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

Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids

Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids

Spring 2015 Magazines
Ages: 7 - 12 yrs.

First thing to know about Kayak is that it is, indeed, all Canadian, every page, every issue, from front cover throughout its 34 pages to back cover. This smaller-than-comic book-size quarterly is, after all, Canada's history magazine for kids.

Kayak promotes its mission as bridging the gap between magazines that entertain and magazines that educate. It does a pretty good job of it with themed issues that explore not just textbook history but also collateral history. A recent issue dedicated to "The Great War," Canada's involvement in World War I, not only included stories about why Canada entered the war and the major WWI battles its soldiers fought in, but also pieces on the kids and their mothers at home. Its issue on Canada's forts and castles features not only the nation's most famous structures but also stories about how they built and a glossary for fort terminology. And a particularly appetizing issue explores Canada's food history which reads like an international buffet menu.

While Kayak's stories are mostly illustrated, often in cartoon-like style, the magazine seems to be using more historical photographs in recent issues. Regular departments are mostly at the back of the magazine, including a 6-page comic-style rendition of a slice of Canadian history, a word puzzle, and the "Bubbleology" fill-in-the-thought-bubble contest.

Published by Canada's National History Society, Kayak regularly includes two tasteful ads. The inside-front-cover ad is from TVO Kids, Ontario's provincial educational television network's kids programming. And the back cover ad is from Hudson's Bay Company the historic outfitter that founded and funds the historical society.

Especially if you're a Canadian kid, Kayak can be an entertaining and informative little trek into your country's past.

Don Oldenburg   ©2015 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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