Root & Star
Relatively new on the scene, root & star magazine is a find; an independently published, child-nourishing, treasure trove of imagination-stirring literature and artwork creatively shaped around a single topic per issue. The approach to these topics is wonderfully varied, unexpected, and often tinged with a sense of celebration or mystery. An issue devoted to rocks (!) encompassed stories and poems about the moon (including a Japanese fable explaining how some might perceive a rabbit-shaped “shadow” on the moon’s surface). In an interview, one of the magazine’s cover artists talked about being inspired by such objects as the pits from cherries and other stone fruits. “Stone,” a poem by Charles Simic, was downright stirring. It began, “Go inside a stone/Let somebody else become a dove/Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth/I am happy to be a stone.” One two-page spread guided children through a meditation asking them to imagine they were a backyard rock, an ocean rock, and a rock in a mountain stream; a rock-collecting naturalist listed ways children can experiment with rocks. Other issues of this large-format magazine (published six times a year) offered multiple perspectives on “orange,” “crows,” and “noise.” The latter featured an interview with a visual artist, a poem by Gertrude Stein, and instructions for making found object musical instruments and paper poppers. For parents, each issue begins with a not-to-be-missed introductory note from the publisher/editor, Courtney Mandryk.
Lynne Heffley ©2019 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.