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Review: IGUANA Magazine

By: Colorín Colorado (2008)
Iguana Magazine

Magazines can be a wonderful way to motivate children to read — they are colorful and often feature interesting photographs, have a wide variety of fun and educational activities, and can stimulate learning for children of all ages.

Colorín Colorado has received a number of requests for recommendations of Spanish-language children's magazines from teachers and parents. While there aren't many available, we are pleased to report that we have found an excellent publication that we can enthusiastically recommend, and that parents and children alike are sure to enjoy.

Colorín Colorado Review

IGUANA Magazine, a Spanish-language magazine for children ages 7-12, was created by Christianne Meneses Jacobs, an elementary educator and reading specialist originally from Nicaragua. Mrs. Meneses Jacobs moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1988 while she was in high school. Years later, when she became a mother and tried to find Spanish-language children's reading material for her two daughters, she became increasingly frustrated with the lack of books and magazines available. She writes,

As the parent of two bilingual, bicultural, biracial children, I feel strongly that I must expose my daughters to the beauty of the Spanish language and the richness of Latin American culture. My daughters love books but it is difficult to find original literature in Spanish. Most of the books that I have found are simply translations of books such as Dr. Seuss, and the Arthur and Franklin series. I am dismayed by the small quantity of quality children's literature written in Spanish.

Therefore, with my daughters as an inspiration, I decided to start IGUANA, an educational magazine for Spanish-speaking children. The dream for my daughters, and for all Latino children, is that they will continue to read in Spanish, to feel proud of being bilingual, and to never forget their roots. I hope that other parents share this dream by supporting Iguana magazine and its mission: ¡Lee ~ aprende ~ disfruta! (Read, Learn, Enjoy!)

Mrs. Meneses Jacobs and her husband Marc, a graphic artist who serves as the magazine's art director, have taken her mission to heart, producing an outstanding publication for Spanish-speaking children. Some of the highlights include:

Educational Articles and Interviews

Each edition of IGUANA features articles and fun facts about diverse topics such as history, archaeology, science, and nature! Articles may include interviews or biographies of famous Latino personalities, an article about a foreign country or an important event in history, information on an archaeological dig, or an explanation of why a particular insect behaves the way it does. The magazine also includes important lessons for children presented in a compelling and attractive way — for example, one feature discusses the difference between "what we want and what we need." Children are sure to learn a lot from each issue!

Just for Fun

Some of the fun features of IGUANA include puzzles, brainteasers, folk tales, poetry, cartoons, and a series of stories about characters that children will get to know through each edition — all created with the magazine's young readers in mind! Children can also submit their poems and drawings to be published in the magazine.

Hands-On

Children will have the opportunity to try the different activities suggested, all of which have been carefully chosen and do not require expensive materials. These include recipes, science experiences, and crafts. All instructions are in Spanish as well so that parents can be sure to help where needed!

Many Cultures

IGUANA makes a very conscious and successful effort to include information about different cultures — whether it's information about how different countries celebrate the New Year, an introduction to holiday traditions, or an interview with a child from another country, the magazine provides a unique window on the world for Spanish-speaking children.

For those of you looking for a great Spanish-language reading experience for your children or your students, look no further — IGUANA has something for everyone!

Subscription Information

As with most magazines, there is a subscription cost. While Colorín Colorado tries to limit our recommendations to free publications, we are making an exception for this magazine because it is a unique and high-quality publication written with Spanish-speaking children in mind. If you are interested in the magazine but are unable to order a subscription, check with your local library or school library to see if they might consider carrying it!

Name: IGUANA Magazine
Ages: For children ages 7-12
Cost: $29.95 for one year (6 issues)
Website: IGUANA Magazine

Comments and Recommendations

Iguana is an INCREDIBLE magazine. It is similar to Cricket/Spider in it's quality of literature and illustration and is a much needed addition to the world of children's magazines. My daughter is in a dual-language 2nd grade classroom (English/Spanish) and my husband is an AP Spanish teacher, but our home language is primarily English. She has just discovered the joy of reading longer stories and chapter books independently in English, but thanks to Iguana she is now beginning to discover that she can read in Spanish also. I highly recommend this magazine to parents and teachers of bilingual/Spanish speaking children.
Posted by: Emily Warrick  |  May 06, 2010 03:22 PM
I love this magazine. As a first year student learning spanish. This reinforces what we learn in class. Thank you, for all the hard work and producing this magazine.
Posted by: kim  |  March 16, 2011 01:18 PM
I'm a spanish teacher and native spanish speaker and would like to buy the subscription to your magazine and maybe some of my students. How can I do it? Many thanks, Carolina
Posted by: Carolina Hulsz-Wheeler  |  March 15, 2012 07:14 AM
Hi Carolina, Subscription information is available at this website: http://www.nicagal.com/iguana/eng/ig_subs.html Hope this helps!
Posted by: Colorin Colorado  |  March 15, 2012 09:49 AM
Do you ever offer any discounts on your magazine? It is a little high for our budget - but I would love to order it for our two children? Sincerely, Mrs. Arcipowski St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Maurine Arcipowski  |  May 14, 2012 10:56 AM
Hi Maurice, Use code N5007 for $24.95 plus you get a free digital subscription too! I hope that helps! Pamela
Posted by: Pamela  |  August 02, 2013 02:18 PM
(Note: Comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for their content.)

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