Pros: Colorful, friendly pictures. Stories for very young children. No advertising.
Cons: Well, it is a tad expensive.
Did you know there's a magazine for babies? Not about babies, but for babies. Babybug is that magazine!
For babies and toddlers from 6 months to 2 years, Babybug looks more like a board book than a magazine. It's 22 smooth, glossy cardboard-type pages, with rounded corners and baby-friendly binding (no staples).
The first thing I noticed was the illustrations. They're colorful and soft, though there are different art styles and artists for each story. Friendly-looking animals and people predominate, including some babies and toddlers, of course.
The stories are quite short; not more than a couple of sentences. Usually they only span two pages. Some of them are in rhyme, while others are not. Topics include animals, food, nature, and life lessons such as sharing.
Each of the issues I read start with a story starring Kim. Kim and Grandmother play with leaves. Kim takes a walk with Daddy. Kim and Mommy go to the library. Kim has a stuffed rabbit named Carrots. What's interesting about these stories is there was nothing identifying Kim as either male or female. Kim is probably Asian, but drawn in such a way that most children should easily recognize themselves in Kim.
On the subject of multi-ethnicism, when other children and adults appear in the pages, there's a good range of ethnicities, including one red-haired, freckled child. Family seems to be another theme, probably as that's what children this age most closely associate with.
An interesting little feature is that the back cover has four pictures of animals or items that you can find within the pages. So once you've read the issue, your child can go back and see if they can find those pictures within the pages.
A subscription costs $35.97 for 10 issues. May/June and July/August are double issues. There was also a 5$ off offer, which brings the price down to about $3.00 an issue. The cover price is $5.00. This isn't as bad as it sounds when you compare it to the price of a child's board book. They should hold up pretty well, though they're not indestructible. Still, your local library might have issues you can check out for free.
The only advertising is a couple of postcard pullouts, selling subscriptions to Babybug and other magazines from the same publisher.
Babybug gives you a happy, optimistic feeling when you read it and look at the pictures.
This age is probably a bit young to get a thrill out of something addressed to them in the mail, but it could make a nice gift subscription to new parents or grandparents. There's good variety in each issue, which is a nice change from a single-subject board book. This is by the publisher of Cricket, so a child could progress from Babybug to Ladybug to Spider to Cricket to Cicada. Start the reading habit early and keep them going.
I'd definitely recommend it.