Sunday, October 4, 2009

Review: Nature's Friend

We're all familiar with the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words."  I'm not sure a thousand words is enough to do justice to the jaw-dropping photos that grace the covers and pages of Nature Friend magazine.  The picture on the first issue I received captured an owl with extended claws about to pounce on a mouse.  I have a feeling if you left this magazine out where little eyes could see it, your child couldn't help but peruse the pages.

I was leafing through the September magazine when my six year old Schnickelfritz hopped up on the porch swing next to me.  I shared the "Invisibles" page with him -- remember those drawings with hidden objects to find?   The puzzle kept his attention until he had found all the objects, then we turned the page and started reading the article about walking sticks.  I'm not sure "article" is the right word to use--rather than just providing facts about the insect, it was written as a short story of a girl and her mother discovering one of these critters. 

Another regular feature is "Wondernose," a Pennsylvania Dutch term to describe someone who is curious about everything around him.  (This describes my son to a tee, but I think I'll stick with Schnickelfritz as my endearment for him.)  There are also art lessons, fill-in-the-blank quizzes, puzzles, reader submitted poems and drawings--a lot packed into 20-something pages.  An optional Study Guide insert provides additition puzzles, a lesson in writing and great tips on nature photography.  One thing you won't find in the magazine is advertisements.  Okay, a second thing you won't find is any evolutionistic undertones--the magazine is written from a creationist viewpoint.

The reader submitted drawings included the ages of the artists--ranging from 4 to 16 with the majority being between 9 and 11.  I would think kids much older than this would find the articles too simplistic.  The study guide articles seem to be written to an older audience.  You can judge for yourself if this would be a good fit for your kids.  Nature Friend's website has several sample issues you can download.

Subscriptions to Nature Friend magazine start at $36 for USA deliveries (Canada/Mexico $49, other countries $62).  The optional study guide insert is an additional $24 per year no matter what country.  There is a $3.00 discount available till Novemeber 30th for new subscribers.  Just enter coupon code BLOG93.  

You can read the reviews of my other crewmates by clicking here .

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