Rediscover Owlkids Today Plus an Exclusive Interview With Owlkids Publisher Angela Keenlyside

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out everything Owlkids has to offer these days, you, and more importantly your littles,  are missing out. It isn’t a stretch to say that Owlkids has some of the best Canadian produced children’s material available today and the vast array of both online and in print content has both paid for and free options.

Free to access resources include:

  •  Three separate blogs which are age group specific and full of jokes, crafts, and comic strips.
  • Listen to a Story through the audio files accompanied by images of stories previously published in the magazines.
  • Owl Buzz where kids can submit their artwork, stories, jokes, doodles, anything really!
  • Owl Connected the fantastic kid-centric news site that our littles check out every morning while I’m reading the “grown-up” news.
  • Chirps Science Corner where you can watch the Owl kids team carry out fun experiments
  • Contests, a family literacy blog, pages of family resources and much, much more.

Available to purchase resources include:

  • Books, for all age-ranges including “A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars,” for the 8 to 12-year-old set, which is on our wishlist, the Canadian Flyer chapter book series for 6 to 9-year-olds, and a beautiful range of Early Childhood books to name but a few.
  • Magazines for three age groups – Chirp Magazine for 3-6 years, ChickaDee Magazine for 6 to 9 years, and Owl magazine for 9 to 13 years. You can read what we think of these below. There are also StoryBox, Adventure Box, and Discovery Box, which are magazines focused on supporting your kiddos reading skills.
  • E-Book versions of the printed books are available, as well as some great little book collections. 
  • Gifts such as the Summer bundle which has two magazines and a pair of sunglasses, backpacks, toques and more.

Our Owlkids

In our home we subscribe to Chickadee and each month we receive in the mail a magazine packed full of interactive stories, puzzles, animal features, and science experiments designed to educate and entertain the 6 to 9 years age group.

Both Evey and Gabriel enjoy their monthly edition of ChickaDee so much so that they both try to be the first to get their sticky little fingers on it. For this reason, we have had to mark the calendar with who’s turn it is to have the first read each month. I’d say that’s a clear indicator of popularity right there.

Which brings me to one particular element I love about the Owlkids magazines. They are for neither boys or girls, they are for kids. Both our son and our daughter enjoy ChickaDee and it would never cross their mind that it was “for boys” or “for girls.”

Evey enjoys going through the magazine on her own, while Gabriel prefers the first flick through by himself and then he selects which pieces he would like us to read to him.

Gabriel lives with autism, and his development is very scattered. He enjoys the things most 11 year-old boys do but he is also still a fan of Paw Patrol, and other series that usually appeal to younger kids. ChickaDee content, being aimed at the 6 to 9 year olds, is perfect for him.

However.

Now that Evey has hit ten and is full of the fact she considers herself a “tween” we are looking at also subscribing to Owl. A monthly magazine with a similar range of content but designed specifically for preteens.

When you sign up for an Owl magazine subscription, you get both print and digital content.  The print version of OWL Magazine is loaded with tech news, interviews, hands-on building, puzzles, comics,  infographics, interviews and more to highlight the elements of science and tech, engineering, art, and math. It wings its way to you one a month via the magic of Canada Post, which is a bonus in our house because the kids LOVE receiving mail.

In addition to the print magazine your budding genius will also receive OWLconnected eMag,  a bi-weekly, current affairs eMag featuring news of the week, feature stories, sports, entertainment, quizzes and more sent right to your inbox.

An Interview With Angela Keenlyside, Publisher, Of Owlkids

Have you ever wondered who exactly is behind some of the fabulous things you enjoy?

I do.

So I reached out to Angela Keenlyside who has worked in children’s publishing at Owlkids for over 17 years and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself as a child, what she loves about Owlkids, the importance of science, and what she likes to do when she has her “mom hat” on.

1.    What were you interested in as a child & have those interests carried over into adulthood?

As I child, my favourite thing to do was read. I have so many memories of grabbing a pile of books and comics and curling up on the couch. I would sit for hours reading and losing myself in the adventures on the page.

I spent my early childhood on a farm, so I have a great fondness for nature, animals, and the environment. Though I live in a big city now, I love returning to the country and small towns as much as possible.

2.    How do your personal interests connect with your work?

As I got older, my love of reading turned into an interest in children’s literacy, which is a perfect fit for my role at Owlkids — publishing magazines for kids!

3.    You have been with Owlkids for many years, why? Tell us what it is that makes Owlkids so special.

I started at Owlkids in 1998! It is unbelievable how quickly the years have passed. To be honest, working on these publications is an honour and a privilege. OWL has been an important Canadian institution for over 40 years and my colleagues, and I take creating Chirp, Chickadee, and OWL very seriously. Our readers are amazing, and they teach us so much.

Children and the world have changed a lot over the last 20 years, so our magazines are always evolving, which keeps our work interesting and exciting. The amazing people that work at Owlkids are very passionate about literacy, social justice, and empowering today’s youth. It is just a great place to work!

4.    Why is science important?

Science is incredibly important. Especially today. It is of utmost importance that children develop a relationship with the natural world — that they are able to connect with their communities, and the larger world around them. Letters and emails from our readers show us how important the environment is to them — how they are concerned about what the world will look like when they are older. They want to be active agents in forming their futures.

Our mandate is to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) and that is why we are so happy to partner with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) on National Science Reading Day. On September 20th children and classrooms are encouraged to devote some time to science readings and enter a national contest.

Science helps open children’s minds and imaginations to what is possible. These are the leaders, inventors, and artists of tomorrow and we want to encourage them to engage with science as much as possible.

5.    Where do you like to spend time when you are not working?

I have a young son, so right now I spend a lot of time at parks, exploring museums, and playing superheroes! He shares my love of books and comics so we also spend a lot of time reading and drawing.