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$129.88
1. Starry Night Pro 5.0 ( Windows/Macintosh
2. STARRY NIGHT Starry Night Pro
$7.80 list($19.99)
3. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes
$116.99 $109.99 list($149.99)
4. Starry Night Pro 4.5
$14.99 $6.20 list($19.99)
5. JumpStart Animal Adventures
$49.99 $28.95 list($59.99)
6. Starry Night Enthusiast
$159.99 list($199.99)
7. Starry Night Pro Plus
$49.99 list($14.99)
8. Magic School Bus Lands on Mars
$16.99 $4.95 list($19.99)
9. Achieve! Math & Science Grades
list($9.99)
10. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest (Jewel
list($9.99)
11. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest (Jewel
$12.75 list($19.99)
12. Achieve! Math & Science Grades
$55.00 list($29.99)
13. Educator's Choice Math & Science
$13.69 list($19.99)
14. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest
$4.25
15. The Ultimate 3-D Skeleton
$9.99
16. Uncle Albert's Magical Album
$14.95
17. Science Explorer Activity Pack
$8.99
18. The Eyewitness Encyclopedia of
$3.70
19. Trudy's Time and Place House Ages
$39.99
20. Magic School Bus Explores the

1. Starry Night Pro 5.0 ( Windows/Macintosh )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002VRPDM
Catlog: Software
Sales Rank: 1085
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Data included on over 70,000 different galaxies
  • Learn basic information for each star, planet or galaxy for in-depth astronomical studies
  • Add your own labels, create your guide and constellations - and add your own personal settings
  • Up-to-date celestial database with customized images and Internet links

2. STARRY NIGHT Starry Night Pro Plus 5.0 ( Windows )

Asin: B0002VKR4G
Catlog: Software
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • New in-the-field features and equipment checklists to help the serious stargazer
  • Go online for up-to-date images of sunspots, auroras and weather patterns around the globe
  • Upgraded observation and planner logs
  • Navigate and open your saved Starry Night files more easily, through the simple task panel
  • Powerful search tools locate any mapped planets, satellites, comets and asteroids

3. Jay Jay the Jet Plane: Sky Heroes to the Rescue
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000067PF4
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 1947
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Introduce youngsters to the PC in a fun and entertaining way with Jay Jay the Jet Plane and his fleet of flying friends, the popular and familiar TV characters.

Your child can take part in exciting, interactive adventures, enter the land of make-believe, and embark on an exciting rescue mission to enable the Sparkleberry Tree on Pangabula Island (which has lost its shimmer) to survive, by discovering the magic ingredients to nurse it back to health.

All activities encourage children to have fun, to use their imaginations, to discover and learn about nature and ecosystems, and to sing songs. (Some of the activities also include printable sections.)

The package teaches youngsters to acquire knowledge of nature and science, learn about spelling and phonics, recognize letters and build words, practice patterns and sequencing, grasp logical reasoning and the art of following instructions, develop critical thinking and musical creativity, and practice early PC and mouse skills.

The manufacturers recommend the CD-ROM for children ages 3 to 7 years, but obviously adult help will be needed at the lower age level. The program is bright and bold, and will introduce preschoolers to the PC in a nonthreatening way. The accompanying documentation is comprehensive and simple to follow, and clear installation instructions are included. --Susan Naylor, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Typical cookie-cutter children's game
Like just about every other children's game (think JumpStart) this game is made in Macromedia's Director. And also, like just about every other children's game, it is low-budget, low-talent and low-resolution. The game forces itself into 800x600x16-bit @ 60Hz and after you exit the game, guess what? You're still in 800x600x16-bit @ 60Hz. Because the programming talent is nonexistent the game is rigidly linear, forcing you to watch the mind-numbing instructions before EVERY game no matter how many times you've played it previously. And, in what seems to be a trend among children's games, it requires Administrator privileges to not only install, but also RUN the game! I am not about to give my 28-month-old son those elevated permissions on the family computer. Not because I'm afraid of intentional mischief but because I'm afraid of the accidental damage he could do. The only things that save this title are the videos and cutscenes which feature plenty of time with the main characters and keep my son interested.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like the TV show, Jay Jay is still a hero!
A fun program that my nephew has enjoyed for weeks. The activities keep him coming back over and over and the theme of helping each other and conservation are messages that it is never too early to expose children to. Like the Jay Jay Earns his Wings program, this one is a winner. Where can you get the Sky Circus program I see listed as discontinued?

