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I don't buy Junior very often, because at £4.90 it is expensive. Every time I do, though, I'm always reminded of why I prefer it to other magazines in its genre.
I've tried several parenting magazines and I always find it frustrating that they try to cover too much ground: pregnancy, birth, newborn and toddler (and in at least one case, pre-schooler as well). Having information on pregnancy is all very well if you're actually pregnant, but as soon as you give birth a third of the magazine becomes irrelevant. Likewise, once you have a toddler you're not going to get much out of an article on when you should start weaning or Ten Warning Signs In Pregnancy That You Should Never Ignore! (I think there is a secret law that requires at least one pregnancy magazine to publish this article in any given month). So yes, the magazine might only cost £2.80, but if only a third of it is going to apply to your child(ren), it's not representing value for money. It's a little like buying a good pair of jeans that will last for a year, instead of a cheap pair that will fall apart after a month.
This is where Junior is different; it is aimed at parents of toddlers and children up to 8 years, but very little of it is age-specific. It has a very wide range of articles, and when I do buy it, I tend to cut most of the articles out and keep them in a folder because there is quite a lot covered here that you don't usually see elsewhere.
At first glance, the magazine seems very posh. Off-puttingly posh, perhaps. I have the March 2010 edition in front of me, and the child on the front could probably best be described as David-Bowie-meets-Jedward, in an outfit your dad probably wore when he was that age. (I'm not kidding. His hair is quiffed, I'm pretty sure he's wearing eyeliner and lip gloss, and the less said about the tank top the better. It's no wonder he looks a bit worried.)
If you can get past the picture, though, there is a lot of useful information in this magazine. The cover stories are:
Inspiring ideas to put the "Mmm" back into Mummy
Helping the sensitive child
Introducing the wonderful world of books to your child
Uncovering the psyche of the popular child
Why fresh air & camping is the hippest new trend
Cures for a stutter
There are other articles which are not featured on the cover, including how to make your own bubble-mix, a range of clothing which has been developed to help children who have Sensory Processing Disorder, and how to help your child get over their grief after the death of a much-loved grandparent.
There are a lot of regular features, such as news (little bits and pieces), the dad's point of view, things to do this month (most of these wouldn't be expensive), fashion, interiors, food & drink and travel.
I always expect everything featured to be very expensive, but they do cater for a range of budgets. For example, one of the shopping features is raincoats; the cheapest is £10 from Bhs and the most expensive £49.50 by Kidscase.
Towards the end of the magazine is the Resources section. This includes health, development, education, natural parenting (think eco-friendly) and books. The first three of these sections have a Q&A as well as small articles on a range of subjects. The books section covers new books, CD's, DVD's and games for children, and also has a page of books for adults which are parenting/lifestyle related.
The adverts and fashion spreads are quite unintentionally hilarious as they are so similar to those in, say, Cosmo, but with smaller models. To most readers, I imagine these would fall more into the 'entertaining' than 'informative' category! The clothing in the fashion spreads tends to be on the pricier side, but that's never put me off buying Cosmo, so I don't see why it should put me off buying this either.
There's so much in this magazine that it's hard to go into it in any detail or we'll be here all day (and I, for one, have washing to do). It's worth noting that if you subscribe to the magazine, it costs £9.99 per quarter, which is a far more reasonable £3.33 monthly, and you get a free gift which this month is a pull-along wooden Dalmatian by Applepie Toys (no, me neither) which costs £24.99. There is also an offer at www.juniormagazine.co.uk to get three issues for £1.
I would definitely recommend trying this magazine at least once, as it's surprising how informative and un-posh it actually is. If you can get past the cover, that is.
I have always seen this magazine in WH Smith whenever I go to pick up the other parenting magazines I buy every month, but to be honest I have never paid that much attention to it. I saw an advert on a website I belong to which said to ring a number and you get a free issue of Junior and then a further 3 issues for just £1. I couldn't resist and then the next month, my first ever issue of Junior dropped onto my doormat.
