Reader Rabbit Toddler contains both active and passive activities, so even the youngest of the 18-month to three-year-old target audience can sit on an adult's lap and enjoy the onscreen action. After a child is old enough to pick up the mouse without chewing on it, he or she can easily do many of the activities, as most gameplay requires mouse movement only with no clicking necessary. For example, on the menu screen, Mat the Mouse instructs the player to choose an activity. Simply moving the mouse pointer (a giant star) over areas on the screen automatically highlights and selects the activity.
Two activities, Rainbow Rock and Alphabet Express, support keystrokes as well. In the former, children color pictures that animate upon completion. Colors are chosen, accompanied by silly sound effects, by simply moving the mouse over the screen or hitting keys. In Alphabet Express, players match letters with those depicted on boxcars by dragging the letters with the mouse or typing them on the keyboard. Correct matches result in the boxcar opening to reveal objects beginning with that letter. In each case, the interface is extremely easy and simple to use.
Graphics seem a bit more sophisticated than other titles in the Reader Rabbit series, as many of the backgrounds have a 3D look, and 2D characters have shading not seen in most other titles. For example, in Follow-Me-Theater, Reader Rabbit's hands have a 3D quality as they gesture while he pantomimes along with several popular children's songs, including "Hickory Dickory Dock." Reader Rabbit Toddler can be used to supplement instructions in many early learning skills, and contains enough variety, color, and catchy music to be entertaining while teaching.
Graphics: Graphics are a step up from many other Reader Rabbit titles, with 3D-like backgrounds and character shading.
Sound: The voices are clear and understandable, the music cute and catchy. Songs are short enough to entertain kids but not annoy adults.
Enjoyment: Toddlers will love the cute, cuddly characters, and bounce in their seats to the fun songs.
Replay Value: Each activity contains many puzzles, games, and songs. Considering the intended age group, repetition shouldn't be too much of a problem as children learn to use the computer.
Reader Rabbit's Toddler is part of the Learning Company's multi-subject educational game series for children. As its name suggests, this reading centered title is meant for children as young as 18 months, and thus focuses on pre-reading skills such as sound matching, letter and shape recognition and creative play.
In the introduction, Reader Rabbit and his friend, Mat the Mouse, enter a magic book where there are many places to explore. From the main page, toddlers can color, solve simple puzzles, play a matching game, and follow along to simple finger-play songs like Itsy-Bitsy Spider. There is also a Bubble Castle for popping bubbles and a jungle where they can spot animals and hear their characteristic sounds.
The Version 2.0 release of Reader Rabbit's Toddler is an upgraded version of the original game. The primary difference between this and previous versions is the use of click-free mousing and the ability to move through the program by striking random keys, making it more accessible to the targeted 18 mos - 3 year age range.
People who downloaded Reader Rabbit's Toddler have also downloaded:
Reader Rabbit's Kindergarten, Reader Rabbit 2, Reader Rabbit's Reading Journey 1, Reader Rabbit's Reading 1, Reader Rabbit 3, Reader Rabbit and Friends: Let's Start Learning, Reader Rabbit's Ready for Letters, Reader Rabbit
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