5-0 out of 5 stars My little ones love cd-rom!
Great activities for pre school kids. Highly recommend this cd-rom.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jay Jay is SuperSonic
My son loves Jay Jay and absolutely loves this game. He has played it already 3 times.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
My son absolutely LOVES Jay Jay the Jet Plane, but didn't get into this software at all. The games are boring and I could just see the disappointment in his face. I'm glad I didn't pay full price, and instead bought it on clearance at a local retailer. ... Read more


4. Starry Night Pro 4.5
list price: $149.99
our price: $116.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C7FSH
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Imaginova
Sales Rank: 2071
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Everything the experienced astronomy enthusiast needs to explore the universe
  • Enhanced observation planner lets you create detailed lists of targets
  • New observation logs to store notes, times, sky conditions, equipment used, and images on targets
  • Equipment list allows you to store all scopes, eyepieces, binoculars, and accessories
  • LiveSky panel lets you see up-to-date images of the Sun and Earth

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars armchair astronomy as its best
If you are fascinated by the sky, get this software now. I was
amazed by the photo realisitic rendition of the sky map
on the PC. Both the Backyard Edition and Pro Edition are
well worth the price. Many a times I do star watching
on my desk, watch the librations of the moon at high speed
(see the moon wobbling on its axis by zooming and
locking on the moon and running time at higher speed).

Many a day, this is my screen saver, locking on the sun
as it cuts thru the zodiac. Yesterday I watched the transit
of venus across sun ahead of time on my PC.

On my linux, I use xephem (it comes with source code in c),
and on dos I use alw.exe (astromony lab) to generate the almanac.
And finally pscal.sh to generate the moon phases in my
printable calendar (see google for pscal,xephem,alw.zip).

Of course, you can use to identify stars, by using on your
laptop, when you do star watching.

- Mosh http://www.cs.albany.edu/~mosh

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Program For The Telescope Owner!
I upgraded to Pro 4.5 from Backyard 4.0 and I am glad I did! The graphics of this program are better and this program adds the ability to control a telescope (most Meade/Celestron models). You can also add your equipment lists to the program to get apparent Fields Of View (FOV) for your telescope and assorted eyepieces. You can plan your nightly observations by checking the program before you go out so you know what time Jupiter's Great Red Spot will be rotated into view.

This program also tracks satellites, The International Space Station (ISS), and Hubble Space Telescope so you know when will be a good time to go out and watch them pass over head.

It is a great learning tool to begin to understand the constellations, and deep sky objects like nebulas and galaxies.

you have to be sure to load the ENTIRE Quicktime program that comes included on the disk or the program will not operate properly.

also, it comes with a great DVD called Atlas of the Sky which includes over 2 hours of original learning programs about the cosmos.

Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
Starry Night Pro (SNP)is an incredible software package. I had used used TheSky version IV for a few years (which was 2 1/2 times the cost), and SNP is MUCH easier to use, and offers features that TheSky simply does not have.

It does help to have a pretty good background in Astronomy though, so I could see where someone with virtually NO knowledge on the subject would have a difficult time knowing where to start. Since they do offer more basic versions of Starry Night, I'd imagine that they might be more appropriate for a true beginner.

Some of the highlights: Each time you run the program, you have the option of having the database updated via the Internet, so that all of your satellite, comet and asteroid information is current. This function is very easy... you don't have to go looking for it... it'll ask you at start up.

You can "center" on any object, and zoom in (up to) a high-powered telescopic view. With the object centered in the field, the object will remain frozen in the center of your screen as time elapses, rather than moving across the screen. You can then set the time-step to anywhere from "normal" to 30,000x normal. One of the coolest things to do, is to center Saturn, zoom in until it fills about a quarter of the screen, and then speed the time up... You'll watch in amazement as the planet and it's splendid ring system rotate before you, and the moons dance around the planet.

