Out now: Kids magazines
Anorak remains the touchstone for this market, with issue 31 looking at dreams and including this story (above) by founder Cathy Olmedillas’s son Oscar, neatly illustrated by Jack Bailey. Oscar was in part responsible for Cathy launching the magazine so it’s lovely to see him contributing. Elsewhere, the issue is the usual kaleidoscopic riot of writing, illustration and colour; I also settled on the image below before realising this too is by the self-same Oscar. Top work, young magaholic!
Meanwhile Cubic is a brand-new magazine, a project that grew out of founder Neil Irani helping his eight-year old son with schoolwork. Neil devised exercises based around gettting his son to ask questions and think about the problems, found they had a postive affect on his son’s ability and decided to share them in print.
The result can be a little earnest at times, but the broader, more abstract questions asked – like the example above – have an inspiring edge to them, and remind me of the work I did with David Roberts on the ‘Pick Me Up’ encyclopedia. Such questions can open up a subject like maths, making it more relevant, and the gentle humour included in the mix below (‘The problem with cheese is…’) balances the more practical questions on the same page.
These maths problems using pizza slices veers towards school books, showing the origins of the project, but overall Cubic is a brave launch that will do well if it can develop the lighter side of the content and add a bit more wit. I’d be interested to hear from anyone with kids of the relevant age and how they find the mag.
The fifth issue of Loop has a new format; still larger than most magazines, but no longer a tabloid on newsprint. This makes sense – however well you dress it up the tabloid format looks like a freebie – and the scale remains special. The slightly smaller pages and whiter paper make a real difference to the magazine, it feels tighter and better-balanced. A more colourful cover helps too.
Loop has a colourful, comic-like design but is aimed at slightly older kids than Anorak and Cubic. Articles about growing your won veg (above) and how celebrities (from Miley to Pope Francis) change their names (below) are written in long form and show the scope of the magazine.