Review: SCOOP Literary Magazine for Kids [AD]
Only ten more days to go until Christmas! After this year just dragged along, the last month seems to have whizzed past in no time. If you are still looking for some last minute Christmas gifts, we have a great suggestion for you today. We were invited to test out a subscription for award-winning children’s literary magazine SCOOP. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know how passionate I am about books and literature for children, so this sounded right up our street. SCOOP is aimed at children aged 7+ and my just turned 10 year old has always either got his head buried in a book or scribbling stories in his notebook, so I thought it would be perfect for him. In fact, he whipped it away as soon as our first issue arrived and I had to extract it from his bed to write up this review.
SCOOP aims to inspire and nurture a love of reading and writing in children. It was created by mum Clemmie when she found a brilliant children’s magazine from the 1930s and realised there was nothing quite like it now. Each issue focuses on a different theme, and is packed full of stories, articles and other activities, including e.g. poetry, comics, book reviews, competitions, and more. We’ve only received our first issue so far, but it has been an instant hit. As mentioned above, my 10 year old disappears with it in to his bed every night. The theme of the December issue is ‘The Future’ and includes short stories from Philippa Forrester, features about nature and the wild from Tiffany Francis and JD Savage as well as a graphic novel from Alice Wroe about the women who changed the future. Other features include a look at fortune telling through time, a future quiz, an infographic about the butterfly effect, and lots more. As well as the high profile contributors, this issue also welcomes children from Westbourne House School in Chichester as guest editors, and other contributions by children include a poem by eleven year old Elizabeth from Westbourne House School, as well as three pages of book reviews by kids for kids. My son’s favourite features so far are the article on Moon Landings by Tom Whipple (science editor at The Times), the short graphic novel ‘I Know Everything!’ by Jamie Smart, and of course the jokes section because he is a 10 year old boy after all. But he is enjoying the whole issue, and slowly working his way through everything else too.
‘The Future’ is issue 31 of SCOOP. Past themes have included Black Britain, Sc-Fi, The Human Body, Our Planet, Art, Sport, Music and Sound, Mystery and Spies, and Innovation, to name just a few (some of which are still available to buy as as back issues). Past contributors also include some of the biggest and best names in children’s literature, such as Malorie Blackman, Cressida Cowell, Nail Gaiman, Michael Morpurgo, Raymond Briggs, Jaqueline Wilson, and Oliver Jeffers. If that line up doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will (and how on Earth did I not know about this magazine before?!)
SCOOP is published bi-monthly, and is available as an annual subscription of 6 issues over 12 months. An annual subscription costs £36, which works out as £6 per issue and saves you a little on the cover price which is £6.50 for a single issue. If you are a UK subscriber, you can also opt to pay by Direct Debit which gives you a further saving and brings the price down to £33 per year. Grabbing a couple of other magazines from my boys’ room at random, which were £4.99 for 50 pages and £3.50 for 35 pages, SCOOP in comparison isn’t any more expensive when you look at it in terms of price per pages, it’s just longer which makes sense as you’ll have two months to read it all. And it’s printed on much higher quality paper too – nice thick pages that won’t tear easily. There were only two adverts in this issue, which were both for books and not trying to sell my boys more plastic toys they don’t really need, so that was a big plus from a parent point of view. And did I mentioned that SCOOP is beautifully illustrated?
It won’t come as a big surprise to you, that SCOOP gets a big thumbs up from both myself and my son, and we very much look forward to reading more issues in the future. Whether you are looking for an alternative to yet more toys or just on the look out for a good quality, value for money children’s magazine, I think a SCOPP subscription would make an excellent gift. Christmas gift subscriptions for SCOOP can be processed up until 20th December, so you still have a good week to get in there. All further information can be found on the SCOOP website.
Speaking of digital, in addition to the magazine, SCOOP launched a new podcast for kids at the beginning of December. The first episodes interviews Liz Pichon, author of the Tom Gates books which my son hasn’t read yet but I know are very popular with kids of his age. There’s also a quick-fire round with Elle McNicoll, author of A Kind of Spark which is a book I’ve actually bought as a Christmas present for my son, so that was interesting to listen to. Listeners are also encouraged to send in questions for their favourite authors for future episodes. Visit The SCOOP Podcast website to check it out.
Disclosure: We were gifted a free SCOOP subscription in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are our own.