You can change your viewing location to anywhere on Earth... or for that matter, anywhere in the Solar System --and beyond. Try looking back at the Earth during a Solar eclipse! You'll see the Moon's shadow skirting across the surface. Or, if you set your viewing location on the Moon during a lunar eclipse, you'll see a Solar eclipse FROM the moon. Again, pretty neat.

You can zoom completely out of the galaxy, and look back at the Milky Way so it is no longer a band across the sky, but rather a pinwheel of stars (depending, of course, on which direction you are looking from.) You can also zoom out to the edge of the known universe until all of the galaxies are a faint blob in the middle of the screen.... Zooming IN quickly from this point is also a cool effect.

If all of what SNP did was for "effect" only (in other words, it didn't actually reflect the REAL sky, it'd be worth the money.) But of course, it DOES reflect what you CAN see. What you WILL see. And what you DID see. (Up to several thousand years in the past, and about ten thousand years into the future... just for planning purposes!)

Starry Night Pro is worth every dollar... and more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Verstile intuitive astro program you won't get tired of.
This is an astronomy program that really takes advantage of the high powered graphics and speed of todays PC. There are also many features in the program that are highly useful. Probably the greatest aspect of the program is that it is so practical but yet doesn't limit your imagination. In other words, if you want a session to set up your telescope for astrophotography or to print up star maps, you won't have to change programs later if you want to take a visual ride to some distant star or galazy.

Another excellent feature is the realism. Earlier astro programs would have M31 and an oval in the sky to depict the Andromeda galazy. The earlier program might also have the name or NGC number available. With Starry Night when you zoom in, you get an image that is truly representative of a telescopic view. As you continue to zoom in, it's like changing from your 6 or 8 inch scope to a 25 or 30 inch scope. Go further and you have a view that rivals the best that anyone has ever had the privilage of seeing. Another nice touch is that as you increase the "power" more stars become visible just as they would through a real telescope.

The amount of data in the program is staggering. Point at any star or object and you get multitudes of information. This is also user changeable and the combinations available are practically limitless. If you're not happy with all the known stars down to the 9th magnitude, you can download more to your heart's content. You can even set the program to automatically add new stars in whatever field you choose to explore.

Perhaps one of the most fantastic features of Starry Night is the galactic travel mode. Go to Andromeda and see what galaxies are visible from there. Go to the Virgo Cluster and be surrounded by galaxies of virtually every type, size and brightness. The program does use some generic images in this mode, but all of the messier objects and well known galaxies are shown with realistic representations. In other words, if you go to M81, you will see M82 and if you know what that looks like, you will recognize it.

As I mentioned earlier this program has so much to offer that I really don't have time to mention it all here. Suffice it to say that I was so happy with the program, I wrote emails to the company to praise their work. I got a reply saying thank you and it's nice to know the work is appreciated. It's not only appreciated, I love this program and haven't begun to explore it's limits completely. If you love astronomy and the feeling of awe it can inspire, get this program and you will have that feeling even if the night sky is cloudy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Customer Service Went Home And Stayed There
The program is absolutly super. It has so many great features and is VERY user frendly, so anybody can use it. The manual is done well and is easy to follow.

I have two computers, one with WindowsXP and the other with WindowsMe. The program says you need Quicktime 6.3 or better, and you do. The problem comes when you download the Quicktime 6.3 that comes with the program into a computer with WindowsMe. No matter what, you don't get the full graphics. Where as with WindowsXP you do get full graphics. And they are super.

Also after installing the 4.5.2 upgrade you loose the Contextual Help when you put the cursor over each button.

Full graphics intails all the buttons and different landscapes. If you don't get the full graphics you miss some of the buttons and several features that you wiil want to operate the program. Don't get me wrong, the features and buttons are there, you just can't see them so you have to punch around too find them. Partial graphics only seems to happen with the WindowsMe platform.

Last but certainly not least is the customer support. THERE IS NONE!. Let me repeat, THERE IS NONE! I've tried several times to get questions answered, like the problem with running the program in WindowsME. And also after installing the 4.5.2 upgrade you loose the Contextual Help when holding the cursor over the different buttons. Apparently the company made the program then went home and stayed there.

Soooooo buy the program and enjoy it. It really is super, weather your new to astronomy or a pro. Just don't load it into WindowsMe. And don't bother with Customer Support. And one more thing, the Starry Night Newsgroup is useless.

