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1,638 of 1,690 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2003
This "magazine" is actually advertising with a few decent articles and activities mixed in. I was shocked when my six-year-old son received his first issue--it was filled with food, clothing, and media ads. There is also some lame content that looks like an activity but is really advertising (the latest issue has a two-page spread that has kids look for the brand-name cereal pieces that don't match the others). I cannot believe that National Geographic would even consider being associated with this publication.
Kids are bombarded enough with advertising via television, movies, and fast food restaurants. Do we really need to target their developing minds during a simple pleasure such as reading? I should think the goal of a decent children's magazine is to get the child to sit calmly, relax, and read; this magazine simply adds to the culture of hype and cross-promotion.
If you don't want your child thinking that "Kim Possible", Pokemon, and Froot Loops are subjects of a science magazine (and if you don't want to pay for the privilege of doing so), steer clear of this one and take a look at Ranger Rick or other publications with no ads.
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806 of 835 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2004
I had a subscription to National Geographic's original kids magazine, World, when I was a child. In fact, I still have a couple dozen issues from about 25 years ago, which my 5 years old son has enjoyed looking through.
A few months ago, I looked on the web to see if World still existed. Happily, it did, now renamed National Geographic Kids. I ordered a two-year subscription for my son.
I wanted so much to like it. But the damn thing is chock full of advertising for candy, video games and movies, and in a way that makes it hard to separate the selling from the educating. It is a little repulsive, actually, the level to which the advertising is carried.
As I sit here in front of my computer, I am looking wistfully at a May 1982 issue of World magazine. Within which, there is not one stich of advertising.
What happened?
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594 of 622 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2003
The magazine is one huge ad. Even the feature stories are all about selling some popular culture fad. A great example is a story about how the Incredible Hulk "evolved" from its comic book roots through its TV show to its currently released movie version. Most of the feature stories are like this. They are selling current films or pop singers, not teaching your children anything. I cannot describe how bad this magazine is.
Try Ranger Rick! Or check out KidsDiscover. Great magazine - $20.00 a year - no ads!
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259 of 270 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2003
I bought a single copy of National Geographic Kids at a bookstore thinking I would give my grandson a subscription. I will not. I couldn't believe the number of ads and, worse yet, how much they were made to look like articles. Even many of the actual articles are about "product placement." What other purpose than advertising is there in a 3-page article on The Lord of the Rings? A child's movie? I think not, not for the 8-12 year old set. How could National Geographic have gone so wrong, treating children like nothing more than little consumers? Truly ugly!
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185 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2005
I am truly appalled that National Geographic would squander it's reputation by putting out such a low quality publication. Never again will I assume that the National Geographic name confers high quality or intellectual integrity. I found what little educational content there was to be dumbed down and lacking in focus. I also found both the excessive amount and the type of "tween" targeted advertising to be inappropriate for a supposedly educational magazine.

Before subscribing, I had only seen seen "samples" of this magazine, but the samples are not at all like the real thing. The samples had more pages of educational content than the real magazine.

When we received a subscription as a gift, I was appalled at both the excessive amount and the type of advertising - not at all appropriate for younger elementary students, nor in any way related to the supposedly educational focus. I was so disturbed by the content of some of the ads for violent video games and inappropriate movies, that I did not even show the magazine to my son.

As a science educator, I decided to quantify my impression, so I counted the advertising pages vs. the actual educational content and the non-educational pop culture drek (star interviews, movie reviews, product reviews). In the 56 page issue I reviewed, there was only 21 pages of "educational content" (including the cover and some pretty lame trivia), ads took up 17 and 2/3 pages and there were 12 and 2/3 pages of non-educational pop culture drek and thinly disguised marketing (including star interviews, movie and product reviews, non-educational jokes or puzzles). The last 4 and 1/3 pages included crafts (2 pages), one educational puzzle (1 page) and the publishing info & contents (1 and 1/3 pages).

Draw your own conclusions. I'm cancelling our subscription AND I'll look twice at any kid's products marketed by National Geographic in the future. They (National Geographic) have lost the confidence of a former lifelong fan.
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294 of 313 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2005
I'm so glad we didn't buy a subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine without checking it out at the news stand first! It truly seemed like there were more pages of ads than of actual CONTENT in this magazine.

If you're looking for a good kids' magazine about nature & wildlife, try one of the National Wildlife Federation's excellent publications. My kids enjoy Your Big Backyard (for ages 3-7) and Ranger Rick (for kids 7 & up), both of which are available through or [...]

Kids Discover magazine (for 6-12 year olds) is another favorite with my children (and me) and contains great science & social studies articles without the commercials of NG Kids. You can subscribe through Amazon or [...]
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170 of 180 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2004
When I was young I had a subscription to the National Geographic kids magazine which was at the time called "World" magazine. It was interesting, and I held onto my subscription for nearly 8 years. My parents remembering how much I enjoyed this magazine, bought my daughter a subscription to the latest incarnation of this magazine. The National Geographic Kids. It is SUCH a disappointment. While I don't think there are actually any more ads in this magazine than any other, there are far too many "articles" that act as full page advertisements for Movies & Television shows. They also have a monthly calendar that spends more time announcing birthdays of celebrities and movie release dates (?) and fun facts about pop stars(?)than historically or scientifically relevant dates. In the January 2004 edition only 24 of the 40 pages were free of ads or movie/television related articles/images. The articles are without depth. Most of the information in this magazine is segmented into "sound byte" sized chunks. It is more like an "Entertainment Weekly" for kids. National Geographic should be ashamed put its name on such an obvious attempt to feed our kids even MORE pop culture. We will not resubscribe!
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164 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2004
I was a reader of "world" (the former name of kids" in the 70's and 80's, and I loooooved it. When I had nieces and nephews, I was excited to be able to share this with them - but what a come down - it's shamefully pandering to commercial interests, and the cool science and nature activities are just plain gone. I'm a lifetime member of NG, and am embarassed by this magazine.
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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2003
My father sweetly got this for my son for his birthday. I was disgusted to see how chock full of advertising it was. I attempted to simply rip the advertising out, but most of it backed up to articles. Including a giant article about Super Mario-- maybe I'm all confused about what National Geographic was about, because I hadn't realized it was about bringing in the advertising dollars . . .
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2005
I thought that National Geographic Kids magazine would be the "kid" version of the adult one. But it turned out to be a waste of money. The magazine is full of advertisement and the articles are too brief. Too bad I can't get a refund.
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