The delightful illustrated covers of this literary magazine for “newly independent readers” well represent the imagination-stirring content within its pages. Variety is key, with an eclectic cadre of fine authors and illustrators providing a deft balance of humor, fantasy, and real-world-based fiction and non-fiction, along with poems, puzzles, jokes, recipes, crafts and games. A sampling of recent features: “Best Friends Always”—one side of a correspondence between best friends—subtly showed how, when one friend moves away, the bond between them can remain strong even as both make room for new friends and new experiences. “Ants in Their Pants” was a fascinating piece about “anting,” a sort of ant bath birds take, seeming to use the creepy crawlies rather like bath salts. And Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” received a fantastical treatment, thanks to the drama of Hungarian artist Jani Orban’s illustrations. Reader participation is enthusiastic, judging from the letters pages and themed contests inviting reader-generated content. As always, big-eyed Spider and his cartoon pals contribute comments and comedy along the margins throughout.
Lynne Heffley ©2018 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.