For my sons second birthday this last January, his Great-Aunt gave him a couple of wonderful books along with a years subscription to Wild Animal Baby. I had never heard of this magazine and to be honest, my first thought was, "A magazine for a 2 year old? That's nuts!" Oh how wrong I was! You see, my limited mind was in such a state that I simply couldn't imagine that a magazine, good for a 2 year old, could even exist.
Still, I waited for it to arrive. The day my son's first issue got here, I was so excited! It was simply darling! It was a type of card board book, and on the cover was a drawing of a sweet baby animal.
About Wild Animal Baby
Wild Animal Baby is published by the National Wildlife Federation. An issue comes out every month or so; each issue is very durable, safe and non-toxic - like I said, it's very much like a card board book. There is no advertising in Wild Animal Baby.
What's in Wild Animal Baby?
There are monthly features in Wild Animal Baby, just like there are in the magazines I read. Here's what they are:
Out and About with Duffy - Duffy is a darling white doggie. This part is usually two, two page spreads which tell a story about Duffy and his human family. It goes along with whatever is going on that month. (i.e. for the month of July, Duffy saw fire works.)
Zudzee's Zoo - Zudzee is an elephant who seems to live in her bath tub, or at least she's always in the tub (it's the same picture each month). For this two page spread Zudzee will have an animal shape up on the bath tiles and on the page just across from this, there will be four animals. The child is to pick which animal is the same as Zudzee's.
What do you say? - Each month there's a two page spread with real photos of an animal along with their name and the sound that they make. The child is to imitate the sound that the animal makes. This is always a very fun part for my son!
I can! - in this two page spread we see a child on one side doing something (such as showing her teeth) and on the page next to it we see an animal doing the same (such as a crocodile showing his teeth). Then the child reading the magazine is to do the same.
Aminal Opposites - just what the same says. On one page we'll see... say something HARD (a turtle) and on the next page we'll see something SOFT (a rabbit). This is a great way for children to learn about opposites.
Featured Animal of the Month - then comes the five pages of our monthly featured animal, this is the animal that is on the cover. For the month of July it's the dolphin (my favorite!). Here there are amazing photos of the baby animal (it's always a baby animal, usually with its mommy), as well as a little story to go with them.
Sammy Skunk - a darling little skunk in red overalls. You're to find Sammy who 'hides' in four different places in each issue.
Other things - in addition to the above mentioned features there are two other two page spreads which differ each month. It may be colorful pictures with a simple poem or a little game for children - such as how to make a bee hive shape with your hands, or a very short story.
Their web site
Wild Animal Baby has a web site (http://www.nwf.org/wildanimalbaby/index.html) at which there are activities each month, just for toddlers. And if you're a subscriber to Wild Animal Baby you'll get a password each month at the back of the magazine so you can enter the subscribers only section. Here there are book reviews, as well as more fun activities for your child to do with you.
What my son and I think
We both love Wild Animal Baby! It's like getting a new animal book in the mail each month. My son loves it when he gets his magazine. *lol* I love it because it's fun, colorful, durable and very educational for my son. Wild Animal Baby helps him to learn about animals and wildlife at his current level. And the photos are gorgeous!
I very highly recommend Wild Animal Baby to anyone with a child between the ages of 12 months and 3 years. It is perfect for them and makes a wonderful gift!
I often think NWF is making a mistake when advertising this as for children ages 1-3, because my child continued to enjoy it through first grade (during which time she was learning to read). It was something that came to her in her own name in the mail, was at her reading ability, and, at first grade, still interested her as far as the subject matter was concerned. Now that she is a third grader, she still is willing to read it to her little sister.
At 1.5 years, a child enjoys the great photos, but is still too young to grasp all the fun games. We have tried many children's magazines, but for up through first grade, this is really the best. I give it as gifts, especially to families with more than one child under the age of 7.
We ordered this magazine for our son when he was one year old because he loves photographs of animals. This magazine is so cute. Each month they feature a baby animal with real photographs and a short story. The issues also include an animal fingerplay, an animal comparison (Showing your child how a particular animal is similar in one way to him or herself.), a short story about a child and his or her pet, and a picture hunt for a little skunk that is hidden four places in the magazine. Other material changes each month and feature an early childhood concept. Some months you will have counting, other months focus on a beginning sound (and all the animals that start with that sound), opposites, and other skills are introduced. What a great introduction to magazines. A must for every toddler that is an animal lover. My son is now 17 months and will bring his Wild Animal Baby magazine to me and sit in my lap wanted it to be read over and over.
