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Children's Software Review:

Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System (Ages 4-7)

PC Software: Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System
Children's Educational Game for the PC

By: The Learning Company

Released: May 2005

Our Recommended Age: Ages 5-7

Our Rating: A-



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's software reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find the right computer games for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.

This new software package starring the veteran reading software bunny, Reader Rabbit, offers kids two educational CD-ROMs, an audio CD featuring educational songs, and a set of phonics flashcards with stickers.

The first CD-ROM in Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System (for kids ages 4-7) is entitled High Flying Act Interactive Storybook. Reader Rabbit, Sam the Lion, and friends, are performing in a circus, but their plank breaks in front of a large audience. The pirates have a plank, but they want to exchange the plank for prizes in the fair.

The interactive storybook features text of the story that can be read in a variety of ways. Words can be sounded out, spelled, or pronounced in full, depending on the button pressed. Each screen of the story features interactivity--games to play, and educational "clickables".

The quality of the interactive storybook is average. Although the screens are colorful, the activities are rather bland. The voice used for some of the activities is robotic, much like the audio found in electronic learning toys. Somehow, we expected a smoother presentation.

The second CD-ROM, however, is the most valuable--especially if you don't already own Reader Rabbit 1st Grade: Capers on Cloud Nine and/or Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade: Mis-Cheese-ious Adventures, as the activities on this disc come from these games.

Each of the games on the second CD-ROM have appeared elsewhere in Reader Rabbit programs, and are open-ended. Kids break compound words into two smaller words, select pairs of words that are antonyms and synonyms, build compound words from two smaller words, group words according to their short vowel sound, build words from using beginning and ending sounds, and more.

One particularly clever activity is Flowerpot Phonics (see screenshot directly above), which involves transforming words by selecting whether players need to change the beginning sound, vowel sound, or ending sound. At first, kids might need to change "cat" to "cab", but as they advance, they need to change the word in multiple steps (for example, change "rack" to "clock").

Printable worksheets in full color are also included on the second CD-ROM. The audio CD features a variety of educational songs for listening anywhere there's a CD player.

The flashcards included in the box are high-quality, full-color cards that help reinforce phonics away from the computer. Parents can choose to use the cards as flashcards, or to play games with the cards.

Important Note: Although the box reads ages 4-7, very few four-year-old children are ready to tackle such things as consonant blends and concepts like "synonyms" and "compound words". We suggest ages 5-7, but only advanced 5-year-old kids will be able to use the software without frustration.

Although this software set offers some solid skill-building opportunities, it is a less appealing package overall in comparison to titles like Reader Rabbit 1st Grade or Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade. It features some of the reading activities from these games, but it is missing the context of a larger adventure that made these other titles very inviting. As it stands, Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System is educationally valuable, but lackluster in terms of entertainment.

 

We have more pictures from the game here

 

Our Rating:

A-

more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System (Mac and PC)

Reviewed: May 2005

Comments? Email us

Other Guides, Reviews, & Articles at Edutaining Kids:


see also:

Gift Guides for Kids Ages 5-8

Learn to Read

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 



Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System (Mac and PC)


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