Thursday, December 1, 2011

Witch Mom Raves: BIG Kids Magazine

I read a lot of blogs: pagan blogs, blogs by marginalized voices, political blogs, artist blogs, and mommy blogs. The mommy blogs that I read tend to be folks who practice attachment or natural parenting styles and I often discover neat new stores that have natural items for Rowan on them. I tend to follow the various links and see what I find. On one such blog, I found a link to a new magazine for kids out of Australia called BIG. (BIG stands for Bravery, Imagination, and Generosity) It is an unusual magazine in that it is child driven, and the adults (who are all artists) who help to publish it guide the kids do the writing and artwork.

I was excited to see how the magazine accomplished such a lofty goal. The magazine industry is a hard one to make work, especially in the long run. Heck, print in general! So when I got my review copy, I was seriously impressed! This is as high a quality magazine as many of the other art magazines out there: on thick stock, a matte finish, with a great fresh layout. It's also an envronmentally friendly magazine, with vegetable based ink and recycled, chlorine-free paper stock.

There is painting, drawing, poetry, writing and interviews, all done by kids. From the magazine:
BIG stands for Bravery, Imagination, and Generosity. BIG is committed to partnering organisations that protect, support, and enrich the lives of children. BIG prioritises inclusion and encourages the growth of compassionate and tolerant communities. BIG challenges hierarchies of who is listening and who is speaking, and amplifies small voices in big ways. BIG is a poetic and tangible place of ongoing discovery. Read their manifesto!

I especially love the side-by-side interview feature- one is called Big People Grown (an interview of an adult) and the other facing page is called Big People Growing (an interview of a kid). The interviews of adults are of artists, performers, and scientists- in other words, inspiration for the growing people reading the magazine.

Kids contribute black and white pictures that serve as coloring pages for other kids. And one lucky artist gets a loose print in the magazine, suitable for framing. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to be a contributing kid artist and be selected for such an honor? I mean, when you get hung on the fridge its a big deal- but having your work distributed to thousands of others in a print magazine? Wow.

Rowan is a little young for this magazine now (being less than 2) but you can bet I will be subscribing when he gets older! It's expensive, but not only are you paying to support a worthy project that inspires kids (including your own), but your subscription includes donating copies to those who cannot afford one. I think $35 (Australia), $49 (Asia Pacific) and $59 (the rest of the world) is a fair price for a such a great project.

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