Cricket meets Snicket

Sometimes when you’re grown up, you come across something that you know you would have been just crazy about when you were a kid. A while back, I discovered Cricket magazine. I continue to be amazed that my literary, science-loving father did not order a subscription for me on the occasion of my birth. I love the eclectic blend of facts, poems and stories. I love the letter from Old Cricket that closes each issue. I love the ladybug cartoons. I can see my 12-year old self walking down the lane to our mailbox, snatching the latest magazine, and flip-flopping my way to a shady spot in the backyard to while away the summer afternoon. Alas, I must be content imagining this bliss and buying Cricket “for my students.”

A few months ago I had a lucky find at my local bookstore. Crow Toes Quarterly is a Canadian publication of short stories, poetry and art work for children, all with a spooky, slightly-twisted bent. Basically, Crow Toes Quarterly is Cricket’s evil twin. It is what might happen if Lemony Snicket decided to edit a literary children’s magazine. What’s not to love? Now for the moment CTW is only for sale on my side of the border, but subscriptions are available in the US too.

A visit to the website will give you a feel for the spirit of the magazine. There you will find a sampling of the stories and poetry, as well as a few nifty games in the “Shiny Things” section. You can dress up the “Staff Villain” in Santa beard and 3-D glasses, participate in a haiku “duel,” or ask the “Unsettled Scarecrow” a question and receive a deliciously gloomy answer along with a dastardly cackle. So, check it out at http://www.crowtoesquarterly.com/ . It’s what Wednesday Addams would read during her summer vacation.

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