CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 1. . . .September 2, 2011
This Canadian children's magazine, whose acronym REAL stands for "Read Everything and Learn", is published five times per year in two editions, the elementary edition for students in Kindergarten through Grade 3, and the junior edition for fourth to eighth graders. Each edition consists of about a dozen articles, stories, poems, legends and puzzles and covers a wide range of topics. There is no advertising in the magazines. The page numbers in the table of contents are colour-coded to indicate the reading level of each of the articles. Basically, there is one article at each of the reading levels, and the rest are considered "shared reading," though it is unclear as to what that term means- does it mean that a parent's help is required, or that children of all ages will enjoy the story? Both editions feature a wide range of writing and artistic styles. Illustrations, for example, consist of drawings, photographs, cartoons and paintings. Unfortunately, the quality of both the writing and the illustrations is inconsistent, and the age range of the intended audience is too broad, for reasons of reading and interest levels. Third graders, for instance, will find a few of the articles in the elementary edition far too juvenile. What is needed, perhaps, is a third edition of the magazine so that the reading level range is narrower. A suggestion would be to have a primary edition for Kindergarten-Grade 2, an elementary edition for Grades 3-4, and a junior edition for Grades 5-7.
Recommended with reservations.
Gail Hamilton is Library Learning Resources Consultant at the Instructional Resources Unit, Manitoba Department of Education, in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.