Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beano day

Once a week we have Beano day. The day a fresh new Beano comic arrives on the doormat, to excited shrieks and running feet. It gets ripped from its plastic covering, and we settle down to read the latest adventures of our favourite characters. Last year I found some of my old Beano annuals, and Charlie (now 6.5 years) was instantly drawn to Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx. We organised a subscription for him for 2014* and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions ever. 

As we are unschooling we don't follow a literacy programme with our boys, but this weekly comic gives us ample reading material, really important when we are too sick/tired/cold/lazy to make a trip to the library. Charlie is now sounding out words and really getting interested in reading in order to follow the adventures of these cool and crazy characters. He will sit for up to a half hour at a time looking through the pages, whispering words to himself, asking me how to pronounce the odd one. It's brilliant to see how his curiosity is leading him down the path of organic learning like this. 

The Beanos come with us in the car, on holidays, to bed, they are scattered all around the house, so there is always one at hand if we are looking for entertainment. What I love is the characters have been preserved, with all their naughtiness, and the negative bullying is gone. There are surprisingly hilarious characters who I love, such as Minnie the Minx's dad, the way his facial expressions are drawn are priceless!

I have been the butt of many a practical joke this year, thanks in no small part to Dennis the Menace and Tricky Dicky's pranking lessons in the Beano. My son has grown from a conscientious, law-abiding child to one who now plots in corners, executes amazing schemes and has a veritable arsenal of fake insects, rubber pencils, and has dabbled in stink bombs. Frankly, I'm relieved.

Even our 3 year old has become an avid Beano fan, stopping me if I dare turn a page without reading the one-liner joke at the foot. He is an able accomplice for his big brother's dastardly plans, and the two have had hours giggling, whispering and carrying out their stunts on unsuspecting parents and many a guest. 

If you are looking for a present for a child in the 5-12 age range, girl or boy, you could do no better than get a Beano subscription. Far from a lump of plastic made in China which will be forgotten by February, this will give them fun and laughter all year long, and improve their reading and writing skills. 

There are minimal ads in the Beano, which is a relief, as some kid's magazines seem to be full of them. The artwork is gorgeous, some artists should be getting 4 instead of 1 or 2 pages, so their pictures could be enlarged to show all the fabulous detail. Charlie has always been interested in art and drawing, and he has begun to make his own comic books featuring original characters, inspired I'm sure by the Beano cast. 

He is learning to navigate a contents list, and flick through the comic looking for the specific page number to read a particular story. Yes the characters are messers, making mischief for their parents, but they always get their comeuppance. Far from our kids learning to be disrespectful to us because Dennis may be, they are able to point out where Dennis made a bad decision, and caused problems for other people. (So don't let the "rudeness" put you off). There are plenty of fart jokes, accompanied by green clouds of stink, which we all enjoy, and a wonderful sense of camaraderie and friendship comes off the pages. 

Beanotown has been created, where the characters co-exist, complete with a map at the start of each comic, and they sometimes pop up in each other's stories. Even my 3 year old asked the other night where is Dennis the Menace, when we were reading the Bash Street Kids story. I told him Dennis is older so he's in another class. I love that they intertwine like that, it makes them so much more believable. 

I also love that girls feature, yes, in the minority, but they still kick-ass in their stories. (Compared to say the Lego Movie, which really annoyed me with 1 female to 7 male characters). I was a big Beano fan as a kid, inheriting all the 1970s annuals from my aunt, and loving them. I'm proud to say my children are 3rd generation Beano fans, and we look forward to Beano day together every week.

Here's a link to follow to sign up for a subscription:

If you haven't heard of the Beano there are some tasters on their Facebook page here.

And their official website is here.

Are you fans? Who's your favourite character?

Nee x

* This is a sponsored post. Our subscription was provided by for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

1 comment:

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