Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Reader Rabbit's Math Ages 6-9

Reader Rabbit's Math Ages 6-9

1998 Software
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Price: $29.95

Island adventure seem to be all the rage among edu-tainment software makers right now; this is Reader Rabbit's tropical jaunt. But, like with past Reader Rabbit titles, the story premise isn't why you send your junior Gardner McKay to this animated paradise. It's for the math. This time around, RR and his sidekicks get shipwrecked on a pirate island where math skills--both conceptual and everyday practical--serve them well in surviving. Just click on any of the nine locations on the pirate island map to go to an activity that practices math (grades 1-3).

The 20 games and activities range from practicing money counting to time telling, even some straightforward math such as addition and subtraction. If some of them seem drill-like, that's just characteristic of Reader Rabbit titles. Not all of the activities are as inventive as Sail Maker, for instance, where youngsters learn some beginning geometry by helping Sam the Lion draw different sized and shaped sails for the boat. Due to popular demand, pizzas are making more frequent cameos in kids software lately, too. Here, kids learn about fractions in the Monkey Pizza Game by applying the toppings to half pizzas, quarters, eighths, etc. In Pirate Lookout, the youngest players practice analog and digital clock reading.

Arcade games demanding more keyboard instead of mathematical dexterity include catching falling coconuts before the smash and wake up the pirates, catching fish by numbers, and attacking pirates with water balloons (also by numbers). TLC is throwing in a bonus CD-ROM disk, "Math Journey for Grades 1-3," which is its previous math title, now renamed, for this group.

Don Oldenburg   ©1998 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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