Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2015 Magazines
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $3.95
Subscription Price: $44.95 / 9 Issues

Appleseeds magazine demonstrates the rich possibilities of a broad social studies approach to learning about the world, one that includes the histories of science and technology as well as of nations and cultures. Each issue highlights a central theme-dinosaurs, skyscrapers, the city of St. Augustine in Florida-and covers the theme through brief historical essays, historical fiction, photo essays, and interviews, each of which addresses a different aspect of the theme. For example, the issue on skyscrapers includes an overview of how the buildings are built, a brief history of the technology that made the skyscraper possible (the smelting of iron, forging of steel, and development of suspension cables), a compilation of engineering disasters, and a poem about a skyscraper. The issue about St. Augustine includes essays and stories about the African-American community of freedmen in Fort Mose, pirates who sailed the local shores, and schooling in the historic city; but it also includes an essay on the practice of archeology and a photo essay about the chalk art event (the Paseo Pastel) that are parts of the city's contemporary identity. The two constant features of each issue are the Apple-Peel comic strip, which is often scattered throughout the magazine and offers humorous commentary on the historical information, and a theme-related activity, such as instructions on how to do a backyard archeology dig or a Paseo Pastel art submission.

Appleseeds represents the contributions of women and cultural minorities respectfully and accurately. For example, the issue on deserts discusses the present-day lives of the Tuareg of the Sahara and the issue on skyscrapers highlights the importance of Mohawk Indian skywalkers who helped lay beams for the Empire State building; the magazine avoids portraying these cultures as frozen in some distant pre-historical past. Appleseeds will appeal primarily to children who are already fascinated by history. For this interested audience, the magazine offers well-written, fascinating, and often unexpected exploration.

Naomi Lesley   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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Cricket Media, Inc.

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