Menu Close

Muse Magazine

Author John Cech
Air Date 6/1/2000

Muse Magazine Transcript

Muse magazine is one of the real treasures to be found for children at your local newstand, where it serenely waits for them in the midst of the blaring mass of magazines that are more interested in selling kids on theme park visits or t.v. shows and commercial tie-ins than in providing them with truly thoughtful, engaging content. This vibrant children’s magazine is produced by the same group that has been giving our children Cricket and a half dozen other quality magazines for years. Their partner in this particular enterprise is Smithsonian Magazine–which will give you sense of the kinds of the articles that you likely to find in Muse.

For the uniqueness of Muse is that it is truly dedicated to the arts and sciences, to history and biography, to poetry and paleontology, to ecological issues and archeology, to extra-terrestrial math and extraordinary sculpture–in short, it’s meant to stimulate the curiosity and imaginations of its young readers. A recent issue had, for example, a series of articles on that subject that never ceases to fascinate children–ancient Egypt–with one article by a well-known Egyptologist, explaining how he discovered what may well turn out to be the largest tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings and another on the ornate art of mummy decoration. And then, in the same issue, there’s a long article about the African-American artist, Faith Ringgold; an analysis of what went wrong with the calculations of the lost Mars Orbiter satellite; and, at the end of the magazine a hilarious, surreal photograph of a crowd of green cats that have taken over a grey apartment, and a wonderful compilation of drawings by children of machines that they have invented to ease the burdens of their lives, including one to walk your dog and another, my favorite, to do homework.

Throughout the magazine there are small drawings of the nine cartoon muses of Muse, which include such figures as Chad from Mali, the techno muse; Kokopelli, the trickster from Arizona; and Urania, the muse of astronomy, from Greece. Muse’s muses are a kind of quipping chorus, conducting their own running commentary on the texts of the articles, giving the whole a lively, lovely sense of humor and humanity. If you’re going to subscribe your children to one magazine, this is it. And don’t be surprised if you aren’t drawn into Muse’s spell along with them.

Posted in Education