Tested on iMac -DV 400mHz, 256 mb RAM
This software is designed to help young children (K-1 & 1-2) learn to read. It
consists of two stories which read themselves, highlighting each word as it is spoken.
The software also includes a story creation capability allowing kids to create both
words and pictures for their own stories. As part of the story creating capability,
there is a paint program with a selection of painting tools such as a pencil, a marking
pen, a brush, chalk and two types of erasers. There is also an assortment of foreground
and background clip art taken from the illustrations of the included stories.
My kids (6 and 8 years old) seemed to enjoy both of the stories included. They
liked the fact that when clicking on certain objects within an illustration page,
a brief entertaining animation would be initiated. They particularly liked the painting
capability of the story creation tool kit. In fact, it was the painting that held
their interest the longest. The story presentation was very good. The speech was
very clear and correctly paced for young listeners.
The software installed easily and ran without bugs. The only operational problem
was that when the software set the screen resolution to 640 x 480, it would change
all of my pop-up windows back to normal windows and give the message that the "new
screen resolution could not support the pop-up windows".
The software was somewhat limited in its scope. Only 2 stories are included (though
I suppose it is possible more could be added by the developer). This product, alone,
will not teach a child to read. It makes them familiar with words, both visually
and audibly, but in order to truly improve upon reading skills, a child needs to
pick up a book without the audio and read along with a parent.
- Good audio, both voice and music
- Good graphics for the target age groups
- Fun, easy to use paint capability
- Only two stories
- By itself, not a practical tool to improve reading
3 out of 5 Mice