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



Spring 2014 Magazines
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

With "Explore Your World" as its slogan, Appleseeds dives into the world of its 8 to 12 year old audience offering an incredible amount of age-appropriate information without any talking down or condescending language. Capturing the attention of this age range is notoriously tricky, but Appleseeds' nonfiction and social studies content is delivered balancing on-topic pizzazz and clear-cut substance.

This is a slick kids' magazine. It thematically explores world-now topics of interest ranging from the October 2013 issue's coverage of kids fighting for Civil Rights from the '60s onward to the September 2013 issue's "Power of Music" theme. Stories from one issue to another are eclectic, from the pop-iest of pop culture to serious topics. Look for environmental visits at the Great Barrier Reefs, an interview with Rosanne Cash about growing up musical, and a period piece on P.T. Barnum and his Greatest Show on Earth.

Additionally, Appleseeds boasts a bevy of puzzles, games, maps and interactive opportunities for readers to submit their opinions, drawings and stories. However, Appleseeds seems to play into a culture that perpetuates short attention spans. In an age when flitting from one thing to another in short form is the norm; a downside of the magazine is that the design is so busy that it borders on mindboggling at times, albeit more so in the departments than the features. Example: the May/June 2013 issue, starts with a frenetic contents page and continues the breakneck pace of information sharing through its disjointed "Top-Ten Tour", (a greatest places on earth compilation), and culminates in its "Detective Dobson on the Case: Solving Earth's Greatest Mass Murder" (not what you're thinking).

Bottom line: Appleseeds offers a wealth of information in engaging ways, the only problem is that it might be a bit too much of a good thing in every issue.

Don Oldenburg   ©2014 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.

Look for this product at:
ePals Media

Share This