Pros: Quality Production, Promotes creativity in art and writing. No ads!
Cons: It could be a little cheaper.
I started a subscription with this magazine one year ago (now up for renewal) for my daughter, was had just turned 7 at the time. She's precocious and hard to keep occupied, and continues to read way beyond her age or grade level. We had just moved into this house, and i wanted her to start receiving her own mail (she always seemed so disappointed!!). I started scouting for children's magazines and was lucky enough to stumble across this one.
My objective was to find a magazine that would always have something new, that would have good material that was age-appropriate without being written for babies. I liked the concept of this magazine: to promote creativity and eventually publication among young authors and artists. The magazine always features fantastic illustration by children 13 and younger, which were made for stories written by other children 13 and younger. I think SS actually networks them together, so two children from different states or countries can collaborate on the same article. Also included are book reviews and poetry, and letters to the editor. My daughter is such an avid reader and writer, that I thought a magazine like this would be inspiring to her, if she wanted to try to publish her own work, as well.
My daughter loves getting her mail now, and she's always so excited to get her new issue. She holes up in her room to read it, and i don't see her until she's done. She's so in love with this magazine that, much out of character for her, she possessively hoards them away in her bedroom library, all together, in chronological order (I can't get her to put dirty socks in the laundry or her earrings away in a jewelry box, but I have NO complaints about how she organizes her Stone Soup issues). She often pulls them back out to read.
The layout and production are great - it doesn't feel flimsy or thin like newspaper (like my experience with Highlights). I think these issues will last long enough for my second child to enjoy, years from now.
The website for Stone Soup gives a nice overview of the magazine, with examples of articles and illustrations. There's also online ordering there. The website, like the printed magazines, has a clean, classy, well-ordered feel to it - visit www.stonesoup.com
My only problem with Stone Soup is the price. There's nothing I love better than saving money and getting deals and incentives, so when i compare SS to, say, a magazine which gives me monthly issues for $17 dollars per year, or SS with 6 issues for $33, I'm overwhelmingly inclined to go the cheap route. I had to fight instinct for a while in order to buy this, and I'm really pleased that I did. On the bright side, like most magazines, Stone Soup offers incentives for buying longer subscriptions, so I can get three years for a little more than double the cost of one year. I'll be renewing at that rate this time.