The Learning Company, , today announced an all-new journey that strengthens the reading skills of five- to eight-year-olds. "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey(TM) 2," available this fall on Windows and Apple Macintosh) CD-ROM, is based on the most successful reading CD-ROM of 1995: "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey 1," a complete learn-to-read program for four- to seven-year-olds.
"Interactive Reading Journey 2" continues the adventures of Reader Rabbit, Sam the Lion and Mat the Mouse as they search for Sam's imagination through 15 fun reading lands made up of carefully sequenced, multilevel activities. These familiar friends are joined by a host of newcomers, including Buster the Car, Sparky the Imagination and Booker Frog. Each activity builds on newly learned skills as children read, listen, respond, click on educational animated "hot spots" and think their way through "Interactive Reading Journey 2." Children strengthen essential reading skills with the thirty original storybooks featured in the program and in softcover in the box. In addition, a unique record and playback feature helps children develop reading confidence and expression, while sixty thought-provoking questions throughout this interactive and entertaining adventure invite children to voice their ideas about the stories and their own experiences.
"Our consumer research has shown that parents have a strong interest in strengthening their children's reading skills -- specifically in sounding out words, developing comprehension and building thinking skills and vocabulary through challenging, fun stories," said Diana James-Cairns, vice president of premium product marketing for SoftKey International. "As with its predecessor, 'Interactive Reading Journey 2' combines phonics and whole language in age-appropriate games where children are motivated and engaged in an interactive, self-guided format. That's the powerful combination of multimedia and education."
The unique record and playback feature in "Interactive Reading Journey 2" enables children to practice oral reading skills, including pace, voice inflection and word emphasis, inspiring learning at all levels. "Record and playback has been one of the most popular features with parents," added James-Cairns. "It helps them to see how their child is progressing with oral reading skills, and it's an incredibly fun feature for kids." Beginning readers, for example, find that record and playback motivates them to read. Intermediate readers often use the feature as a self-correction tool, to aid with pronunciation and enunciation. Advanced readers also enjoy record and playback as it encourages them to have more expression when they read aloud.
The comprehensive, interactive approach of "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey 2" covers the important aspects of reading, with each new step building on the skills learned in previous steps. As children journey through the program, they strengthen essential reading skills in carefully sequenced activities:
* Reading stories: Children join Reader Rabbit and his friends in 30 stories that focus on repeated word patterns, stories-within-stories or cliff-hanger adventures. In one story, Sam and Reader Rabbit think that two thieves at the bottom of the well have stolen their hats until Mat the Mouse sets them straight by explaining that they are looking at their own reflections. Children can either read the stories along with Booker Frog or read the story themselves and record it for future playback.
* Predicting, understanding and responding: To spark imagination and strengthen comprehension, Booker Frog asks children questions about what is going to happen and what did happen. Children respond by recording their spoken answers (and sometimes their giggles) directly into the storybooks.
* Discovering letter and sound patterns: Rhyming and sorting activities help children learn ending letter combinations as well as two-consonant combinations, which are some of the most difficult sounds for children to produce and understand. In one activity, children help Ben the Ant build yummy sandwiches as they build rhyming skills and the ability to quickly recognize letter patterns.
* Connecting sounds: In the Silly Syllable activity, children learn how word parts are put together to form bigger words as they place single-syllable caterpillars together to create multisyllabic words.
* Building reading bridges: To assess reading comprehension and word recognition skills, the Word Bridge activity has children help Buster the Car find the words he needs to create a bridge over to the next reading land.
* Tracking progress: A proficiency-tracking system monitors children's progress as they journey through the activities, assessing comprehension before they can move to the next unit. Parents determine the level of proficiency required, or can turn off the tracking altogether to encourage free exploration through trial and discovery.
"No other reading software is as thoroughly integrated or as carefully sequenced as our 'Interactive Reading Journey' series. Each of these programs encompasses a year's worth of reading development," said James-Cairns. "And this series comprises only a portion of the ever-growing, top-selling Reader Rabbit Reading Series, which fosters a lifelong love of reading through its interactive experiences in reading, writing, listening, speaking and thinking."
Since its introduction in October 1994, "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey 1" has garnered a e.
"Interactive Reading Journey 2" will be available in fall 1996 on Windows and Macintosh CD-ROM for the estimated retail price of $99.00, with street prices ranging from $75.00 to $90.00. Included in every box are the 30 printed stories along with a coupon for a free computer microphone.
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