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

Mia's Reading Adventure (The Bugaboo Bugs)

Mia's Reading Adventure (The Bugaboo Bugs)

Spring 2008 Software
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Price: $24.99
School Use Price: $34.99
Platform: Windows/MAC

Mia, a young mouse, lives in an old house with many friends. She's an endearing character, and her world is enchanting. Here, Mia's adventures focus on reading and related verbal skills. Kids play as Mia, deciding where to explore and which activities to tackle, guiding the charming Mia through each challenge.

In The Bugaboo Bugs, Mia's family and friends are in "danger" by the presence of a gang of rich but uncivilized bugs who seem certain to attract exterminators. Young players navigate Mia through the house, collecting clues, amassing "sparklies," and learning what must be done to accomplish each goal. At many points along the way, Mia is faced with a task involving letters, words, and other reading skills.

While the anthropomorphized critters are clearly fantasy, much of the environment is realistic and recognizable to children. In the classic style of books like The Borrowers and many others, everyday objects that kids recognize serve other functions for the mice, bugs, and other small characters. The plots are well-conceived, the flexibility of the software gives choice and control, and the content and pace of the material demonstrate genuine understanding on the part of the game's creators.

The features that distinguish this game and are first-rate animation, amusing and distinctive characters (rats! bugs!), flexible plot construction, and active educational engagement. Youngsters may not care about the last two, but the combination of all four makes for a game that kids and their parents can love. Importantly, there is content and action here that both boys and girls can embrace with enthusiasm.

Ann Hillers   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Ann Hillers, a creative writing graduate of Duke University, is a mother of three boys and a former international tour director. Her work led her all around the globe and she's imparted her kids with the same wanderlust. They have traveled together to 20 countries including South Africa, Botswana, Nicaragua, Colombia, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia, where they all became certified scuba divers. After living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for six years the family now resides in California.

Look for this product at:
Kutoka Interactive
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers

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