August 09, 2022
We've spent much of July out of NYC, visiting with family in the country, and it's been just lovely. I've taken the time to ride bikes, visit farm stands (and then make pie), and jump in the lake at least once every sunny day. And, between swims, my team and I have also managed to create a brand new issue of Kazoo for you, our most hopeful yet, which will ship to subscribers in September -- more on that below.
Yee-haw for Cowgirl Caviar:
My sister-in-law is 100% vegan and she sends me reels from her fav vegan recipes, and we've finally made her something she loves back: Bean Dip from The Cowgirl Hall of Fame that we featured in our Confidence Issue. It's perfect for a summer supper when it's way too hot to cook. (Do separate a few cups for the kids w/o the jalapeños though, because this one's got a real kick!)
Little Amusements Everywhere:
Our family enjoys old amusement parks and we've been lucky to return to one of the oldest in the country: Midway State Park in Chautauqua, NY. Of course, the dream is Disney, but these small, classic, old parks are so much more manageable and sweet. Plus, the vintage rides and games (and signs!) are excellent. (We also love Hershey Park , Coney Island and my childhood fav Knoebels (pronounced like Knopf, not knife). Which are your family favorites?
LOLville: My city kids laugh reading road signs during the long drive from Brooklyn. We pass through towns like Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (somehow pronounced there as "Bethlum"), Dubois (pronounced "dew boys"), Wilawana (pronounced like the answer to, "Will you?") and Horsehead (pronounced like you'd think, but why in the world?) Turns out this whole beautiful country is full of funny town names. I guess it would be fun to live in one. If you do, let us know what it's like. (I get it, I grew up near Allentown and for my whole life people from around the world have asked me, "Like the song?")
Summer Reading Lists:
Speaking of horse heads, our 11-year-old Tiny Editor (who took her first horseback riding lessons this summer) read Black Beauty and upon finishing, immediately started the Black Beauty graphic novel, too. The 7-year-old Teeny Editor has been reading Bad Guys (which I do not love but she absolutely cackles) and Bad Kitty (same) and has been making her way through How to Draw Cute Stuff and sharing her work (which is adorable). I know many schools make strict Summer Reading lists, but instead I encourage my kids to read a little every day and try not to judge their choices (because books are not broccoli after all) and I have managed to raise a couple of great readers this way, too.
Book Bans: Ongoing, and will be through the 2024 election, it seems, as some politicians have nothing better to do, apparently. (Maybe they should visit a small amusement park?) In The New Yorker, Jessica Winter explores what even makes a book gay? and explains that "gay books" never really suited lgbtq families. (Of course, kids of gay parents don't need an entire book about how THAT'S OK!) The gay adjacent Frog & Toad is beloved in our house and we enjoy the newer books where the gay part isn't really the main story. (And that's also how Kristen Arnett penned the Kazoo short story about a girl who happens to have two moms in our Awesome Issue, too.) Although, we loved reading the classic Mama, Mommy and Me to our babies and I could probably still, tearfully now, recite the whole of it by heart. (So good luck putting us back in that bottle, Florida.)
Rocking Out: When my oldest daughter was just a baby, I wrote a parenting book, and for it I interviewed a bunch of renowned people's parents, including Rachel Maddow's mom! I learned that Rachel carried around a yellow blanket when she was little, which, I mean, so cute. Today I learned another reason to love Rachel Maddow: She chops her own firewood! Vanity Fair has even more on Rachel's future media plans.
Here's some of what you missed if you've been bird-watching instead of tweet-scrolling this summer:
New Issue Coming this September!
Our next issue is all about THE FUTURE, and it's hopeful, delightful, and includes an original story by literary legend Lois Lowry. Yes, Lois Lowry! Check out this amazing cover by Jordan Moss. We think #26 is our brightest issue yet. We're not printing many extra copies so be sure to subscribe now to get it this September.
Inflation Blues: Like just about everywhere, our expenses have gone up dramatically. But unlike everyone else, we're really, really trying not to raise our prices in response. We are still independently, woman-owned, and ad-free, and fully funded by you, our subscribers, and we'd really like to stay that way. Many publications have ceased their print editions this year, and well, we don't want to do that. To learn more about us, click to read the full Kazoo Magazine Media Kit here. (And then share w your all your friends.) Or, if you can spare it, leave us a tip to help get through this wild time.
I used to think of August as the less exciting lazy-days of summer, but my little one is just now getting her two new front teeth, and her new smile reminds me of how quickly time passes, so this year, I'm hanging tight to every sweet moment. I hope that whatever funny town you're in, you get to enjoy this August a little too. If you see anything wonderful, please send it my way. You can always find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kazoo is an award-winning, ad-free, indie magazine for girls, 5 to 12, that celebrates them for being strong, smart, fierce and true to themselves. It's published quarterly in Brooklyn, New York and is sold all around the world.
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