Spotlight on Magazines: Where’s Your Kahani?
All right, kids. Ears perked, and shiny eyes bright and open. What we have here today is a little bit of info on a children’s magazine that I hadn’t heard of before now. And that’s a shame.
See, the way I figure it, magazines are kids are a legitimate part of a kid’s literary life. But how often do we talk about these magazines or compare and contrast them? This side of hardly ever, that’s how often. Now before I was a children’s librarian I was a Serials Manager, which is just a fancy pants terms for a person who spends all their time in a college library organizing the magazines. Seems to me I should be taking a more active interest in the mags for kids out there. So! In lieu of reviewing them like I do to books (too wordy, says I) I’m going to try to spotlight them once in a while. And to start off this new series in which we look at magazines aimed squarely with the child reader in mind, I’m giving you a little taste of Kahani. Kahani magazine, that is.
Basically what we’re looking at here is (in its own words) "children’s literary magazine illuminating the richness and diversity that South Asian cultures bring to North America. Completely ad-free, full of great stories, art, activities, and fun facts."
Now think long and hard about this. First off, I don’t want to hear any whining about how kids will only read stories about their own cultures and own countries. Bull. A good story is a good story, I don’t care if it comes out of Kalamazoo, Cancun, or the moon. Plus with folks like Mitali Perkins, Pooja Makhijani, and Sandhya Nankani involved, this isn’t some two bit operation. These folks sort of put their hearts and souls into the mag, and even if you don’t have a huge South Asian population in your library/school/home, that’s no excuse for not going outside of your comfort zone once in a while.
As a children’s librarian, when I see gap in my collection, I want to fill it. So if you already have a children’s magazine with a South Asian culture theme, well there you go. You’re all set. But if you want to expand your little charges minds a tad, Kahani it up. That’s all I’m saying.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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