CELEBRATING SEMINAL CHILDREN’S MAGAZINES
As we publish a new edition of Scoop – now in a smart bookshop-shelf-friendly format, with a spine and TEN extra pages of Scoop-tacularly inspirational words and pictures – what better time to celebrate some of the pioneering periodicals that have enthused and entertained children through the past decades?
First up comes The Children’s Newspaper, which Scoop’s founder and publisher Clementine Macmillan-Scott cites as a pivotal inspiration (you can read more about that here). Founded in 1919, this groundbreaking journal provided thought-provoking news stories to a staggering 500,000 children each week and, like Scoop, it was guided by the principle of never talking down to its young readers.
Another gem from the past is The Young Elizabethan, which was founded in 1948 and first published as Collins Magazine for Boys & Girls. The content was a mix of serialised stories, poems, puzzles and reviews. For a time its editor was none other than Kaye Webb, legendary editor and publisher of Puffin Books and founder of our next magazine …
Launched by Webb in 1967, Puffin Post served up a fabulous feast of bi-monthly book-related nourishment in the form of stories, interviews, jokes, quizzes and competitions. In its prime, Puffin Post enjoyed a readership of over 200,000, with true titans of the children’s book world making regular contributions, among them Alan Garner, Joan Aiken and Roald Dahl.
Jackie deserves mention too, not least because an urban legend has it that this hugely popular magazine was named after today’s grand doyenne of pre-teen fiction, Jacqueline Wilson, who worked on the magazine. (SPOILER ALERT: those involved with the magazine’s launch have dismissed this claim.) For ten years, Jackie was Britain’s top-selling teen magazine, and its energetic blend of pop culture, fashion, beauty, short stories, photo stories and reader-generated content (problem pages, letters) spearheaded a revolution in magazine publishing for teen girls.
Finally, we turn to the Funday Times, the dynamic kids companion to the Sunday Times that launched in 1989. Alongside the vibrant and varied comic strips – from the perennially popular Dennis and Gnasher, Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones, to contemporaneous cult classics like The Powerpuff Girls, Goosebumps and The Simpsons – this bright and breezy pull-out also featured reviews and puzzles aplenty.
But it’s not all about what’s gone before. Arguably, we’re now living in a garden-fresh, golden age of children’s print magazines, with a varied crop of child-focused periodicals flourishing alongside our very own Scoop. Here are a few of our favourites:
Okido: an arts and science magazine for 3–7 year olds
Aquila: in-depth science, history and general knowledge for 8–12 year-olds
Anorak: the vividly illustrated ‘happy mag’ for 6–12 year-olds
The Week Junior: current affairs for 8–14 year-olds
The Phoenix: a cool weekly comic for 6–12 year-olds
National Geographic Kids: a monthly mag for 6+ year-olds covering animals, geography, science and history