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PETERBOROUGH

Children’s magazine publisher  wins six Parent’s Choice awards

Cobblestone gains sweeping recognition for publications based in Peterborough

  • Lou Waryncia, Beth Lindstrom of Cobblestone Publishing<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Lou Waryncia, Beth Lindstrom of Cobblestone Publishing
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications. <br/>Staff photo by Dave Anderson)<br/><br/>Odyssey and Dig – earned gold prizes. Calliope took a silver prize and Appleseeds won a bronze prize.<br/>Those awards helped Cobblestone’s parent company, ePals Media, which also produces Cricket and other children’s magazines from its base in Chicago, make a clean sweep in the awards category.<br/>“Our 14 magazines are all represented in the rankings,” said Lou Waryncia, Cobblestone Publishing’s editorial director, on Friday. “That’s a nice pat on the back.”<br/>The Parent’s Choice Foundation, established in 1978, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts who evaluate products based on a process that queries developmentally appropriate content and challenges, the product’s design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being.<br/>The judges ranked all the Cobblestone magazines highly.<br/>Writing about Cobblestone, which is the company’s original magazine, created by founders Hope Pettegrew and Frances Nankin in 1979, reviewer Zarina Mullan Plath said, “Cobblestone’s niche is American history, brought to life for young readers through abundant illustrations, photos, fun facts, and well-written text. … What’s impressive is that each issue is guest-edited by a historian who is an expert on that issue’s topic... The lively writing and plentiful visuals make this a great choice for anyone looking to discover more about America’s past.”<br/>About Odyssey, Naomi Lesley wrote, “The concise, well-researched, and cogent pieces in this magazine deliver stranger-than-fiction details and thought-provoking issues that young readers and their parents will appreciate.”<br/>Regarding Dig, which is focused on archeology,  Don Oldenburg wrote, “If you have a budding Indiana Jones in your family,  Dig  magazine may rank among his or her earliest discovered treasures. ...,  Dig  is a slickly produced magazine exploring archaeology, paleontology and the earth sciences for youngsters intrigued by the possibilities of unearthing past civilizations.”<br/>And about Faces, which focuses on the people and cultures of foreign countries, Oldenburg wrote, “  As the world becomes smaller and everyone’s life becomes more global,  Faces offers youngsters an engaging and educational doorway into understanding their distant neighbors worldwide.” <br/>Odyssey editor Beth Lindstrom

    Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.
    Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Odyssey and Dig – earned gold prizes. Calliope took a silver prize and Appleseeds won a bronze prize.
    Those awards helped Cobblestone’s parent company, ePals Media, which also produces Cricket and other children’s magazines from its base in Chicago, make a clean sweep in the awards category.
    “Our 14 magazines are all represented in the rankings,” said Lou Waryncia, Cobblestone Publishing’s editorial director, on Friday. “That’s a nice pat on the back.”
    The Parent’s Choice Foundation, established in 1978, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts who evaluate products based on a process that queries developmentally appropriate content and challenges, the product’s design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being.
    The judges ranked all the Cobblestone magazines highly.
    Writing about Cobblestone, which is the company’s original magazine, created by founders Hope Pettegrew and Frances Nankin in 1979, reviewer Zarina Mullan Plath said, “Cobblestone’s niche is American history, brought to life for young readers through abundant illustrations, photos, fun facts, and well-written text. … What’s impressive is that each issue is guest-edited by a historian who is an expert on that issue’s topic... The lively writing and plentiful visuals make this a great choice for anyone looking to discover more about America’s past.”
    About Odyssey, Naomi Lesley wrote, “The concise, well-researched, and cogent pieces in this magazine deliver stranger-than-fiction details and thought-provoking issues that young readers and their parents will appreciate.”
    Regarding Dig, which is focused on archeology,  Don Oldenburg wrote, “If you have a budding Indiana Jones in your family,  Dig  magazine may rank among his or her earliest discovered treasures. ...,  Dig  is a slickly produced magazine exploring archaeology, paleontology and the earth sciences for youngsters intrigued by the possibilities of unearthing past civilizations.”
    And about Faces, which focuses on the people and cultures of foreign countries, Oldenburg wrote, “  As the world becomes smaller and everyone’s life becomes more global,  Faces offers youngsters an engaging and educational doorway into understanding their distant neighbors worldwide.”
    Odyssey editor Beth Lindstrom Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Lou Waryncia, Beth Lindstrom of Cobblestone Publishing<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications. <br/>Staff photo by Dave Anderson)<br/><br/>Odyssey and Dig – earned gold prizes. Calliope took a silver prize and Appleseeds won a bronze prize.<br/>Those awards helped Cobblestone’s parent company, ePals Media, which also produces Cricket and other children’s magazines from its base in Chicago, make a clean sweep in the awards category.<br/>“Our 14 magazines are all represented in the rankings,” said Lou Waryncia, Cobblestone Publishing’s editorial director, on Friday. “That’s a nice pat on the back.”<br/>The Parent’s Choice Foundation, established in 1978, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts who evaluate products based on a process that queries developmentally appropriate content and challenges, the product’s design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being.<br/>The judges ranked all the Cobblestone magazines highly.<br/>Writing about Cobblestone, which is the company’s original magazine, created by founders Hope Pettegrew and Frances Nankin in 1979, reviewer Zarina Mullan Plath said, “Cobblestone’s niche is American history, brought to life for young readers through abundant illustrations, photos, fun facts, and well-written text. … What’s impressive is that each issue is guest-edited by a historian who is an expert on that issue’s topic... The lively writing and plentiful visuals make this a great choice for anyone looking to discover more about America’s past.”<br/>About Odyssey, Naomi Lesley wrote, “The concise, well-researched, and cogent pieces in this magazine deliver stranger-than-fiction details and thought-provoking issues that young readers and their parents will appreciate.”<br/>Regarding Dig, which is focused on archeology,  Don Oldenburg wrote, “If you have a budding Indiana Jones in your family,  Dig  magazine may rank among his or her earliest discovered treasures. ...,  Dig  is a slickly produced magazine exploring archaeology, paleontology and the earth sciences for youngsters intrigued by the possibilities of unearthing past civilizations.”<br/>And about Faces, which focuses on the people and cultures of foreign countries, Oldenburg wrote, “  As the world becomes smaller and everyone’s life becomes more global,  Faces offers youngsters an engaging and educational doorway into understanding their distant neighbors worldwide.” <br/>Odyssey editor Beth Lindstrom
  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Cobblestone Publishing Editorial Director Lou Waryncia, left, and Odyssey magazine editor Beth Lindstrom review recent copies of the company's award-winning publications.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — Cobblestone Publishing hit the jackpot recently, winning six awards from the highly respected Parent’s Choice Foundation. Four of the company’s children’s magazines that are published in Peterborough – Cobblestone, Faces, Odyssey and Dig – earned gold prizes. Calliope took a silver prize and Appleseeds won a bronze.

