For over 40 years, Chickadee has served as a guide to what’s cool for the 6 to 9-year-old set. Its splashy colorful pages bring together a grab-bag of interactive stories, puzzles, animal features, and science experiments to educate and entertain readers. Introduced in the opening pages, are the magazine’s title characters Chick and Dee who greet the reader with humor and a bit of knowledge. The “Did You Know?” pages provides some random fun facts about the world, while an “Animal of the Month” spread offers photos and a fact sheet on each critter.
Other semi-regular features include the obligatory comic book section, simple science experiments, brain-teasing puzzles, an easy but quality crafts page, and some nicely illustrated fiction and/or poetry, where kids who check out the magazines’ website can hear the actual author read their work. A nice interactive feature is the “You Asked?” sequence, where kids write in with questions about how something in the world works and it is explained by the magazine editors, along with accompanying illustrations, photos and a picture of the child who asked it. This interactive component is where the magazine excels, especially in the “Explore the World” photo spread, where a young reader shows the food, culture and highlights of their region of the world, and the “Clubhouse” section, which encourages children to share drawings, photos, book reviews and things they have made, which are all printed in the magazine. The back cover is mostly devoted to quality children’s book recommendations, with only the occasional ad for the Lego Movie in an otherwise advertising free publication. While the magazine occasionally touches upon popular children’s computer games, it’s main focus remains on children interacting with the real world. A 10-issue subscription to Chickadee might well be a fun antidote to children with too much screen time.
Lahri Bond ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.