We were lucky enough to be sent the December/January issue of Story Box to review. This is "a magazine to read-aloud and share with your children". Published by Bayard, they produce three titles aimed at different age groups: StoryBox (ages 3-6), AdventureBox (ages 6-9) and DiscoveryBox (ages 9-12).
Sadly the magazine sent to us delayed in the post because of the awful weather we had before Christmas, but it was still seized upon by Ruby who was eager to look at it. Magazines are a bit of a problem in our house! Every corner shop, garage and supermarket seems to sell the cBeebies type character magazines, and I usually get talked into buying one. But to be honest, they are poor value for money, flimsy quality, and have very little content. Most magazines aimed at toddlers are very much a throw-away product, to be read once and then put in the recycling bin.
Storybox however is different. Immediately you can tell from the feel of it that it is better quality. It is more robust, so can be thumbed through over and over without the pages all falling out. There are full length stories which can be read over and over in each edition, and most importantly, at 50 pages long in this edition there's plenty to keep your little one entertained.
Ruby loved the story about the winter hare. The pictures grabbed her attention, and it prompted lots of discussion afterwards about other animals that camouflage themselves (like polar bears) and animals that can change their appearance to adapt to different surroundings (like chameleons). We spent quite a bit of time afterwards looking this up on the internet and looking at pictures on the computer.
The magazine is also packed with puzzles, games and facts - some of which were a bit too old for her, but I think would be well received by children aged 4-5.
Priced at £4.15, I think it represents good value for money. We currently spend much more than this on weekly magazines which don't keep her attention for nearly as long.
Why don't you pop over to Bayard Kids Mags Facebook page. There you'll find a competition to celebrate their 15th anniversary, and they are giving away 10 annual subscriptions.
One copy of this magazine was received free of charge for the purposes of writing this review. All of the views expressed are my own and no other financial reward was received.