You will be on your own after buying Starry Night Pro 4.5

I must appoligize to the Starry Night people. After 2 weeks I got a reply from Starry Night Customer Support and they wanted to find out all the specs for both of my computers. So it is a start to fixing the minor problems I'm having. Sorry Customer Support for the bad rap. ... Read more


5. JumpStart Animal Adventures
list price: $19.99
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006352W
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Knowledge Adventure
Sales Rank: 271
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

When a bat named Batney Ears started singing like Britney Spears, not only were we hooked--we also learned about echolocation. JumpStart: Animal Adventures is a lush mix of entertainment and education that does detailed justice to the wild world of animals.

The program starts with the news that Habitat magazine is looking for kids who love animals to enter a contest. To fill out the four contest-entry forms, kids must explore a temperate forest, an African savanna, a rain forest, and a tide pool to gather animal information, photographs, and points. Each habitat has three screens, with gorgeous graphics and rich, ambient sound. Leafcutter ants, elephants, crabs, and 37 other creatures gladly share information about themselves and their environment. Clicking on certain animals will yield a catchy video (imagine crabs sounding like Green Day as they sing about limb regeneration) and games.

The games, which can be adjusted to three difficulty levels, give this program a seamless feel, adding depth to the educational experience. For example, when kids click on a beaver, the beaver launches into a detailed explanation of why it builds dams. The beaver then invites players to cut trees for a dam, adding that they must be small trees because beavers can't move larger ones. After the correct trees are gnawed down, kids can complete the dam by fitting the downed trees into a dam-shaped puzzle. After that, they're invited to gather mud from the riverbank, then help the beaver use his tail to pack the mud into the dam. Your child will play four games, hone spatial and sorting skills, and develop an in-depth understanding of the phrase "busy as a beaver." And this is just one animal in a program that has dozens of creatures to learn from.

Goal-oriented kids will love relentlessly progressing toward the various rewards the program offers, culminating in a quiz show called "The Animal Smarts Game" that can be played alone, or with a friend. Free-form exploration is also an option. We were impressed with the way JumpStart: Animal Adventures immersed us in exotic environments, and treated games as a teaching tool instead of an afterthought. (Ages 4 and older) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The GREAST Game-Education Program I Have seen in a long time
This is a Jump Start Title - they make only the best! However, this one the Jump Start Animal Adventures - is very easy to use -I help at a day care center - in the computer department - working with three, four and five year olds on the computers - they went wild over this title - the graphics are great the music is great - it still uses the mouse for picture taking but in the games the introduction to the use of the arrow keys and the space bar is a nice, very nice touch. It has got "just the right balance of knowledge learning and game fun - the three skill levels are great with this added touch all children can progress at their own speed - I have a five year old, girl, whos birthday came at the wrong time of the year last year for her to go to kindergarten this last year - she is playig it on level 3 and loves it - she really loves the "Animal Smarts" game at the end. I also have a four year old boy who is at the same level as my five year old girl. Yes, I must admit, I am the five year old girl's Grandmother as well as I have her in my computer class at day care - Buy this - you will "NOT" be SORRY - Thank you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic fun and games
This is a first rate game. My two boys, ages 3& 5 drive me nuts asking to play all the time. The vocbulary lessons are first rate. The music catches their attention and they sing along with the songs. The information is wonderful and requires them to use abstract thinking skills. There are crafts, stickers and a certificate. Lots of well thought out programing went into this game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Game!
I bought this game for my 3 yr old. He LOVED it. Not only did he really enjoy playing it, he learned a great deal from it as well. A few months back, he broke the CD and has not been able to play it. He still talks about things that he has learned through that game. I finally decided to come back and purchase another one for him. Good buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars All time favorite in our house!
My kids have learned SO Much from this game. I had low expectations but this far surpassed them! We have used Jumpstart software from the toddler level all the way to 2nd grade, and this is the all time favorite.

Both my 4 yo and 6 yo learned a great deal about animals and their habitats, their diets and so forth, more than I knew! The games are fun and action packed enough for my 4 yo boy. The crafts and printouts are very motivating.

