The key to becoming a successful and enthusiastic reader is, I have always thought, variety. Variety of reading material, variety of subject matter, and variety of genre. To a proficient and eager adolescent reader comic books are as valid as great poetry, cereal packets as interesting as Dickens, and there is no restriction in what they 'should' read. But how do you get an early reader to that point? Introduce them to a wide variety of reading material from the beginning.
Children's publishing company Bayard Magazines produces a range of publications aimed at children aged 3 to 12, with all sorts of interests covered, from dragons and dinosaurs to fairy tales, animals and modern life. The three magazines cover a wide variety of subject matter, genres and styles. They are beautifully illustrated, with stunning photography, and are bright and engaging, appealing to all the family. Best of all, they contain no adverts and have no plastic toys attached!
Story Box is aimed at children aged 3-6, with fun comics, great bedtime stories and fun things to do. Tatiana and Sophia have happily sat looking through these, despite not being able to read a word. With 54 pages to read, including a beautiful book-length story to read aloud, from fairy tales to exciting adventures, written and illustrated by some of the world's best authors and artists. The feature Wonder with Whizkid introduces children to science and answers some of their questions about the world, with clear pictures and explanations, whilst Animal World introduces a new animal each month with stunning photography and simple captions.
Adventure Box is for developing readers aged 6-9, aimed at helping them develop confidence and the ability to read independently. Tricky words are defined, new ideas introduced, and the fledgling reader has their hand held as they begin to enter the wonderful world of independent reading. An exciting long, illustrated story is divided into manageable chapters for this age group, featuring a range of different genres, such as action, suspense, drama, adventure and humour. Colourful illustrations help engage children's interest and spur them on.
Regular feature NatureBox features new animals with superb photography and interesting facts to help children discover the natural world. While an hilarious comic strip with funny and mischievous characters and game and puzzles provides some light entertainment. There are also puzzles and games to stimulate children’s literacy, observation and reasoning skills in a fun way.
Discovery Box is for older children aged 9-12 and has a more non-fiction bias. It covers history, geography, science, and is full of all sorts of information, opening up further study in a variety of areas. Animal topics are presented through spectacular photos and informative facts, important historical events are retold in a lively and engaging way, and science is introduced with all the fascinating innovations and inventions that capture children's imagination. Clear explanations and carefully captioned illustrations expand knowledge and encourage further interest.
Comic strips, DIY activities, games, quizzes, recipes, pet care, competitions, and lots more keep older children engaged and occupied. Articles introduce other countries, cultures and lifestyles, as well as topical debate and news. Lara is fascinated by this magazine and we have already had at least half a dozen different conversations about the subject matter. Lots of ideas for future home ed projects!
The Bayard team includes editors, educators and parents, and their background and input really shows. They have a passion for creating text that welcomes the child in, whatever their ability, and gives them enough hooks to pursue an interest and engage with the text.
Every edition of the magazine, whichever option you choose, covers a range of different topics, and they arrive to the door addressed to the child themselves - who doesn't love receiving post? These are magazines to collect and pass on to younger siblings as an older child progresses up through the levels.
Bayard Magazines have been published in the UK for over 20 years and has a strong following worldwide. They have received a number of awards over the years, and are regularly used by teachers in class.
For more information about the magazines, visit www.bayard-magazines.co.uk. You can also find them on Facebook.
We have two six month subscriptions to the magazine of the winners' choice (Story Box, Adventure Box or Discovery Box) to give away. If you would like to win one, just enter via the Rafflecopter below. Only one entry is needed to enter the giveaway, but the more times you enter, the greater your chances of winning! And don't forget to come back each day for our free daily entry and to send out the competition tweet.
We are also running a Bayard giveaway over on Twitter, so make sure you head over and retweet the competition tweet.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway ends at midnight on Friday 9th December 2016.
UK entrants only, please.