Reading is not always about books. For some children, a magazine is a great alternative. Children’s magazines provide variety (crossword puzzles, activity pages, contests etc) and bite-sized articles. Magazines that focus on particular areas of interest can often tempt reluctant readers.
In the depressed global media market many children’s magazines are now folding. So it was with interest and appreciation that I opened Alphabet Soup – a brand new magazine “for kids who love reading.”
Editor Rebecca Newman has pulled together a charming and intriguing second issue. There’s an interview with author Duncan Ball, there are book reviews, poetry and stories, and there’s an article about scuba diving. All of these are entertaining and provide great models for kids to follow in their own writing.
Alphabet Soup encourages kids through opportunities to publish their own work. A regular feature gives them ideas for getting started in writing. Then there are pages featuring book reviews, poetry and stories, all written by children under twelve, and all so impressive! Each issue has a writing contest with entrants eligible to win a $20 book voucher, or a special certificate. (Subscribers receive four issues of Alphabet Soup for $29.80, definitely a bargain.)
The magazines illustrations are by Greg Mitchell. I love the style he’s chosen – there’s a child-like quality to the coloured pencil drawings, but also a really cartoonish quirkiness to make kids giggle. Check out the Alphabet Soup site for a free sample issue, and see Greg's drawings for yourself.
Reading and writing are essential for children’s future success. It’s wonderful to see a magazine that encourages skills and enthusiasm for them. If you’re lucky enough to have an avid 6 - 12-year-old reader or writer in your family, consider adding Alphabet Soup to their diet!