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Jay Jay the Jet Plane, hero of the PBS series of the same name, takes off in this new educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Jay Jay Earns His Wings opens with the TV program's theme song and characters, instantly recognizable and welcoming to millions of young TV-watching children. The story here begins with Jay Jay talking with his friend, Big Jake, in the Tarrytown Airport hanger. Jake tells Jay Jay that he's almost ready to take his first solo delivery route, after a little practice in following directions -- and therein lies the storyline for the program
The user has to help Jay Jay answer questions at each of six different locations in the area. Successful completion at each location earns Jay Jay a package. Only when Jay Jay has all six packages can be return to Tarrytown Airport. The user gets to select each location on a map of the area, in any order.
Each activity has three user-selectable difficulty levels. Completing all six acitivities, at any level or combination of levels, allows Jay Jay to return to Tarrytown for a surprise.
Jay Jay Earns His Wings has a clear educational objective: to provide a set of fun activities that interactively drill numbers, patterns, sequences, and simple math. It generally meets that objective, with a couple of caveats.
Our young testers found the challenge levels of some of the activities to be uneven. For example, apple picking in Smiling Meadow was "boring", even at the hardest level, while answering Oscar's questions about animals at the Ranch required pre-existing knowledge.
Overall, our reviewers felt that the program was not as rich as they would have liked. "My daughter went through the entire program in less than an hour" commented one.
Jay Jay Earns His Wings was variously described as "neat!" and "ok" by our testers. The more positive response came from the younger child -- and fits with our adult reviewers' feedback that this program was best suited for children at the younger end of the suggested age range, say 3 to 5.
Jay Jay Earns His Wings installed without difficulty on our Windows Me test machine. The program is easy to use, and never required opening of the small manual contained in the CD's plastic case. Simple instructions are spoken -- no reading required, except number recognition.
Jay Jay Earns His Wings is a sound educational program for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
PC: Windows 95/98/Me/XP/2000, 266 MHz or faster cpu, 35 MB hard drive space, 64 MB RAM, 800x600 16-bit display, 8x or faster CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, .return to top of page
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