Adventure Box is the Bayard magazine aimed at the 6-9 age group. The biggest element is the chapter story, a long story of about 40 pages with big colourful illustrations on each page. The chapters are very short and are ideal for reading aloud with fairly confident readers. Sophie, aged 8, absolutely loved taking on the bedtime story role and reading a chapter a night to little sister Juliette. Juliette, aged 4, liked "reading along" and pointing at things in the picture and the questions she asked showed she understood what she was listening to.
The final pages offer a selection of games and activities (all the usual dot to dot, maze and colouring type activities), as well as a "craftbox" page and a comic strip starring Tom and Lili.
The bright colours, large illustrations and short texts kept both girls interested from beginning to end.
Story Box is the magazine for 3 - 6 year olds. It focuses on four central themes - story, animals, science, games. That sounds just like the structure of a typical day at primary school ! I sat down with Juliette, aged 4, and said we'd flick through the pages and she could tell me which bits she was interested in - we ended up looking at practically every page in detail !
First of all, there is a story to read together with big colourful illustrations that help to explain the text. Next, Juliette was fascinated and highly amused by the "Wonder with Whizkid" section, which dealt with the questions "Why don't we take off when we jump in the air ?" and "Why does the sea have waves ?". The science is simplified enough to make sense to a 3-6 year old.
Juliette loved the Sam Sam comic strip (she recognised him from TV), the pages with big photos describing animals (the giraffe and the fennec fox, in the issues we were reading) and the activity pages, which kept her amused for over half an hour, carefully filling in the maze, the dot to dot and the colouring. There is also a comic strip featuring the Lovett family and "Time for a Rhyme" on the final page.
As an optional extra, you can order an audio CD to accompany the magazine. This was of a very professional quality and kept the child's attention. Once Juliette realised that there were no pictures to go with it (I put it in the DVD player to listen to it !), she soon settled down and laughed along with the story. As Bayard magazines are available internationally, this would be a great addition for non-native speakers, who would hear an authentic British accent and pronunciation.
All of the Bayard magazines were entertaining and educational, and gave us the opportunity of spending some quality bedtime-reading time together as a family, with each member - even the youngest - taking an active role. The subscriptions are quite expensive but they are certainly worth it.
star rating : 4/5
For more information and to subscribe, go to http://www.bayard-magazines.co.uk/