Newest Review: ... 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... more
It's all about cost-per-wear, darling
Member Name: theda
Advantages: Very informative, lots of interesting articles, amusing photoshoots
Disadvantages: Pricier than other parenting magazines
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.
Summary: Boden? What is this Boden you speak of?