The first thing I noticed was the quality of the magazine itself. The cover is lovely and glossy, and all of the pages inside are very thick and have that expensive look to them, you can tell this is a magazine aimed more towards the upper class reader (I'm not being a snob, just my opinion!). The cover has the work JUNIOR across the top in bright colours (This varies according to the colour scheme of the issue) and around 5 or 6 articles which are inside the magazine. Along the bottom, there are 4 words which are meant to describe the rough content idea of the magazine, and these are FASHION * HEALTH * LIFESTYLE * EDUCATION. I will go into more detail about these as I progress with the review.
The format of each issue is basically the same, just the content varies issue to issue. The first couple of pages are usually advertisements, and it then moves onto the contents page which tells you the name of articles throughout the magazine and a sentence about them, useful if you only want to read a few things that would appeal to you. There is also a letters page.
The "Junior Life" section of the magazine is 4 or 5 pages dedicated to little snippets of information, news, entertainment, shopping and events which are happening in the month of the magazine. There is quite a lot of reading over these pages and I usually find the content very interesting. It is dotted with bright, colourful pictures which accentuate the quality and appearance of the pages.
After this section, the magazine progresses into a large section of articles. Each article is typically between 3 and 6 pages long, and there is a lot of text to each article, so they can take you up to about 15 minutes to read, which is great for anyone who enjoys reading. All the articles are superbly written, very articulate, and well presented. Again pictures are dispersed throughout the article, and really add an extra something to the article.
A large difference I noted straight away about this magazine compared to the other parenting magazines such as Mother & Baby and Prima Baby is that this magazine is NOT a parenting manual as such. There are no articles comparing nappies, or telling you how to breastfeed, or birth stories. It is purely articles about things related to parenting and children. The articles in the issue I am referring to for this review come from the August 2007 edition. The following articles are in this issue: Astronaut or Accountant; How Toys Can Predict Your Child's Future Career, Rebel Toddlers; Learn to Love Their Fesity Ways, Long Live The Picture Book and Could You Save Your Child's Life? I find them very interesting and it makes a change to the other magazines I buy.
Another big difference between the magazines is the price. An issue of Junior costs £3.50 in the shops, yet M&B costs just £2.35. However, for the extra £1.15 you get a lot more adult and intellectual reading, which is relevant to mums of children of all ages, not just newborns. The magazine is aimed at parents of children from 0-8 and I think they easily tick all the boxes for each age group.
Possibly the favourite part of this magazine for me is towards the back of it, entitled Junior Resources. The section has a grey border around its pages, so you can easily find it in the magazine, which is handy if you need to quickly look up something. Within this segment are the following sub-sections; Health, Development, Natural Parenting, Education and Books. Each has a double page spread dedicated to it, and has Need To Know information, little facts and a page of Q&A to an expert in that field. I particularly enjoy the books section, as they exhibit all the latest books in different age groups i.e. Baby and Toddler, Picture Books and Early Readers. Each book has a paragraph about it too, so you know what the story is about. It also has a Personal Top 5 Favourites from a famous author. This particular issue it is by Michael Morpurgo, previous Children's Laureate.
The shopping section of the magazine is called the Children's Emporium, and is a directory of shops and internet shops which sell clothing for children. However, a lot of these places are boutiques and therefore expensive. I have also noted that the clothes printed throughout the magazine are way out of my price range, i.e. skirts from £50 and trousers at £75!! It is nice to see how the other half live though lol!
In my opinion, this magazine is fantastic. It is not patronising, it is full of intellectualy articles, fascinating information and plenty of reference points too. The photography through the magazine is fantastic, and the clothes modelled by children are gorgeous. Yes, the magazine is much more expensive than others on the market, but I do believe you get a full month's reading for that money. I read an article every few days, and then go through all the other information in the magazine. It definitely is plenty of reading for a busy mum! However, I would say tht this magazine is just as applicable to dads as well, as it is more literary based than other parenting magazines.
The heading right at the top of the magazine says the Junior is "The World's Finest Parenting Magazine". I would agree with this, and would recommend it to anyone who wants an information filled magazine which appeals to a broad children's age range, and enjoy an informative intellectual read. You can subscribe to the magazine through special offers in the magazine, and online. I would recommend subscribing as it is cheaper than buying each issue in the shops. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.
