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Tessy & Tab: How did you know?

About a week before one of our first summer trips to the beach this year, some mail arrived for Tati, our 3-1/2 year old.  It was her first issue of Tessy & Tab (yay for this locally produced tot-mag!), "Tessy & Tab have fun at the beach".  Toward the end of the summer, as we were packing up for a week with the kids' grandparents in New York, more mail came for Tati.  In that issue of Tessy & Tab, "Tessy & Tab went on a trip", and I must say that their examples probably provided impetus for Tati to be particularly independent on this trip; it was our first trip without a stroller or any other carrying device.

Back from our end of summer trip and preparing for Tati's first few days at her new school (today being her first longer day), we were met by psychic mail again.  This time, "Tessy & Tab go back to school."

Tati gets excited when she sees her preschool magazine in the mail pile waiting for her.  More than that, she loves when the Tessy & Tab adventures are stories that she can completely relate to, at that moment, in her life.  She lights up and gets so excited to be able to connect with Tessy & Tab.  When I think about it, who wouldn't light up and get excited?

Another wonderful thing about Tessy & Tab for our family is that our older girl, Philly (aged almost-7) loves to read issues to her little sis and she loves to help her little sis start to recognize letters.  We know other Tessy & Tab subscribers who love the tot mag for the big-kid-helps-little-kid experience too.

We'd love to hear about Tessy & Tab experiences, as well as feedback on any other preschool periodicals.  We've heard of Ladybug Magazine?  What about periodicals for the older set?  I myself am an old Highlights fan...   

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Thanks for the recommendation. We love to look through the preschool periodicals at the library and are partial to Your Big Backyard and National Geographic Little Kids for the 3 to 6 set. National Geographic Kids is for 6 to 14. They are both great and have wonderful web sites to supplement. Ranger Rick is fun too.

my daughter loves babybug (the youngest of the ladybug/spider/cricket group) and now that she's turned two she's going to start getting ladybug. it's expensive, but it's basically a "literary" magazine for kids, with great illustrations. I loved cricket when I was a kid.

We currently get both Ladybug and Tessy and Tab. Our 3-year-old loves them both. Ladybug is more substantial, takes several days to get through it all. It's cute though--has some recurring stories, a craft in the back, a song to sing each month. Tessy and Tab is much simpler, but [and] she loves that too--especially the part where she gets to sound out a word and then try to find it in the text of the magazine story. Both are welcome additions to our reading supply, especially when she and I are weary of the same old books on the shelf. They're also a great way to pry her away from school at the end of the day when she doesn't want to leave: "There's a new Tessy and Tab waiting for you at home!"

Milo LOVES getting the Tessy & Tab magazines, and has already started getting worried about them stopping in December. I assured him that we can subscribe on our own at that time. He keeps them in a magazine file box by his bed, and while they haven't displaced his beloved car (or truck or train) books from the favorites pile, he does get very excited when a new issue arrives. He especially likes that it's addressed to him, as he loves getting mail of his own.

We read them together and do the activities. He's finally starting to slowly get the hang of letter recognition beyond the letters in his name, so it's nice to use them to work on that. He's also started keeping a few of them in the car to look at when we're driving around.

My mom just told me that Highlights has a new magazine for younger kids. I just looked it up and it's called High Five (http://www.highlights.com/custserv/customerservicemain.jsp?cid=2547) - looks like they've got a sample issue you can download. We'll have to check that out too.

Jackson has been getting Ladybug for about 2 years. It is a perfect gift from his auntie and he also loves getting his own mail. He also gets Your Big Backyard from the National Wildlife Foundation. That one goes to his dads; so, I'm not so sure how much he loves it. He does claim to enjoy it. I loved Cricket as a kid; so, I was so happy to see Babybug back when Jackson was just a little bug, himself.

We get several kids mags that appeal to both my 4.5 and almost 3 year old...Highlights Hidden Pictures Playground (find the objects hidden in different pictures and put the included sticker on it) and Zootles, an animal focused publication that includes fact and fiction and learning centered on a chosen animal of the month.

Carter gets Your Big Backyard. A recent issue talked about a dung beetle who of course eats his own poop. For a 4 year old, what's not to love about that! I was an avid Highlights fan when I was younger. It's great to hear all of the wonderful options for our younger readers.

My 2 year old son has been getting the National Wildlife Federation's "Wild Animal Baby" magazine for about six months now, and really seems to enjoy it. It comes in the mail and though it is called a "magazine" looks more like a little book. It's sturdy enough to read over and over, and we keep them in his bookshelf. Every issue has lots of photos and a little story about, you guessed it, a wild animal baby, as well as games and finger songs, and other fun stuff. This is a great little mag for toddlers; the stories may be too simplistic for those much older than 4.

Yay! I had emailed uM about Tessy and Tab a while back; glad to see you did a piece on it. We started getting this back in the spring, when Atticus was about 20 months old. He absolutely loves to look at each issue over and over again, and even has to sleep with a few copies in the crib. The excitement of getting something in the mail coupled with the easy-to-relate-to themes makes it a hit at our house.

Better yet -- it's Portland-produced by some of your fellow mamas -- another great way to support your local businesses.

We get "Wild Animal Baby" for our 2 year old - she loves it, "Your Big Backyard" for both kids and *sigh* "Disney Princesses" magazine for your 5 1/2 yr old. I definitely don't plan on renewing the Disney Princess (it was a gift), though it is a big favorite around here with both girls.

Suz,

Thanks for reminding us of your original email from May 2007. We are including it here to share with all the urbanMamas what shared with us back then:

"I know the UM community is all about supporting local businesses, so I thought people might be interested to learn about Tessy & Tab. It's a magazine for kids ages 2-5 that's designed to foster an early love of reading. It also happens to be produced by women (most of them fellow mamas) in SE Portland!

We've all heard the advice about reading to kids early and often. Well, despite my attempts to keep our home library refreshed with novel selections (no pun intended), my son recently got bored with his books. Coincidentally, that's when I was introduced to Tessy & Tab. My son loves the story format of these magazines and I like the fact that each issue features a theme children can relate to (a windy day, going to the shoe store). It's printed on sturdy, kid-tough stock, and I've found slipping a few issues into the diaper bag is easier than lugging around bulky board books.

As a subscriber, my son has fun getting something in the mail every other week, and I get fresh reading material delivered to the door. Plus, for those interested, there are online resources including an early childhood development newsletter. You can check it all out at http://www.tessyandtab.com "

Hi! I'm Peggy from Tessy & Tab and we are thrilled to see this discussion! Thanks for all the support from local mamas -- we are so lucky to be here in Portland. But we mail all across the US so be sure and tell your out-of-town friends too!

I also wanted to let everyone know that we will be at the Oregon College of Art and Craft on Saturday 9/22 for their Centennial celebration. It's family friendly with lots of craft activities and fun stuff from 11-4. We'll be giving out sample magazines as well as making "monster masks" (similar to our recent issue) with the little ones. Hope you will come and see us there!

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