Update: Congrats to Allison, the winner of the subscription to Highlights Hello Magazine! If you didn’t win, you can still subscribe here.
I saw a lot of stuff at BlogHer, but when I was finished there was one thing I knew I was getting behind 100%. And that’s Hello magazine from Highlights. Yes, you remember Highlights? Looking for hidden pictures in doctor’s offices while you were a kid?
Well, they’re still around. And I hadn’t realized they have more than one magazine. In addition to the magazine you already know and love, there’s also High Five for kids 2-6 and now they’re launching Hello, for ages 0-2.
You are probably thinking, Why does my baby need a magazine?
Well, you get books for your baby, right? They are probably board books, like we have. I recently bought a whole bunch for Tessa. Why did I buy books when I already bought a bunch for Graham when he was little? Because board books, despite their initial sturdiness, can be surprisingly… well… unsturdy. Graham’s Goodnight, Moon no longer has a back cover. His Mouse Paint is bent. And those aren’t even books he read particularly often. His Thumper’s Fluffy Tail, which he reads in bed each night, is missing its spine and will soon be so spent that we’ll have to find another book to read. (Or get another Thumper.)
So when I saw Hello, I was immediately enchanted. It’s about the same size as a small board book, though it’s taller than it is wide. It doesn’t have board-book-style binding, so it can’t be bent. And it doesn’t have regular pages, so it can’t be ripped. The pages are soft and easy to turn and surprisingly durable. It’ll hold up to a toddler hurling it across the room as well as getting its corners thrust into baby’s mouth. (It’s printed with a non-toxic ink and the paper is washable. Nice, right? Oh, and it comes in an envelope so it’ll be nice and clean. They’re really thinking about everything.)
As far as durability, I was sold. Then, of course, there’s the content. If you want a peek, head over to the Hello page and click the “Look inside” link on the cover. You’ll see some of what it has to offer. Our copy has a short story, a rhyme, a song and even a Hidden Pictures that’s easy enough for little ones. The stories and pictures were things young children would recognize: animals, families, a nursery with baby toys. I also really like how the book has suggestions for parents about why a piece is included and how you can read it to your child.
The one thing that usually deters me from magazines is the price, but with Hello you won’t be tossing your magazines when you’re done. You can add them to your bookshelf. A year’s subscription is $34.44, which costs about as much as two board books. Yup, you can get two board books or you can 12 issues of Hello. You can transfer to another magazine if your child outgrows your subscription, though Graham, who’s 3 and not reading yet, still enjoys Hello quite a lot.
I’ve taken to putting my copy in my purse. It’s much more portable than a regular book and I pull it out when we’re sitting and waiting to give Graham something to do. He likes being able to flip through it himself, since he often won’t let me read to him. And I’m going to start leaving it in Tessa’s PacknPlay, too, now that she can sit up and reaches for toys.
It’s a great answer for parents who don’t want to read THE SAME BOOK EVERY NIGHT FOR ETERNITY and also don’t want to spend a lot of money on board books. I love the library, but boy are the kids books at the library beat up and it’s hard to manage them with a toddler or a preschooler without doing more damage. So yeah, I’m pretty in love with Hello.
I know you will be, too, so I’m giving away a FREE 1-year subscription! Just leave a comment telling me who will be enjoying Hello magazine if you win. (Oh, and you folks in Canada, this one’s open to you, too, eh?)
Never fear, if you don’t get a free subscription, just head on over and sign up. The first issue comes out in December. (Pssst, grandparents and aunts and uncles: GREAT CHRISTMAS PRESENT.) Good luck!!
Rules: No purchase necessary. By leaving a comment you agree to the rules of this giveaway. One entry per household. Limited to entrants over 18 in the US and Canada. Contest begins as of the time of this post and ends on Monday, September 17th at 6 pm Eastern Time. One winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning. The winner will be selected using the “And the Winner Is” plugin. Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours to receive their prize. If a winner does not respond within that time, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be provided by Highlights Magazine. This contest is governed by the rules of Massachusetts, void where prohibited.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Hello to review. I also won a free subscription to Hello which I am totally keeping because I want it.