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Excerpt from The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse
"Peter Rabbit's Number Garden" is Mindscape's first educative title based on Beatrix Potter's characters, preceding the second, an interactive storybook called "The Adventures of Peter Rabbit & Benjamin Bunny". While the storybook is dedicated to enhance reading skills, "Peter Rabbit's Number Garden" instead offers an exciting learning package designed to develop early math skills for four to eight years old children.
Four different activities each presented by a specific character are available from the main menu: Counting & Ordering, Adding & Subtracting, Sorting, and Matching. All feature three levels of difficulty that slightly change the way the activity is played from one level to another.
In Counting & Ordering, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle needs help as she has too much work with all the animals bringing her their clothes to wash and iron. Children will practice creating number patterns on Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle clothesline. They must show Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle where she must hang the numbered clothes in order to complete the number pattern. At the easiest level, they will have to count the number of buttons on the jackets and find the jacket with the same number of buttons that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle requested. When done, children must collect radishes in a sequence called 'Radish Time'. According the level of difficulty that has been chosen, a certain number of radishes will fall down from the top of the screen, and children must quickly click on them before they disappear.
Although they represent some sort of reward, the radishes will please Peter Rabbit more than the children. That's why they must be traded with Peter for seeds and bugs that children will plant in their garden. A bag of seeds will be exchanged for five radishes and a bug for three. Once they selected whether they will plant a new seed or install a new bug in their garden, children will have to give the radishes to Peter. He will then plant the seed near the post they indicated in the garden or release a bug from the jar in the wheelbarrow. With ten sorts of trees and plants and four types of bugs, the garden will soon become a marvelous sight that can be printed out directly on paper for children to color.
When the basket of radishes becomes empty, it's time again to play and win more radishes. The second activity will teach children how to add and subtract numbers with Mrs. Tittlemouse. Mrs. Tittlemouse will soon give a party, but her house is unfortunately invaded by unwanted visitors. She has an awful lot of cleaning to do before she can start the party, and therefore children will have to help the poor mouse get rid of the creepy crawlies. In this activity, children can make up their own mathematical problems by selecting numbers found on the back of different bugs to be added or subtracted. Three numbers chosen randomly by the program will be available for the children to select from. Another number selected the same way will then either be added to or subtracted from the first number. By choosing from among a series of 10 digits, children will have to enter the correct answer. A total of three mathematical problems will need to be solved before the 'Radish Time'.
In the sorting game, Mr. Jeremy Fisher is having a dinner party, and he wants to serve a particular type of fish to his guests. The goal is for children to catch his fish in time for his party. Depending on the level of difficulty, they will have to sort the fish on size, skin pattern, color or several of them together, and throw them in the three baskets showing what kind of fish Mr. Jeremy Fisher wants. When he has a sufficient amount of fish, children must empty the baskets. There too the task will be different according the difficulty: Counting at the easiest level, sorting three numbers from the least to the most at medium difficulty, and finally placing the numbers in their correct position in a simple mathematical operation for the most difficult.
The last activity called matching will offer children to help Peter Rabbit hid from Mr. McGregor, in a game that will exercise both visual memory and math skills. The goal is to find items that go by pairs by removing only two flowerpots at a time. If children are lucky, they will unveil two corresponding items -- a number and an operation with a missing operand. If not, they must quickly memorize what they saw and continue until they find a match. When all the flowerpots are removed, children will then be rewarded again with radishes.
Conclusion:Like "The Adventures of Peter Rabbit & Benjamin Bunny", "Peter Rabbit's Number Garden" is a wonderful way to both educate and entertain young children. The magic of Beatrix Potter's characters operates in a wink of an eye with delicate graphics and a great soundtrack that both children and parents will enjoy.
486 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Windows compatible sound cards.
PublishersIn North America:
Web site: Mindscape
Mindscape International Ltd.,
Web site: Mindscape UK
Copyright © 1996 Coming Soon Magazine, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All Beatrix Potter materials copyright © Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.