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



Spring 2016 Magazines
Ages: 8 - 14 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $7.95
Subscription Price: $25.00 / 4 Issues

One thing this exceptional kids' quarterly has juggled since its inception is its content. Early on, it was weighted toward the Great White North, since the magazine hails from Canada. More recently, it seems broader, more balanced.

Either way, by pioneering traditional kids' editorial with technologically advanced digital content, Brainspace has huge promise in making inroads with today's tech-connected, young readers. The folks behind Brainspace define their vision as pushing "learning beyond the bricks and mortar of schools," and they do. They use "augmented reality" technology to link sections of their glossy 34-page magazine with extended video content, via the magazine's Blippar app (free to download), to bring any "Blippar" icon-designated pages to life on iPhone, Apple Tablet, or Android devices.

So, by scanning the cover of the Summer 2015 issue featuring a Triceratops, for instance, the dinosaur comes alive, roaring and stepping around on your digital device screen. Take a look at the skateboarding feature in Fall 2015 issue to see a videotaped move on the skateboard. Or turn to the feature "What Happens If We Turn Up the Temperature," in the Spring 2015 issue, and get a full-blown video program explaining the basics of climate change.

Each issue of Brainspace is full of stories and short items, contests, fun facts and compelling visuals, all well done. Its topics range from science, like the features on hurricanes and tornados in the Winter 2015 issue, to the just about anything daydreaming story in the Fall 2015 issue. Subjects also include history, geography, language arts, and music-all of it going beyond the textbook approach. Most kids will be fascinated by the technology, and will discover a cool way to learn.

Don Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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Brainspace Publishing Inc.

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