Another plus to this magazine is that it is small for little hands (about board book size). The corners are rounded and the pages are sturdy (but not as thick as board book pages). The magazine is also glue bound so you don't have to worry about a curious toddler and staples.
Our daughter was given a subscription to this magazine at 1 1/2 years old and absolutely loves each issue. The monthly book / magazine is very durable and is the size of a board book which makes them perfect for little hands to hold and also for traveling out and about of your home with. This is also very nice and easy to read for a bedtime story.
Each book focuses on 1 special animal which is also the animal that is on the front cover. The photos are really absolutely wonderful and very colorful. The cover story is about 9 sentences long and is perfect for the age group. What is also nice is that these books will grow along with my daughter and your child or grnadchild as she or he starts to learn how to read. I believe these short stories will give her the sense of accomplishment in being able to read a story. How often do you find something that is perfect for one age and then also can grow along side your child. The last page also focuses on the featured animal with sometimes a art project, song and tells you how you can also find additional ideas on their website.
Next after the featured story is a animal search where 1 page shows a claymation style photo or a plate with 1 animal cracker on it and then asks your child to find the a real photo of the same animal on the next page.
The next 2 pages are either about an animal making a "their" animal sound and then asks your child to do the same. Later on in the book there are 2 pages called ' I can" which show a child doing something... like hanging on bars and then shows you for example an animal doing the same thing like a panda hanging on some bar as well.
The favorite section in our home is this months finger play. The pages look like they are done with cut out colored paper and features a 4 or 5 lined rhyme with a little photo beside each line that will show you and your child are suppose to do while reading this. My daughter loves act it out and then proudly shows her Da!
Each issue has a counting page or a opposite page with of course incrediable photos! Followed by a nicely drawn & colored animal search. And last but not least another small 4 page " Out and About" story that can be about a girl from Hawaii, a set of twins and their white terrier dog duffy or a boy named Marco.
The book end with Sammy Shunk's hide and seek and also 3 other drawn sections of book that they want your child to find. Again, another section of this magazine that grows with your child.
On the back cover is a picture that focuses on 1 letter of the alphabet & animal as well as illustrated picture and also uses the face of one of their readers which is really well done. Children always like to see photos of other children.
This magazine is excellent for children. I bought it for my son when he turned 1 year. He wasn't too interested at first (he's very active, but then at about 18 months, he started to enjoy it. We go over the pictures and read the stories together. He likes the fact that this is "his" magazine and that it comes through the mail. I agree with one of the comments above that a first grader can read it too while he/she is learning how to read. I am a first grade teacher and I was thinking of using the magazine with my students for guided reading. I also have been giving it as a gift to my friends' kids.
My daughter (who is now 21 months old) has loved this magazine since she was about 15 months old. At 12 months, it didn't hold her attention for very long, but now she will look at the entire "book" in one sitting. Every month the format is the same so children can anticipate what's coming. For example, there is a skunk who "hides" in 4 spots throughout the magazine. There are simple activities and suggestions for things parents can do with their child. Best of all, it's all centered around wild animals!
I started my daughter's subscription on her first birthday. She loves the idea of getting her own magazine, and we spend lots of time looking through each issue. We keep all the issues with her books, and I've often seen her looking at them. We take them with us when we go out to eat so she has something to look at. They're also terrific potty reading material; easy for her to hold and great pictures.
I gave my nephew a subscription for his first birthday. He enjoys the magazine very much and I'd certainly recommend it. The 'board book' description is misleading though, it's really just cardstock and my nephew quickly pulls it apart.
This is a very cute magazine directed to ages 2 and 3. There are bright pictures of animals, large print, cute pictures and easy activities. It is short and each page is different. This means if your kid has a long attention span you can do the whole book in about ten minutes or a different page for a short attention span. The pages are glossy and easy to clean and the book is durable and hard to rip.
Money well spent.
My now four year old son loved this when he was younger. I recently came across an old copy and he enjoyed it even more, now. Some of the activities such as "I Spy" are extremely advanced for most 1-2 yrolds.......but overall it's an excellent magazine. I can't recommend it enough.....it's an awesome magazine!!