BURRILLVILLE – A new online children’s magazine set to launch this month will feature a story on two special kids from Burrillville, as well as a group that’s creativity has lifted spirits across northern Rhode Island and beyond.
The first issue of “The Bubblah,” will come out on Tuesday, Sept. 1 with a story on Zoie and Jacoby Mercier, known for their good works with Two Siblings Challenge TSC. The kids each received the Community Hero Award from the Burrillville Police Department last year.
You can read more about their story, along with an article on “Burrillville Rocks Kindness,” in the E-zine, which has a unique twist: The Bubblah is not just for kids; it’s also by kids.
The Bubblah is the synergistic brainchild of three talented women: Denise Flagg, who serves as chief editor; Sue Greco, the assistant editor and game designer; and Donna McCarthy, creative director. Although they each head their own department, Flagg told us: “we share every decision and have equal control over the magazine. We always run ideas by each other first.”
All three are members of the Association of RI Authors, and they each have an impressive array of projects and works to their credit. Flagg has written her own series and McCarthy is the author and illustrator of seven books to date. Greco, in addition to teaching workshops throughout the northeast, has illustrated three children’s books.
The idea for The Bubblah, they say, began to simmer four years ago. Flagg recalls, “since the time my first book was published in 2016, I was interested in creating a kid’s magazine and kid’s blog. Unfortunately, I had to put it on the back burner to promote my books.”
But the fire never went out, and when she approached McCarthy and Greco in 2018, the concept finally began to come together.
“Originally, the foundation of my idea was Books, Kids & Kindness,” Flagg told us. “It was Donna, who’d been a teacher for the past 30 years, who took my idea and gave it wings. All of us are interested in teaching kids, which is why we all became independent children’s authors. We realized that the magazine would be an active, rather that passive method of doing so, that might encourage kids to not just read but to write, which is often hard to motivate them to do. It will also provide a public forum for them, which might encourage them to put forth effort that they may not have otherwise.”
The magazine is interactive, and kids can submit their creative work and culinary dishes for publication. Kid artists and kid photographers can share their work on a gallery page called “Off the ChART” and there are poems and short stories from kid writers sprinkled throughout the magazine.
Every month, the magazine will also feature new guest contributors – including a guest chef who will share recipes with our young readers. Greco also teaches water-color painting via video.
“There are fun, informative articles in each issue,” said Flagg. “The magazine is bubbling with creativity.”
Meraki Publications, LLC, is the support business for The Bubblah and subscription to the magazine is free. New England businesses sponsor kid participants by placing an ad in the magazine.
“For example, we have a section called ‘Sheroes & Heroes,’ where we spotlight kids like Zoie and Jacoby who are making a difference in their community,” said Flagg. “The advertising fees help to purchase Shero & Hero t-shirts to thank the kids for their acts of kindness.”
According to the founders, The Bubblah is all about supporting and growing community. And in their first edition they’ll join Roger Bourbonnaire and the Burrillville Rocks group to give you a look at the colorful and inspirational “simple messages of happiness,” that are bringing smiles to Rhode Islanders in unexpected places. Over 100 rocks were scattered through the landscape on their last mission. How many can you find?