Wild Animal Baby
(Now Ranger Rick Jr.):
Almost As Cute As Your Kid!

Toddlers need reading material too!

Note: The magazines Wild Animal Baby and Your Big Backyard have now been combined into Ranger Rick Jr.

Wild Animal Baby is a magazine that reads a lot like a picture book. It features - who could have guessed? - wild animal babies! A recent issue contained:

  • 4 pages of captioned raccoon photos
  • 2 pages of find-the-rhino-pictures
  • 2 pages devoted to counting antelopes
  • 2 pages devoted to a poem about bees
  • 2 pages encouraging your child to reproduce a panda's pose
  • 2 pages for finding particular creatures in a drawing
  • A 4 page story about coming across bunnies on a tricycle ride.

Make no mistake about it, this is not exactly deep reading. But...

A magazine for pre-readers serves some purposes

  1. It establishes a regular reading habit (even if it's mommy or daddy doing the reading).
  2. It gives your toddler a sense of belonging to the reading community that is your family.
  3. It promotes an enthusiasm for reading by being about a subject that excites nearly every toddler: cute animals.

Brought to you by the National Wildlife Federation...

...Wild Animal Baby is intended as a starter magazine, leading your child towards the terrific Your Big Backyard and, later on, Ranger Rick. Reading it isn't going to cost you huge chunks of time.

This children's magazine plays like a short picture book. Put it on your child's bookshelf and let him/her come back to it again and again.

It's sturdy - with toddlers in mind - and there isn't an advertisement to be found.

The publishers recommend Wild Animal Baby for 2-5 year olds, but I think you'll probably want to move on to Your Big Backyard by age four at the latest.

The value of Wild Animal Baby magazine isn't so much about the content as about the fact that you're conveying to your child that reading is a thing this family does.

The magazine shows up - surprise! - with your child's name on the label each month.

Talk about your positive reinforcement.

Of course, there are other toddler magazines

Babybug (from the Cricket Magazine family) is great.

The most important thing is simply to get your child excited about reading.

More children's magazines.

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