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
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
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
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
We have more pictures from the game here
For more information, user reviews, or to buy:
Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System (Mac and PC)
Reviewed: May 2005