Brilliant Star Magazine - Review
Here's why: while I did spend a lot of time reading to and talking with the children in my care--on my good days, at least--it was largely a do-it-yourself process. We didn't have a TV, or even a record player, until they were practically teens, but even then, we lived so far out on the coast that only one station was available. So, having a resource like Brilliant Star would have made the task of learning and entertainment MUCH easier!
In addition to regular features, such as crafts, mystery quizzes, word puzzles, recipes, serial comics, history shorts and quick bios of readers around the world, each issue has stories, think pieces, advice, games and interviews with interesting people, all based upon a theme. There will be something for everyone, really, although younger children will need assistance with the reading and thinking out the point. Perfect for lap time with a parent or older child.
No matter what fun is involved, however, virtues are heavily stressed. For example:
Delicious Diversity, a fill in the blanks on a whole page of cartoon cookies, instructs, "Whether your favorite cookies are bursting with chocolate chips or covered in frosting and sprinkles, a sweet treat is something to be savored. As if by magic, a blend of flour, butter, eggs and sugar gets transformed into crunchy, chewy, or nutty goodness.Want to try your hand on a few? P__RPO__EF__L PISTACHIO, PA__IEN__ PEANUT BUTTER, SNICKERDOODLES OF S__R__IC__. I found this a challenge as an adult!
"Like skillful baking, a mix of people and talents can add up to a happy community. Just as it's fun to try new flavors, bringing together diverse friends and ideas can have sweet results. You might cook of up creative ways to help end hunger, care for the environment, or stop bullying at school. When everyone feels accepted and shares their opinions with respect, it's a recipe for unity!" -Vol. 47, No. 2/3, p. 3
The short editorial at the front of each issue introduces the theme nicely. For this issue:
"What do cheering on your teammates, cleaning up a park, and praying with friends have in common? They're actions that help build our communities!Even more exciting is the magazine's website, which offers seemingly endless stories, activities, music, blogs, videos, interviews, expansion of feature articles from the current and back issues, and more--all presented without advertising, flashing lights, or other distractions. Take a look, download a sample free, but be prepared to spend more time than you planned at www.brilliantstarmagazine.org
"A community might be a group of people who live, learn, or work together. It could be people who share beliefs, interests, or goals. We can even think of the whole world as a community--a huge global neighborhood made up of people from all races, faiths, and nationalities.
"In this issue, discover tools to make any group more vibrant and unified. Quiz yourself on world citizenship. Play games from diverse cultures and find out about festivals around the globe...."
Oh, and the print magazine has no advertising either. But it does have very attractive pages, so that when reading to a toddler on my lap, there will be plenty of interesting things to look at. How often has your child been ready to turn the page before you finished reading?? Definitely not a problem with Brilliant Star!
This magazine is a publication of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. Its mission statement under the masthead: "Brilliant Star empowers kids to explore their roles as world citizens. Inspired by the principles of peace and unity in the Bahá'í Faith, we encourage readers to use their virtues to make the world a better place."
I recommend this resource to parents, classroom teachers, and anyone who works with children. And, it would be fun and thought-provoking for adults, too!
[Answers to the fill in above: Purposeful Pistachio, Patient Peanut Butter, Snickerdoodles of Service}
* I am affiliated with the Bahá'í Faith (smile) but not the publisher, nor am I an agent thereof (besides which, the subscription rates must barely cover printing and mailing for this labor of love). I purchased the magazine for personal use.
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