Those awards helped Cobblestone’s parent company, ePals Media, which also produces Cricket and other children’s magazines from its base in Chicago, make a clean sweep in the awards category.

“Our 14 magazines are all represented in the rankings,” said Lou Waryncia, Cobblestone Publishing’s editorial director, on Friday. “That’s a nice pat on the back.”

The Parent’s Choice Foundation, established in 1978, is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts who evaluate products based on a process that queries developmentally appropriate content and challenges, the product’s design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being. The judges ranked all the Cobblestone magazines highly.

Writing about Cobblestone, which is the company’s original magazine, created by founders Hope Pettegrew and Frances Nankin in 1979, reviewer Zarina Mullan Plath said, “Cobblestone’s niche is American history, brought to life for young readers through abundant illustrations, photos, fun facts, and well-written text. … What’s impressive is that each issue is guest-edited by a historian who is an expert on that issue’s topic... The lively writing and plentiful visuals make this a great choice for anyone looking to discover more about America’s past.”

About Odyssey, Naomi Lesley wrote, “The concise, well-researched, and cogent pieces in this magazine deliver stranger-than-fiction details and thought-provoking issues that young readers and their parents will appreciate.”

Regarding Dig, which is focused on archeology,  Don Oldenburg wrote, “If you have a budding Indiana Jones in your family,  Dig  magazine may rank among his or her earliest discovered treasures. ...,  Dig  is a slickly produced magazine exploring archaeology, paleontology and the earth sciences for youngsters intrigued by the possibilities of unearthing past civilizations.”

And about Faces, which focuses on the people and cultures of foreign countries, Oldenburg wrote, “  As the world becomes smaller and everyone’s life becomes more global,  Faces offers youngsters an engaging and educational doorway into understanding their distant neighbors worldwide.”

Odyssey editor Beth Lindstrom said each edition of the Peterborough magazines is put together with input from one or more consulting editors, experts in the topic that is that issue’s focus.

“This job is never boring,” Lindstrom said. “It’s so exciting when people like E.O. Wilson or Jane Goddall will take the time to work with us.”

“We’ve been able to work with some of the most brilliant minds out there,” Waryncia said. “They’re people who really want to share their expertise with kids.”

Waryncia said the magazines are marketed both to families and to educational organizations and libraries, but they are not written in a dry textbook style.

“We don’t want the magazine’s to say ‘study this.’ We want the kids to explore,” he said. “We want them excited by the content.”

Cobblestone is also producing its first Spanish language publication, after recently acquiring a children’s magazine called Iguana, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Editor Christianne Jacobs and Art Director Marc Jacobs will continue to run the magazine from Arizona, under the direction of Waryncia here in Peterborough.

“We have a long track record of working with people in various places,” said Waryncia. “Our writers are scattered all over the world. On current issues, we’re working with an editor in Denmark and a photographer in Sweden.”

He said the company’s new owner, ePals Media, is primarily involved with electronic media, and has an ePals Global Community program that provides free online information to both parents and schools.

“We have 35-plus years of content that will fit into their programs,” Waryncia said.

Cobblestone’s magazines are now available in a PDF digital format, which essentially duplicates the look of magazine online, with relatively few interactive links. The company expects during the next year to add enhanced digital editions of the magazines, which will offer more links and may also be less expensive for some customers.

“We’ll have a variety of purchasing plans,” Waryncia said. “We are not advertising based, and we’re constantly looking for ways to make the magazine more affordable and add readers. Digital is going to help us there.”

Cobblestone employs about 35 people in its Peterborough office, which is on the top floor of the Depot Square building that houses the Sharon Arts Center gallery. Editors and art department staff share space with business office employees and customer service call center workers, who take calls for both Cobblestone and the Chicago publications. During the company’s peak season from September to January, the number of call center workers doubles, as temporary helpers are brought in.

“We’re packed to the rafters here,” Waryncia said, but the company isn’t planning any moves.

“We’ve been in Peterborough 35 years, and we’ve never been outside of downtown,” he said.

In recognition of that long time connection to the region, Cobblestone is offering a hometown discount for subscriptions to any of the 15 ePals Media magazines. The annual subscription price for each magazine is $33.95 per year; the company will give a $9 discount to people from the Monadnock region. To order, call (800) 821-0115 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and mention the Monadnock discount.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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