happens relatively rarely in children's media.

As with the other Carus publications, Ladybug is most appropriate for those children who really love text and who would happily sit on your lap reading with you until your voice gives out, since the few craft and puzzle activities are far outweighed by the number of stories and poems. If you are looking for a reliable infusion of wonderful children's reading material, however, Ladybug will deliver.

Naomi Lesley   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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