For more information see the magazine's website:
Junior also produces Junior Pregnancy and Birth magazine which is aimed at pregnancy, I presume this magazine would be the one to switch once you are a parent!
Thank you for reading.
I have just come to the end of a year long subscription to Junior and although I have not been tempted to resubscribe I have enjoyed reading it. Its a lot more thought provoking and 'intelligent' than other parenting magazines which never seem to get past birth, teething and potty training. The articles cover a range of subjects from 'clothkits', to eco-parenting to birthday parties. I was never disappointed by the articles but I got more and more disconcerted by the prevalence of 'fashion plates'. Whilst gorgeous to look at the first time, as a parent who wont spend more than £20 on an outfit for her toddler and who is totally unfashion savvy herself I found myself flicking through 60% of the magazine. Given that Junior is not cheap (£3.50 an issue), I resented spending so much money on beautiful pictures (and they are beautiful).
The freebies we have received have been of a much higher standard than other parenting magazines (burp cloths and weaning spoons???) and have included flash cards, magnetic key words and a Dorling Kindersley first dictionary on CD, all of which my daughter has adored.
I have kept all of my recieved issues however as the Q&A sections, recipes and most of the articles are useful/enjoyable to read again (and my toddler likes to cut up the pictures!!).
I have bought many pregancy & parenting magazine since becoming pregnant. Junior & Junior Pregnancy & Birth have been both informative and useful. It uses experts I have heard of such as Michel o'Dent on articles I would want to read. Other mags uses so called experts and these are the only places you would ever hear of them.
There are plenty of articles to suit a cross section of mothers. The advice & articles are designed to suit readers who don't have a concentration span of 30 seconds. I find the articles in other mags go along the lines of Take A Break & That's Life, short and easily read for a quick distraction.
The articles in this magazine treat subjects which are close to any mothers, or expecting mothers heart with respect and honesty, not with glee & pleasure in the gore. And without the scaremongering.
It deals with issues which seem not to be covered in other magazines, such as what to feed a baby who needs a dairy free, gluten free diet, or discusses the issue of feeding a baby that diet through choice.
I find the adverts are top class, and often the advertisers/shops have something a bit special to sell, not the run of the mill baby gifts/clothes which you can buy anywhere. It's an environmentally friendly mag, which promotes natural nappies, recycling etc. Definitely the one for me.
My only complaint would be the clothes adverts. How can the average mother buy them clothes for children who will grow out of them in a month. Certainly I can't afford to, however, it is useful for see what is fashionable for children and what suits children.
I really enjoy this and find it useful.
Want a parenting magazine that doesn’t treat you like an idiot? One that gives you information on topics that are relevant to toddlers and even school-age children, rather than concentrating on pregnancy and babyhood? Want to read something slightly more glossy and ‘upmarket’ than normal baby magazines? Then Junior magazine is for you! With the tag line ‘The World’s Finest Parenting Magazine’ this is a magazine that goes far beyond what to expect in pregnancy and birth, how to feed your baby and how to change his nappy. I have purchases this magazine on and off for the past few years and it is the only parenting magazine I will now buy. For an example of what to expect, these are some of the cover stories from the March 2002 issue. (Sorry it’s not more up to date, but I haven’t bought the last couple of issues!) ‘Can you protect your child from meningitis’ ‘Can’t read, won’t read – encouraging reluctant readers’ ‘Is astrology the new child psychology’ ‘Teething, talking, tantrums & other toddler milestones’ ‘Could your breastmilk save another mother’s baby’ As you can see, quite a wide range of topics to be covered and many of which you wouldn’t find in your average baby magazine. As I said at the beginning, it is a slightly more ‘upmarket’ magazine. In the fashion articles instead of clothes by Mothercare and Tesco, you get offerings from French Connection and D&G. The holiday feature is for Mauritius, not Menorca, and the majority of the adverts are for designer labels. You have to be careful not to choke on your coffee when you look at the clothes and realise that the cute skirt that would really suit your daughter costs £84!! However, despite the advertising aiming at the more affluent parents (heck, I wouldn’t spend £84 on a ski
