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



Spring 2014 Magazines
Ages: 3 - 6 yrs.
Publisher: ePals Media
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

For children who love stories and poems, Ladybug provides a wealth of readings beautifully illustrated and written for young children and their caregivers to enjoy together. Each issue begins and ends with a participatory activity—opening with an "I Spy" look-and-find picture and closing with a cut-and-glue craft. The rest of the magazine is devoted to seasonally themed stories and poems. The reading is nicely varied in tone and purpose, offering short and silly selections, informational articles, imaginative poems, and realistic stories about children resolving problems. Some of the poems in the magazine are the ever-popular limericks and nursery rhymes, but many others introduce children to the pleasures of imagery and free-form verse. One of the strengths of Ladybug is that its publishers evidently trust that word-loving children will love all kinds of words.

Another unusual feature of the magazine is that each issue contains a song, which is notated in two different ways. For caregivers and children who can read music, the song is printed in standard musical notation; on the facing page, however, it is printed in an alternate pictorial notation, with different pictures representing different rhythmic values, so that children can begin to follow along. The songs are also available for listening on the Ladybug website. The illustrations are appealing, and reviewers' children like to follow the cartoon characters Ladybug, Muddle (an elephant), and Thud (a dragon) as they cavort through the margins of the pages. This magazine may not be suited to children who have limited patience for story time; but for those who love reading with grownups, it is well worth the subscription price.

Naomi Lesley   ©2014 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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