The grandaddy of reading software, Reader Rabbit 1 is still a winning choice for pre- and early readers. The Learning Company, which originally introduced the program in 1984, has recently released an upgraded new version, which includes all new graphics and animation as well as an updated story line. It focuses on basic reading skills, with activities that stress phonics, vocabulary building, spelling, letter recognition and memory. Reader Rabbit 1 uses more than 200 three-letter words, emphasizing the individual sounds made by each of the letters. Instructional feedback is provided by the Master of CeremoniesReader Rabbit himself.
Reader Rabbit 1 is set in the 'Word Factory', where the player helps Reader Rabbit make words to load on Ernest the Engine and his word train. Each correct response is rewarded with a word of encouragement and an amusing stunt, or a choreographed dance performed by Reader Rabbit and Mat, his sidekick. Without exception our child-reviewers delighted in Reader Rabbit and Mat's dance sequences. When the train is filled with words it chugs off to Wordville and the player is moved up to the next level of play.
Ease of Install / Use
Reader Rabbit 1 installed without any reported difficulty on our reviewers' PCs and Macs.
Our teacher reviewers report continuing satisfaction with this program as an educational supplement. It stresses phonics instruction, encouraging the child to associate letters and groups of letters with the sounds that they make. It also exposes the player to common spelling patterns and develops word recognition skills. Other benefits of this program include vocabulary enhancement, and an introduction to critical thinking.
Proxy Parent Value
The motivated user will enjoy and learn from this title with little or no supervision. Reader Rabbit explains each activity in detail and leads the child to the correct response in each instance. Because of this there is little or no frustration involved, even for the youngest of players. Although this program targets children with some knowledge of letters and letter sounds, those who don't yet know them can play and benefit from it as well.
This software appeals most to children who enjoy learning and practicing their new-found reading readiness. The featured activities are great skill builders, but they are repetitious. Children who resist the tedium of reading drills may not be able to sustain enthusiasm for this program as their familiarity with it increases.
Although it is not the most engaging reading software currently available, this time-tested winner is a good bet for any family with young readers.
|Operating System||Windows 3.1, Win95||System 7 or higher|
|CPU Type and Speed||486DX/66 or faster||68040/33 or faster|
|Hard Drive Space||10 MB||10 MB|
|Memory (RAM)||8 MB||8 MB|
|Graphics||256 color SVGA||256 color|
|Audio||Windows-compatible sound card||n/a|