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



Spring 2017 Magazines
Ages: 7 - 10 yrs.
Newsstand Price: $6.95
Subscription Price: $33.95 / 9 Issues

This 32-page magazine might feel thin but it contains weighty stories that blend the arts and the sciences for kids (ASK is an acronym, you see) in impressive, age-challenging, smart ways.

One recent issue in which the theme was sweets looks at "Why We Love Sugar"; the science behind the sweet tooth; a visit to an Indiana store that makes candy; and a retro look at the sweetest tastes in ancient history. Yet, ASK is also socially responsible. In the sweets issue, for instance, a story that explains diabetes is a needed cautionary tale.

Throughout, the storytelling is engaging and well-written, the content is relevant to real life, and the graphics, cartoons and photos make every page a visual invitation.

Meanwhile, there's a breadth of stories issue to issue, from examining metamorphosis in nature (stories about Monarch butterflies and shape-and-color changing eels) to explosives (articles about blowing up decrepit buildings, fireworks and the science of popcorn). Departments range from Noisy News (Why cockroaches are hard to squash to why astronauts' bodies stretch in space) to Marvin's Clever Tricks (the no-pop balloon and blind tasting diet sodas).

Emphasis is on science, but the magazine never loses sight of science's daily application to the arts, and vice versa.

The publisher promotes ASK as "the best magazine for children who like to ask lots of questions," an accurate measure. ASK is filled with fun and fascinating facts, informative scientific articles, and hands-on activities. The magazine has zero advertisements. And the 100-percent money-back guarantee makes giving your inquisitive kid a swing at this no risk, and all reward.

Don Oldenburg   ©2017 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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Cricket Media: ASK

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