by School Zone
Platform: Windows, Mac
Buy new: $18.75
4 used & new from $2.50
(Visit the Most Gifted in Reading & Language list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)
Review & Description
Alphabet Express introduces skills that help children learn to read and spell. This award-winning program combines games songs and more for hours of fun practice.System Requirements:MAC REQUIREMENTS Mac® OS X 10.4 10.3 10.2.8 PowerPC™ G3 233MHz (or equivalent). 128MB of RAM. 640x480 32-bit color video. 50MB of available disk space. 8x CD-ROM drive. PC REQUIREMENTS Windows® Vista XP 2000 ME 98 - Pentium® II 266MHz (or equivalent) 64MB of RAM 640x480 32-bit color video. 16-bit sound card. 50MB of available disk space 8x CD-ROM drive.Format: WIN 9598XP/MAC 8.6-9.X (CLASSIC)X10.1 OR LATER Genre: EDUCATION UPC: 076645087010 Manufacturer No: 08701The 26 letters of the alphabet equal 26 opportunities to explore, listen, and learn in Alphabet Express Preschool. Add to this a handful of added-on games, imaginative short films, and freeform activities, and this CD-ROM has both appeal and staying power.
As a trainload of critters chugs around the onscreen alphabet, kids click on a letter, and uppercase and lowercase versions fly, bounce, or pour onto the scene in a Sesame Street moment. The letters dissolve to a garden scene for G, an orchestra for O, and so forth. Click on the onion in the orchestra pit, and a kid's voice intones "Onion!" while the squirrel holding the thing begins to cry piteously. There are similar scenes for every letter of the alphabet--though designers cheated a bit and combined X, Y, and Z. Kids can also paint different alphabet-emphasizing pictures, play a sounding-out/letter-matching game, and look at instructions on how to write each letter. A separate section of activities includes find-the-hidden-letter games, dot-to-dots that teach alphabetizing, and mazes that must be conquered by matching objects to their beginning letter. Finally, and most delightfully, there's a movie theater where kids can watch a couple of priceless animated shorts: one is a James Brown-esque ditty belted out by a chicken, listing the (alphabetized) items that make Hearty Chicken Alphabet Soup so special. Anchors, basketballs, and carburetors are a few of the secret ingredients.
The animation in Alphabet Express isn't smooth, but the audio is lush: O's orchestra section is replete with the dissonant sound of strings tuning up before the symphony; the tired old ABC song gets a hip-hop makeover; a host of different (and non-annoying) kid and adult voices pronounce letters and guide visitors. Even if this weren't a strong CD-ROM, it'd be worth checking out, just to learn the remaining ingredients in Hearty Chicken Alphabet Soup. (Ages 3 to 6) --Anne EricksonClimb aboard Alphabet Express, and join the conductor for a fun-filled journey. Meet animals and objects that enthusiastically respond to the alphabet. Game sections include letter matching, hidden words, dot-to-dots, coloring books, songs, and more. Stimulating color and playful sounds make this an engaging learning resource. Read more