rt for me, let alone a child who will grow out of it in a few months!), the articles are well worth reading. The articles are all well researched and written in a way that does not patronise the reader. So often with baby magazines it seems to be assumed that your ability for thinking reduces in direct proportion to the size that your stomach expands! Hence instead of being given options, you are often told what to do and what you need. With Junior, you are given good information and left to make your own decisions. In this issue, there was one particular article on the friends that your child makes and how to cope if they aren’t quite what you expect! As I have a school-age daughter who loves having friends round to play, I found this extremely useful and it has provided me with some strategies to employ if things get a bit out of hand! The article on donated breastmilk was the reason I purchased this issue in the first place and it didn’t disappoint. A well-researched and informative piece, I hope it has the desired effect and encourages more women to donate breastmilk to help other babies. There are also regular smaller articles. These include food, motoring, working parents, natural parenting and travel news, as well as question and answer pages and regular columnists. Reviews of the latest book and video releases are also featured. Junior is published monthly, except at Christmas when there is a December/January double issue. Each issue costs £2.90 which is quite expensive for a magazine. However, at 130 pages long, the magazine will keep you reading for a while and is one you can dip in and out of and come back to at a later date. Subscriptions are available at £27.97 for 1 year or £49.97 for 2 years. You can pay by cheque, credit card or quarterly direct debit (£6.97 per quarter). If you decide to take out a subscription, there is usually a free gift available! This is not a magazine for first
time parents who may be looking for basic information on pregnancy and looking after baby. However, as baby grows, this does offer something a bit different and makes a refreshing change. Highly recommended if you want something more than how to change a nappy!
Junior magazine -encouraging the Vogue readers of the future. The Good: This magazine is absolutely fantastic to look at. Beautiful kids, beautiful clothes, amazing holiday resorts, etc. etc. I love the lack of patronising info as beloved of traditional magazines and the attitude that one might be attempting to have a life besides one as mom (or dad of course). It does tackle issues again left behind by the traditionalists and expresses a fresh point of view. Book reviews are excellent and I have bought many books for my kids on their recommendation. The Bad: Beautiful clothes, holidays, restaurants that are way out of the average persons price league and very, very London based. Life does not stop north of the Watford Gap. Maybe this is personal, but one cannot help but feel inadequate after reading the sixteenth article on couples who have fantastic jobs, nanny, holiday home, sports car and people carrier, brilliant sex life and have time to regularly run PTA events. The informative articles are way to short and could go into more depth. One is left feeling more frustrated by things left unsaid rather than more informed by what was said. The Ugly In Junior magazine? Ha! In summary, it is a strange thing that lures me back to Junior magazine from time to time. The same mentality that has me flicking through Hello magazine in the Newsagents. It is a look into other people's lives. One so different to mine I cannot begin to imagine (babies in cashmere? But they drool...and puke...and poo...everywhere..and cashmere is handwash only....) and whilst I wish I could buy my children all the fantastic things they suggest it also allows me to be comfortable in the fact that my own life is, in comparison, beautifully simple (no exotic holidays to plan for... no second home to run...). Good for an occasional read but certainly not a parenting bible.
I bought this magazine for my sister a few months after she gave birth because she said she could really do with some advice and seeing as I don't have kids, I thought this would be ideal. As it was, when we flicked through it together, nothing could be further from the truth. It was full of advertising for companies like Young Versace and Yves Saint Laurent - not exactly the sort of thing most mothers can afford, and lots of 'bitty' articles that didn't really tell us anything at all. I realise that the magazine wants to appeal to a large age range but all I could see to indicate this was the amount of ad's! I feel that as a parenting magazine it falls short - it doesn't give much advice or help about much at all and to be honest, I can't imagine why anyone would want to read this as a parent. I think it's a good magazine for people who have a bit of an interest in children, however, or who want to know what sort of clothing is out there on the market for children, as the articles it does have (they're few and far between) are short and easy to read. Plus, it is really nice to look at and has lots of photos of children but why it aims itself at parents, I can't imagine.
