Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

I Spy Junior:  Puppet Playhouse

I Spy Junior: Puppet Playhouse

Fall 2000 Software
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Price: $19.99
Handmade puppets with handsome props and imaginative backdrops set the stage for seven learning activities based on the “I Spy” search-and-learn book series that makes an art of relating riddles to images. Designed simply with the young preschooler in mind, the games range from a darling Little Lost Whale puppet show that asks children to click on the elements of the riddle found in the stage productions, to the Prop Box Game in which players sort and classify like and different objects—such as separating horses from bears. Make Your Own I Spy turns the playwrite power over to the player—but once the scene is made and the riddle done, there’s no pay-off other than printing out the picture. Puppet Maker is a fun and creative activity though the guidance toward the goal is firm and awards doing it one way only while restricting the far reaches of imagination. Easy-to-understand instructions and helpful hints make sure youngsters don’t get stuck or lost. Overall, the attractive graphics lend to a likeable learning environment that will compel kids to play despite the similarity of activities.
Don Oldenburg   ©2000 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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