September 1998

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Madeline Thinking Games from The Learning Company and Fisher-Price Ready for School - Kindergarten from Knowledge Adventure

Madeline Thinking Games from The Learning Company

Madeline and her software have finally arrived direct from Paris, France with all twelve little girls in two straight lines, based on the wonderfully written and illustrated books by Ludwig Bemlmans and excellently implemented into an animated educational CD by The Learning Company. If you and your kids are not familiar with the story line then it's time for you to learn about Madeline, her trusty dog Genevieve, her teacher Miss Clavel and the boy-next-door, Pepito, with this software CD made for kids ages five and more.

You'll find lots of activities with Madeline as your guide. They include exploring the Garden outside the house and many spots within. Downstairs, in the Kitchen, you'll pack a picnic and bake a treat, find the Classroom to play spelling and matching games, in the Studio you'll watch Madeline Movies (excerpts from her music videos), play the piano and paint pictures. Upstairs, you'll find the girls' bedroom to learn French and Spanish words and assemble a jigsaw puzzle. And finally, you'll have fun with decorating activities in the Other Bedroom.

After watching an episode of Madeline on the Disney Channel, my two daughters (Becky is 3 1/2 years old and Sarah is 7) love to interact with Madeline and the Thinking Games on the this CD. And though Becky is under the suggested age range, she hasn't had a problem with the CD. In fact, to my surprise, she's speaking some words and phrases in French. I suspect she learned phrases from the Madeline videos and words from the CD. To me, the videos and the CD work together and Creative Wonders has been successful in extending my kids' learning from merely watching an educational show to an interactive experience with some of their favorite animated characters.

Madeline Thinking Games has a street price of $14.99 and works on any multimedia PC, 486 or faster machine and the Apple Macintosh, 68030 processor or better. Both computers require a double-speed CD-ROM drive and 8 megabytes RAM. And they have a money back guaranty if you're not completely satisfied with any of their products. For more information contact The Learning Company at 1-800-716-8506.

Fisher-Price Ready for School - Kindergarten from Knowledge Adventure

Kids ages 4 to 6 will have fun visiting Kinderville in Knowledge Adventure's newest educational CDs, Fisher-Price Ready for School - Kindergarten. It's a great little educational software city with the Clock Shop for teaching time, the Schoolhouse for learning words and sentences, the Grocery Store for learning patterns and simple math and the Ice Cream Shop for learning directions and counting to 10. You'll also find the Post Office where kids learn colors, shapes and sizes and sorting packages, at Cocoa Cafe they'll make and read 4 and 5 column charts and compare quantities, at the Fire House learn about health, safety and manners and build memory skills, and finally, at the Toy Store learn to follow and give directions. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the Music Player which offers neat sounding tunes with educational lyrics and also the Calendar to help kids recognize days, months and years.

Fisher-Price Ready for School - Kindergarten has a street price of $20 and runs on any multimedia PC, 486/66 or faster and the Apple Power Macintosh. Both systems require a quad-speed CD-ROM drive and 16 megabytes RAM. For more information contact Knowledge Adventure at 1-800-545-7677.

You can't go wrong with any of the Knowledge Adventure educational titles. But, if you're not completely satisfied don't worry, be happy and return the software for a full refund or exchange.

Howard Berenbon