It’s the abonnement – subscription – season. With the rentrée (return to school) comes the optimistic hope on the part of magazine publishers that you’ll be rash enough to sign yourself or your kids up to a year’s worth of one of their publications, plus an irresistible free gift of course! Term hasn’t even started yet and Rors has already had gift copies of Spirou (a comic) and Images Doc (an educational mag) with beseeching entreaties for me to sign him up.

Free magic tricks kit with Images Doc

French magazines are quite expensive, often around €6 an issue these days. The tarifs préferentiels that we’re being offered are still up to €98.90 a year (for Okapi) and averaging around €70. Images Doc would cost €64.80 for the year and D Lire, a story-based mag for Ruadhri’s age group, would be €69.80. If I went for two of these Rors would get a very basic electric alarm clock and a rucksack as free gifts, plus, if I was quick off the mark and replied within 8 days, a book about adventurers who have been up the Nile. Not terribly tempting goodies. You can get the same prices for the magazines at, admittedly without the freebies but I think that illustrates that the publishers aren’t being terribly generous with their deals.

Bayard's temptations

But that’s only Bayard’s offer. I’ve yet to hear from the other big kids magazine publisher, Milan Presse.

Another educational magazine publisher to know about is Editions Fatons who have some pretty cool revues jeunesses which are generally cheaper than those of the two big guns. Their website is at And don’t dismiss Fleurus Presse either, with some very strong ado titles.

Ruadhri already gets Mon Quotidien from Playbac Presse every day (or at least every day our less than dedicated postperson whom we call the postlazy condescends to actually make it to the letter box on our gate) which is an excellent little newspaper. I may possibly subscribe to one monthly magazine for him too, but generally he picks and chooses the odd one or two editions during the year that take his fancy. That works out a good bit cheaper, and we manage OK without the free gifts!