Babybug magazine is real literature for babies and their parents. The stories and poems are not only beautifully illustrated, but well written. Quality of writing is important when reading to young children. They won't understand many of the words at first, so good cadence and speech patterns are needed to hold their attention.
My 19 month old is entering a language explosion. Babybug helps her learn new words, practice old ones, and put learned words into different contexts. She loves to give me the magazine and say "read", "open", "page". The next word is "Kim", because the first story is always about a child named Kim and Carrots the bunny. Kim's gender is fairly nonspecific, although sometimes the shoes look more girl-like to me.
The magazine has a few more short stories, a Mother Goose or similar poem and a new poem or two. I like the way Babybug includes some of the less heard Mother Goose poems.
The illustrations are excellently done, and are easy for young children to "read." That is, the subject matter is always clearly presented. People of different ethnic groups are depicted. There is a mix of realistic and stylized paintings and drawings. The cover illustrations are always beautiful and don't refer to a specific story inside the magazine, so it's a bonus. My daughter always likes studying the cover and talking about it.
Each issue has a theme such as gardening, pets, etc.. and relates to the appropriate season of that issue. The subjects are simple and relate to everyday life, which babies enjoy. The fabulous fairy tales found in Cricket Magazine (same publishers) will have to wait until your child is older!
The high quality, staple-free paper and rounded corners are perfect for babies and toddlers- except when they are in the throws of massive teething. I have one Babybug that had to be rescued with lots of clear packing tape because my daughter took some pretty big bites out of it. Fortunately those incisors are in now!
The price of Babybug is high, but they aren't trying to sell you anything but the love of reading (and more of the same type of magazine). I think the absence of ads is really important for little kids to focus on the magazine. I notice it's hard to get my daughter interested in a book if she has to flip through ads first, (like the Grolier books at the pediatrician's office that has about 20 cards for the book club in it) she can't tell where the story is supposed to be. Without ads, we can read through the magazine completely uninterrupted.
I have alot of nice board books for my daughter but she prefers Babybug to most of them. I think it's the variety packed into the magazine, with each story or poem being just the right length (4 pages or less). And it's nice to know that there are Ladybug, Spider and Cricket Magazines to graduate to. I've to reading some of my old Crickets again, and it's surprising how great they are.
I so disagree with the negative review listed above! I purchased a Babybug subscription for my son's first birthday. For many months, he bypassed the magazine in favor of board books about trucks, trains, cars and anything that moved. I just kept bringing it out from time to time, until he eventually got interested and eventually he was hooked. He loves Kim & Carrots and asks me to read their story again and again. And of course, he's loved the poems about trucks, bulldozers, dogs and balls :)
Babybug is not boring... unless you make it that way. Every issue is thoughtfully designed around developmentally appropriate topics. For example, there was one issue dedicated to the theme of "fixing things" - Kim helped to clean up a mess she & Carrots made during snack time, a short poem about a mom fixing her son's broken wagon and the nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty (who can't be fixed - as sometimes happens to favorite toys). I often refer to that issue when it's time to clean up toys, or clean up the kitchen after a messy meal. I can say, "We have to clean up this table, just like Kim cleaned up after snack time... remember?" Sometimes my son will go get an issue of Babybug to show me he knows what I'm talking about... then we read the issue again!
Anyone can give their kids a catalog of toys to look at , but that doesn't mean they learning... and you might even be laying the seeds for excessive materialism that you'll regret later. At this age, children are desperately trying to makes sense of the world around them. Babybug is a high quality literary tool that you can draw upon to help your child do just that.
I originally got a year long subscription to Babybug when my older son (now 3 1/2) was about a year old. He absolutely adored it from the first issue. In fact, it was one of the few "books" he would sit still for. When he turned two, I got a Ladybug subscription for him, but I wish I had gotten a second year of Babybug instead. Ladybug should really be for 3 and up (not 2 and up like it suggests). Now we read our old Babybugs to my younger son who is 16 months. They have held up great (a few have been taped because of so much use!) Now that we are reading them again, my older son loves to listen to them too!
My parents gave my son a subscription to BabyBug as a present for his first birthday, and when the first issue arrived I have to confess I wasn't impressed. Most of the stories were short -some, only a two page spread- and many of the stories & art seemed remarkably bland. Well, what do I know? My son LOVES it! The brevity of the stories suits his tiny attention span, and the "bland" stories about kids falling down or picking flowers or what-have-you fascinate him. He clearly relates to the simplicity of the stories revolving around toddlers.
The magazine itself is nicely put together- the pages are sturdy enough to withstand juice spills and rough handling, and the size is just right for a small hands. I appreciate the lack of advertising, too. (Although I should note that each issue is stuffed with subscription cards. Better to pluck these out before you hand it to your kid.)
All in all a terrific magazine for the very young, and a great idea for a shower gift.
We LOVED these tiny magazines for our two girls. They were more sturdy than a magazine--which helped because they were read over, and over again. I agree with other comments; these are typically not as enjoyed until over 18 mos, but we read these to them from 6 mos and we still have them.
I can't say enough to emphasize how much we love this magazine! We read each sturdy issue over repeatedly--and our little listener adored it way beyond two years old (until he was at least four, he asked for them). It's a quick, fun read with vibrant illustrations. I can still recite some of the poetry! I truly do believe it, along with many well-loved picture books, starts kids off on the road to being good readers.
My 15 month old daughter loves this "magazine" and chooses this before any book for me to read. The sing song poems and rhymes are perfect for the 0-2 age. The continuing story of "Kim and Carrots" keeps my daughter's attention with every issue. You will enjoy connecting the stories from each seasonal issue to your daily life. We look forward to each issue!
This is an outstanding, sturdy magazine. I recommend it for all preschoolers.
I work with babies and toddlers and have young twin grandsons. I give all the toddlers I love a subscription to BabyBug. The kids love it and look forward to Kim and Carrots' next adventures. The art is gorgeous with beautiful diverse families depicted. I wish I'd had it when my kids were little.
God forbid, a pig and a wig! As a wig wearer myself I was glad that rhyme was included. This way I can make sure I never accidentally wear my pig! Your kid's will love this magazine, don't be dissuaded by silly reviews.