When I first fell pregnant, I ran to the newsagents to seek the 'expert' advice of a few parenting magazines on the do's and dont's of childbearing; Boy, was I dissapointed. After reading three or four, I came to the conclusion that ALL the articles had been written by the same dubiously childless reporter: Each magazine was a carbon copy of the other. It wasn't until after my son was born that I discovered 'Junior - The World's Finest Parenting Magazine'. At least, I thought, this magazine had a certain glossy panache about it, and if nothing else it would look good on the coffee table. I was pleasantly suprised when I finally found the time to read it (you know how it is with a new baby), and oohed and ahhed my way through 130 packed pages of informative, well presented baby stuff. I found some great advice on moving house with a baby in tow (strangely enough what I was about to do), some future notes were taken on sleep problems and how to solve them, and I fell in love with some seriously cute clothes for my little angel. The layout is VERY glossy and clean, obviously trying to appeal to the youth culture that grew up with The Face and Sky. There is no clutter or confusion, articles are large, well presented and comprehensive. A lot of the magazine is dedicated to dressing your child in the latest designer gear, but the photography is great and the models are just so sweet, that you forgive Junior for showing you such pricey clothes that you "just have to have". There is a Question and Answer section for letter writers (which gets to the point and offers some intelligent advice), great childrens book/music/toy reviews and a refreshing general section that reviews restaurants, events and shops that might be of use to a parent. I don't know how long Junior will keep it up, but at the moment it also comes with a free supplement of 'what to do with
your kids in London'. This is an excellent parenting magazine; Yes, its a little more expensive than the others, but once you get reading you will realise it is definitely worth it.
I have bought Junior a few times, but I found most of it was no use to me. It seemed to be aimed at parents who work and/or have lots of money (which I don't) I can remember articles on not having to eat in grotty child friendly pubs, like Brewers Fayre, and listed lots of classy, pricey, restaurants, mostly in London, where 'junior' can be settled with a pack of crayons for the duration. Well, I can only just afford a 'grotty' Brewers Fayre, and that's only once in a blue moon. And the clothes!!!!My budget might stretch to a pair of socks! Sorry all admirers of Junior, but this magazine was not for me.
This magazine is set out like a woman's fashion glossy, the only difference being that all the fashions are for 0 - 10 year olds. It makes a refreshing change to the normal mum and baby magazines, which although they offer lots of advice to new mums, don't really make you think. The layout is really good with lots of interesting articles mixed in amongst the fashion pages. Unfortunately, the price of the clothes they advertise is out of most people's price range, but I will be first in the queue when I win the lottery! The mag is now out every month, and there are lots of entertaining regulars including Ask Katie, an agony aunt who is not scared of speaking her mind; and a good section on child health. All in all a good read, especially for us aspiring millionaires.
I like the glossy feel and the dreamy photographs, and the dreams the magazine inspires. I feel though that the magazine is aimed at people who mainly live in London and have extremely affluent lifestyles. I'd like it if there was some middle ground. I find other titles swing too much the other way, leaving a gap in the market for 'ordinary' people with reasonable intelligence. Just how many of us go out of our way to buy a jumper for a two or three year old which costs over £50? Ok, so there is some practical advice, but I think the cover price is too high when you can get the same quality of advice on parenting websites. The book reviews and product profiles are always handy for new ideas, and yes it is nice to sit down at the end of the day with a glossy mag rather than spend yet more hours in front of the computer. If you're looking for designer children's clothes and designer kids bedrooms with prices to match - this is the magazine!
An excellent magazine aimed at the toddler plus age group. Having tried the more traditional parenting magazines and finding that only a small percentage of the issue applicable I decided to try the above. It covers much more applicable articles such as toddler training, pre-school activities, nurseries etc and makes a much better adult read. Not too expensive as a monthly read. Recent articles covered have been on education, second children, moving house. There are no "pre-baby" issues in sight. Much more applicable.