All around, Jumpstart has a winner with this program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Animal Adventures
My son received this software for his 5th B-day. He loves it. The first day I had to sit with him. Some of the games can be difficult for a novice computer user. This software has taught him more about the food chain. It teaches about sorting into different groups, based on where the animal lives or the animals that eat meat vs. vegetables. My son was already very interested in animals and this has already taught him (and mom)a lot of vocabulary. This is great software for kids interested in animals and science. However, this should not be their only resource into the world of animals. ... Read more


6. Starry Night Enthusiast
list price: $59.99
our price: $49.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C7FSF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Imaginova
Sales Rank: 365
Average Customer Review: 3.17 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • View the sky from anywhere on Earth or blast off and visit locations 20,000 light years away
  • Learn how to identify planets, stars, and constellations; new weekly sky-gazing suggestions
  • LiveSky panel lets you see up-to-date images of the Sun and Earth
  • Locate objects easily with 'Find' command; create your own movies and images
  • More than 2.5 hours of movies, on both CD-ROM and bonus DVD

Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed!
Maybe it is because this is the base version but I have mixed feelings about this program. I loaded it into my laptop and at first I thought that was neat since I had the sky at my fingertips, it shows the planets, constellations, many stars. Just punch in your location and date and there is the sky duplicated on the laptop. And I like a number of features. Fast forward and turn the sun on and off, sun comes up and goes down. It has lots of information - all neat.

But then when I got out the telescope I went for a couple of books. My general feeling is that yes it is neat but maybe just a toy. So when I got a new computer I did not bother transferring the program. More of a toy, not a great tool and like all toys you lose interest fast. For the serious astronomer or telescope user just use a Miller Planisphere - it is the sky on a 10" circular disc with a sliding cover elliptical hole. You rotate the cover to the date and time and it shows the shy through the open elliptical hole. That gives a similar level of detail. For more information - go to a reference book. Maybe the program has some appeal in teaching where the novelty factor might generate or keep the interest of the students.

Jack in Toronto

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm satisfied... totally.
I know that some people seem to have had a bad experience with Space Holdings, but I have ordered both directly from them and also from Amazon before and was satisfied with both previous transactions. I will concur that they seem to have some internal communication issues and that the people you may talk to on the phone don't seem to have a very good handle on things... at least when you consider that they actually work for the company. It kind of feels like you've called someone's house and their 4yo kid picked up the phone. Trying to get Mommy or Daddy on the phone at that point can be tricky.

While I can't speak to the quality of other similar products (Red Shift, TheSky, etc.), I can say that I have been VERY happy with Starry Night. Having been a Starry Night Backyard user since version 3.0, I can say that it was worth my upgrade to 4.0 and then again to 4.5 (Enthusiast). I am now using 4.5.2 on my Apple TiBook running Mac OS X 10.3.2. The product is satisfactory to me in every way, and really lacks nothing that I use for amateur observation of the sky. I thoroughly enjoy it personally.

Additionally, I enjoy it professionally. I teach astronomy at a public high school with over 1400 students. I see about 130 of those students each year enrolled in astronomy. We use Starry Night Backyard (version 4.0.5) running on Mac OS X (10.2.8) as a part of the curriculum that I have developed. I have been totally satisfied with it as an educator.

Obviously I'm runnning all this on a Mac and the same was true with my version 3.0 (though that was on Mac OS 9). It could be that this product does not run as well on a Windows machine, but that can be said of a great many things. If you decide to get it, though, I would recommend is getting it from Amazon or some other source than directly from Space Holdings. Not only do they charge full retail price for the product, but because they're in Canada, the shipping is outrageous.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy from Space Holdings
This product crashed my machine, which is a new Dell Inspiron laptop running Windows XP. There customer service is dismal. After four emails and no response, I returned the product and stopped the payment on my credit card, indicating that it was fraudulently represented as a functional product. They have the worst customer support I've ever experienced. Buy something else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible program!
My husband and my two sons have been hunched over the computer for days, leaping up to go outside and look at the sky. Each time they come in, one of them says, "What a cool program!" before going back to the computer. My 12 year old, who is grounded at the moment, hasn't even complained about being limited to "smart games" on the computer because this is one of the programs he's allowed to use. They're all Astronomy enthusiasts anyway - the sort who will set the alarm for 3am to go out and see a comet. I couldn't say if the software would only appeal to that type. But I wish you could see these guys! They're competing with each other to see if they can come up with yet another fact or software functionality that will out-do what the others have found. They're already talking about getting the advanced version of the program - but this one will take them quite a ways, so there isn't any hurry. I just wish I could rate it more than five stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to astronomy
Starry Night makes the sky look so real that its almost like being outside. By far the most realistic astronomy program i have used. All the planets have high resolution images and there are over 100 color images of deepsky objects. If you want more objects you can get their PlusPak #2 which adds 11 000 more images to the sky. You also get a DVD with about 2 hours of movies, an astronomy book! and users guide. Its so much fun to use this software! Now i need a telescope... ... Read more


