Bilingual toddler inspires kids magazine in Spanish
The Arizona Republic
May. 24, 2005
Janie Magruder

Christianne Meneses Jacobs worked on student newspapers in school, earned a degree in political science and became a teacher.

But it wasn't until her young daughter, Isabelle, became interested in sounds and words that Jacobs took on the title of publisher, too.

Earlier this month, the first 32-page issue of her Spanish-language children's magazine, Iguana, was published. Jacobs, 34, and her husband, Marc, a graphic artist and designer, produce the bimonthly magazine at their Scottsdale home, using text and images from freelance writers and photographers.

Three-year-old Isabelle was their inspiration.

"She's growing up bilingual, and it's very difficult to find written material for children in Spanish," said Jacobs, a native of Nicaragua who teaches second-graders at Garfield School in Phoenix. "I've talked to a lot of parents and librarians, and they all agree that children do have to learn English, of course, but they also need to retain their Spanish as far as their culture and heritage go. There was nothing in Spanish for the kids."

Iguana is modeled after Highlights for Children, in that it has no advertising. "We want it to be respected," said Jacobs, who is privately financing the magazine.

The inaugural issue contains stories about camels and prisms, cartoons and word searches, a recipe, fiction, poetry and more.

Iguana is available for $5.25 at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive in Tempe, and online at The one-year subscription price is $29.95 for six issues.

Reach the reporter at (602) 444-8998.