C D - R O M T O D A Y

The popular Japanese Sanrio character, Hello Kitty, has seeped into America's culture with its cute and tiny paraphernalia geared at the younger set. Now, in Hello Kitty Big Fun Deluxe, this likable feline has leaped beyond trinkets and moved onto an entertaining and educational computer toy.
Hello Kitty combines four activities (Big Fun Piano, Big Fun Art, Big Fun Shapes & Numbers, and Big Fun Story Making) designed for ages three to eight. The learning value of the software is greatest for preschoolers, but older kids will use the disc for the amusement of it rather than for its challenge. However, the vibrant colors, adorable illustrations, and fool-proof interface will keep everyone coming back.
Big Fun Piano is a clever computer instrument and tutor. You can listen to or learn any of several nursery favorites like "London Bridge" or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Plus, you can also record your own songs. You can create your own cacophony of sounds by using the on-screen keyboard to play with sounds as varied as piano keys, bells, duck quacks, dog barks, and more.
The built-in coloring book, Big Fun Art, offers a several features. First, select one of five preprinted pages or choose an empty canvas. There's a nice selections of crayons, along with an eraser tool and various drawing widths. In addition, Big Fun Art provides more than 225 stamps, which can be reduced, enlarged, or re-shaped. Once a picture is complete, it can be added permanently to a child's scrapbook or become part of a slide show. Unfortunately aspiring young artists can not print out their masterpieces in color. These pages can only be printed in black and white.
Big Fun Story Making teaches basic reading and vocabulary skills. Kids can select from two themes-Hello Kitty's Adventures and Hello Kitty's Stew Story. Click on one, and one of the two books will open. The narrator reads each page aloud, but will pause to prompt you to fill in your own words. Pick an object from the given pop-up menu and it's inserted into the sentence. The words you choose affect the meaning and the outcome of the story. When you've finished, you can replay your creation or print the pages to read and color.
Finally, Big Fun Shapes & Numbers has a more limited appeal than the other activities. Its shape, number, and color exercises are geared towards the beginner, but there are some intermediate addition and subtraction problems. Choosing between three levels of difficulty, you select a scene. You're asked to perform various tasks and calculations, such as clicking on all of the red circles or adding up the number of birds and butterflies in the picture. After each response, a new set of objects appears.
The combination of activities makes Hello Kitty Big Fun Deluxe a very attractive title for young users. As parents and teachers know, it's so much easier for children to learn when they're enjoying themselves.

B I G   T O P  

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