7. Starry Night Pro Plus
list price: $199.99
our price: $159.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C7FZP
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Imaginova
Sales Rank: 597
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Everything the experienced astronomy enthusiast needs to explore the universe
  • Enhanced observation planner lets you create detailed lists of targets
  • New observation logs to store notes, times, sky conditions, equipment used, and images on targets
  • Equipment list allows you to store all scopes, eyepieces, binoculars, and accessories
  • View up-to-date images of the Sun and Earth from ground and space-based observatories

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars MyMac.com Product Review
I love looking up at the stars, but trying to find constellations, planets, and other celestial objects has always escaped me. Except for maybe Venus and the big and little dipper, I am mostly useless at finding these objects. And I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at a bright object in the sky and said, "What is that?" So a chance to play with Starry Night Pro, self-proclaimed as "the world's most realistic astronomy software" sounded like a great opportunity.

Starry Night Pro Plus comes packed with a number of different items in the box. First was the Starry Night Pro CD that installs on both Windows and Mac computers. In addition, 2 "PlusPaks" CDs were included. PlusPak 1 adds additional Mars, Moon, and Earth high-resolution planet-surface and horizon images as well as a 16-minute mini-movie. PlusPak 2 adds 11,000 additional galaxy, nebula and star cluster images as well as 10 additional Milky Way images. Also included in the plus box was a DVD called "Atlas of the Sky" which contains more than 2 1/2 hours of original movies showing some amazing images and visualizations of astronomical objects and phenomena. An additional CD was included in box, which is also called "Atlas of the Sky" and is a multimedia CD similar to the DVD that installs as an option into the program. Additionally, 2 books are included. The first, Starry Night Companion is a 240-page guide to better understanding the night sky while using the Starry Night program, but is not a User's manual. Instead, it includes Astronomy Basics, Observational Advice, info on Earth's Celestials Cycles, and info on our solar system and deep space constellations. The other book is the 168-page User's Guide to using the program. I can see before I start that this is not going to be a trivial program to learn. Time to install the software.

Starry Night is big and has high system requirements. You will need OS 10.1 or greater to us this program, and at least 1 GB of free disk space to install. This is not a typo! If you install all the additional packs and CDs, reserve at least 2 GB! The application alone is 557 MB, and if you choose to install the multimedia movies, add an additional 600 MB of space. The PlusPaks will also require about 500 MB of additional disk space each to install as well. Installing was easy, just insert the Starry Night CD and click on the Install icon. The installer does the rest. You will need QuickTime 6.0 or later to run Starry Night, so install that if not already on your computer. After accepting the license and choosing where you want the software to install, sit back and relax for a while, as there are nearly 6000 files to be installed for the main program. This will take some time, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on your computer. If adding the PlusPacks, add another 10 to 15 minutes or longer to install each of those as well (PlusPak #2 installs nearly13,000 files!) After installing the software, you can then install the Starry Night Multimedia content as well. And although these installers ask for an install location, where they actually put the files was a mystery to me until I rebooted and noted that the StarryNight application "container" for the main application was now close to 2 GB in size. Obviously all files are installed inside the main application container, keeping the install very clean actually.

One final note, if installing version 4.5, there is a 4.5.2 update available from the StarryNight website that should be run before using this software.

While memory requirements are not spelled out, and it ran fine on my 1 GB PowerBook with 5 other programs running, but some animation was not so smooth in this mode. So, the more memory the better, and for best results, run it alone with no other apps running.

