National Wildlife Federation. Ranger Rick, May 2012. National Wildlife Federation, 2012. 40 pages. $15.00 (per year). ISSN 07386656.
The May issue of Ranger Rick has a colorful cover picture of a clownfish peeking out from among a sea anemone. The magazine has several feature articles on a variety of animals including fruit bats, clownfish, veterinarian camp, and bird nests. There are also several other regular features, such as the “Froggie Funnies” (jokes), “Ask Rick” (Q and As about nature from readers), “Ranger Rick’s Adventures” (a comic about Ranger Rick and friends), riddles, puzzles, and games. Each article has colorful photographs and lots of text boxes and sidebars with information, aimed at young elementary students. In the article on clownfish, the word anemone is spelled phonetically (in parentheses) and defined. Reading further, we learn that clownfish are “BFFs with anemones!” The magazine has accessible language, lots of bright photographs with great details, engaging games, and much more that will appeal to kids.
Reluctant readers are often daunted by books, but sometimes they can be hooked into reading a magazine. Magazines are brief, with lots of pictures and information, and they have a special appeal for those readers who might be overwhelmed by reading from books. In a unit on animal study, these magazines could be used as supplementary sources for research work.
A great feature of this magazine is what isn’t there: advertisements! It’s refreshing to read a book that is free from marketing to children, just great articles and photos without a lot of gimmicks and advertising.
Ranger Rick has won numerous awards and honors from the Association of Educational Publishers (National Wildlife Federation, 2012).
Science, Nature, Animals
National Geographic Kids is another periodical intended for a similar audience on the topic of science and nature.