(The Vancouver Sun, March 2003)
Saleema: I am very excited as I sit down to write this column because I have good news: believe it or not, I have something positive to say about a girls magazine! Discovery Girls, an American magazine for girls aged 8-12 has been around for a while. It has always been one of my favorites, and is a Parents Choice Award Winner. Even more exciting is that this month they have released a Canadian issue featuring two girls from West Vancouver on the cover! Here are the things that impressed me about the issue:
I love the idea that Discovery Girls is a magazine created by girls, for girls. This month, they feature 13 Canadian Girls who helped create the issue. In addition to participating in fun photo shoots around Toronto, these girls brainstormed ideas with writers, made new friends and contributed to several articles by sharing their experiences. The special feature includes the finalists of an accessories design contest, including blurbs written by each winner describing what inspired their creation. A story entitled The Worst Day of My Life and How I Survived It written by Morgan (age 11) made up another two-page spread.
A quick scan of the table of contents reveals a range of age-appropriate articles and stories. Topics include how to cope when a pet dies, a quiz on leadership styles, girls speaking out about crushes (a necessary component to any girls magazine!), the difference between healthy conversation and hurtful gossip and embarrassing moments. An article entitled Inspiring Girl features Tamrah Napier, a vision-impaired 12 year old who was chosen from 1500 young female athletes to be Secret Antiperspirant Sportsgirl of the Year, and singer Avril Lavigne (the anti-Britney!) was interviewed.
Now, the question youve been waiting for how about those ads?! Unlike other girls magazines that shall remain nameless, Discovery Girls does not flog teeth whiteners, colored contacts and outrageously expensive Lancome skin products. I found a couple of pages advertising accessories ranging in price from $4.50 to $22, and on the back cover is a full page La Senza Girl ad. Thats about it! YAY!
Discovery Girls is printed every two months, and a 1-year subscription costs $24 US. For more information, you can go to the web site, www.discoverygirls.com. What a great birthday present for a girl you love!