Sea Urchins mag for kids

New publication to inspire children with a love of the sea

Author: Pat
29th April 2012

Picture of Sea Urchins magazine

A magazine launches this month hoping to inspire a new generation of marine conservationists.

Sea Urchins is the brainchild of Samantha Hewitt, a diving instructor and qualified marine biologist with a background in publishing. The project has been years in the making. Support was forthcoming from Dragons’ Den stalwart Theo Paphitis, who uncharacteristically decided it was worth risking some of his erstwhile “children’s inheritance” on.

aimed at children aged 5-12

The resulting magazine is aimed at primary and junior school children between the ages of 5 and 12. My copy is a cut-down review one, but the fuller real thing will be available quarterly on shelves from 600 independent newsagents, or via postal subscription.

It’s not uncommon to anthropomorphise the natural world in fiction: witness talking rabbits (Watership Down), talking Lions (CS Lewis) and talking everything (Wind in the Willows.) But Sea Urchins isn’t fiction – far from it, the message throughout is educational, and some might say deadly serious. Shark finning, overfishing and plastic oceans are scarcely the stuff of bedtime reading.

The mag nonetheless paints a picture of a colourful world inhabited by a diverse range of marine creatures. It’s refreshingly frank, though, so don’t expect some sort of “make friends with a shark” approach. Instead we find ‘5 Fab Facts on Sharks’ detailing their lack of scales, how their teeth work and why they like to eat sea lions.

Sea Urchins is a positive force for the diving community, too. There’s not much point if children aren’t inspired to get in the water and see for themselves. Throughout there are pictures of divers donning gear. Samantha’s sister happens to be X-Factor contestant Stacey Solomon, who crops up in a ‘Deidre’s photo casebook’ taking her Open Water class.

“So What Does A Marine Biologist Do?” asks one feature. Another takes us to Madagascar shows how divers make a seabed survey. Take that, Bunty magazine…

Kids being kids, the magazine necessarily contains plenty to keep them entertained. There are puzzles, a comic strip and a competition. Encouraging young children to read – and continue reading – about science and the natural world is a tough gig, so full credit to Sea Urchins for having a go.

You can buy Sea Urchins magazine for £1.99 in selected newsagents now, or subscribe for an annual fee of £14.99 from the website.

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