Magazines for kids: history of two great successes

When we started Timbuktu, our goal was creating a digital editorial product that could replicate and enhance the quality of some great magazines for kids we loved as children. We’ve always thought of Timbuktu as a starting point to explore the world using imagination, parents and kids together. Why a magazine? Because historically new disruptive magazines gave voice to one part of humanity that was still neglected, and made it become recognized as a part of civil society.

Many people consider childhood like some sort of waiting room for your adult’s citizen life. But kids are citizens. They should be listened to, taken care of, consulted, because no one more than a kid can help the world rejuvenate each day. They should have a publication that represents them, that respects them, while offering them a combination of information, education and fun: a key to access the world. This is not an easy mission to accomplish, and we are working with our readers to improve Timbuktu (you can download it here).

Today, we want to talk about two great magazines for kids that have been our source of inspiration while bulding our iPad magazine for kids and parents: one of them is Italian and it’s called “Il Corriere dei Piccoli”, and the other one is American, it’s Highlights.

Il Corriere dei Piccoli (“Courier for the little ones”)

It was a weekly magazine for children published in Italy from 1908 to 1995. In Italy, it was the first periodical publication featuring comic strips. It had amazing graphics, and it launched some very important Italian artists. In its golden moment, it sold 700.000 copies per week. “Corriere dei Piccoli” had a huge impact on the imagination of several generations of Italian kids. We’ve been inspired by its graphic quality, by the combination of fun and information, and by its aspiration to be the magazine through which the kids approached the news. “Corriere dei Piccoli” was irresistible for grown ups too!


Highlights” was longly dreamt, and then created by an extraordinary couple who grew up in Pennsylvania farming families in the early 1900s: Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark. Garry was a PHD in Child Psychology at Columbia University, and Caroline was a committed teacher. They wanted to create a magazine that helped kids have “Fun with a purpose”. That’s the quality we admired in Highlights. The joy transpiring from Highlights’ games and activities has been a precious source of inspiration for our iPad magazine for kids. Highlights has been a childhood changing publication for generations of American kids.

Which are your favorite magazines for kids and why?