Eco Kids Planet
Eco Kids Planet is a conservation-oriented nature magazine that encompasses information about natural phenomena, some cultural background of ecologically significant areas, and activities readers can do to help. Each issue revolves around a central theme, which might be an environmentally noteworthy area, like the Amazon River valley or the Sumatran rainforest, or might be another issue of concern, like natural disasters. Feature articles delve into information about the theme in a variety of ways. One child cartoon character always interviews an animal, and two others always investigate ecological mysteries, such as whether or not it makes sense to boycott palm oil, how animals might predict natural disasters, or why Incan ruins reveal spiral patterns of farming. Reader activities are scattered throughout, and these too are generally tied tightly to the theme: a coloring-book page, a craft, a relevant science experiment, and themed puzzles and games. Readers are also invited to participate in a creative contest each month, ranging from inventing a pollution monster to creating a recipe for a natural disaster.
Eco Kids Planet is informative, appealingly written, beautifully designed and sturdy. The monthly themes are well chosen for their interest and significance, and each theme is thoughtfully explored through a variety of angles, so that children who might pick up the magazine because they want to read about the puma on the cover might end up being fascinated to learn about the ancient Incan cosmology of three worlds, each represented by a different animal. The contests are unusually creative, and the interactive activities are helpfully scattered throughout, rather than all being confined to the end as they often are in magazines. Although the craft activities tend to be unexciting, confusing, or both, this is a minor quibble considering the wealth of other offerings. Young readers who have any interest in the environment will be delighted and fascinated by this beautiful magazine.
Naomi Lesley ©2018 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.