Friday, May 2, 2008

St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls

During the thirties, boys and girls loved to read St. Nicholas.
It was a magazine much like today's Highlights magazine. It was filled with an assortment of stories by popular writers, true life essays, regular features like "The Mixing Bowl" which offered recipes, and glorious illustrations by reknown artists. Young readers were encouraged to contribute and many poems, stories, letters and recipes were printed. It even held contests where readers could win prize money for their contributions.
In the next few entries, we'll explore St. Nicholas. It was published years before computers, television and the internet; a time that seems static by today's standards. And yet, in it's own way, it fullfilled a similar purpose for readers. It offered an avenue for dialog (letters), publication (stories, poems, etc.) and media (photograph contributions).
Today, St. Nicholas contributors, like Mary Owens Sallee (age 10), whose work I've chosen to open this discussion with, might have sent her poem to Highlights in hopes to see her poem in print. Or she might have configured her narrative into a visual message and posted it on You Tube. Or maybe, she might have blogged!
But these were not options for her back in the early months of 1933. She sent her poem to St. Nicholas Magazine. And it was not only accepted, but it earned a Silver Badge in the magazine's
"League' of readers. Mary Owens Sallee did very well, for herself!
From the February, 1933 issue of St. Nicholas, here's Mary's poem. Happy Spring, everyone!
Springtime in the Country
by. Mary Owens Salee (age 10)
(Silver Badge)
Oh,it's Springtime in the country!
And wild flowers are in bloom;
All the honey bees are humming,
And the birds are finding room
For their nests in lofty tree-tops
Where their birdlings will be saved
From stray cats that might be hungry,
And are not so well-behaved.
Oh, it's Springtime in the country!
And the children laugh and shout,
For they love the bright, fresh Springtime
With the apple blossoms out.
There are scores of crowded cities
With enchanting things to see,
But when it comes to living--
'Tis the country life for me!


Donna Jones Koppelman said...

Love St. Nicholas magazine. I especially appreciate that you took the time to download a cover. It really gives the reader the flavor of the era. I can't wait to read more about it and share it with my children.

Donna Jones Koppelman said...

I'm ready for a new entry! More, more, more!