Also note that while using this on a PowerBook (or laptop) seems the most logical choice for outside star gazing, the power saving modes of the PowerBooks while running on batteries caused sporadic and jumpy animations and updates. To make things smoother while on batteries, go to the System Preferences and open the Energy Saver panel. Under "Settings for:" select "Battery Power" and then under "Processor Performance:" select "Automatic" for some improvement t. For even better performance, select "Highest" under performance but note that this will use your battery charge up considerably faster than normal, resulting in less than half your normal battery time. Do not forget to set this back to "reduced" or "automatic" when done with the program. (I would love to see Apple add a setting in Energy Saver that allows you list programs that run at a specified processor performance while running on batteries automatically.)

Rest of review at http://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=1732

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Software!
You can't go wrong with Starry Night Pro Plus. I've used 7-8 other programs, but I keep coming back. Nothing else matches the features, ease of use and power of this package. Worth many times the asking price for everything you get. You won't be disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome tool for astronomers of any level
I was first exposed to Starry Night with a "feebie" version included with my first telescope. Later I upgraded a few times and now regularly use Starry Night Pro Plus. What a fantastic tool! I can plan out my evening of star gazing, including printing out charts! A neat feature is the ability to have the program calculate the actual viewing area of my telescope with any of the eyepieces I regularly use, plus I can print them out in the correct orientation for viewing through the telescope.

On raining or cloudy nights, I can still enjoy the stars with this package. Movie clips, star patterns, DSO, planets, it's all in there with Starry Night. This software is worth every penny, and then some!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I have been an avid stargazer for 30 years and a previous happy owner of an older version of Starry Night software I bought 4 years ago. I recently bought the new 4.5 version of Pro Plus and was astounded that software I already loved so much was brought so far forward. The user interface has been substantially upgraded and I have started to put in my own photos of my favorite viewing spots near the Florida Everglades. While I was admittedly a little challenged by some of the customization instructions, I found the customer support group to be very knowledgable and responsive. Bring it on Starry Night! ... Read more


8. Magic School Bus Lands on Mars
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004THP0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3917
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Ms. Frizzle missed her calling: she should work for NASA. Fromengaging games to fascinating facts to stunning photographic imagesfrom Mars, this interplanetary adventure doesn't miss a single detail.As the bus adeptly dodges satellites while it screams away from theSun, it's obvious that this will be anything but a normal field tripwith Ms. Frizzle and the gang.

Once the Magic School Bus settles, kids can play inside or venture ontothe surface of Mars. Both areas are cluttered with gizmos that yieldeither a game, an experiment, or a compelling fact. (Did you know thatMars's moons are named for the Greek words meaning fear and panic? Wedidn't.) There's a lot to learn here: kids can put objects likewatermelons and marshmallows into the Pressure-O-Meter to see whathappens to them in the atmosphere, or try to land a module on Marswhile coping with fuel loss and Martian gravity. There's even arover-building station that hones deductive skills as kids decide whether asolar panel or a battery will work best to power their vehicle duringthe Martian night.

Attention to detail is what launches Magic School Bus Lands onMars into the rarefied atmosphere of educational CD-ROMs thatentertain as well as they teach; new players can enter how old they areon Earth and learn their Martian age, then later play Mind over Mars, arobot-hosted game show that dishes up tough Mars-related triviaquestions and--better yet--elaborates on the answers.

As Ms. Frizzle zips about Mars's surface in her jetpack, we can't helpbut wish NASA would recruit the Friz to get all of us excited aboutspace exploration again. The woman has the right stuff. (For ages 6 to10.) --Anne Erickson ... Read more

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor Value for Money
As with MSB Whales and Dophins, this is not a full-fledged Magic School Bus CD, but is just an activity center. The Magic School Bus CDs fall into two categories: full-fledged exploration programs and activity centers. The full-fledged programs are excellent and represent good value for money. Three of my children (ages 7, 5 and 3) spends hours exploring with MSB Oceans, Animals, Solar System, and Dinosaurs. They are great. On the other hand, he is quickly bored with the Activity Centers, such as Whales and Dolphins, Flight, and Mars. They simply present one screen with things to click on.

Since a full-fledged MSB CD has half-a-dozen or more places to explore, the activity centers represent less than 1/6th the value of a full-fledged MSB CD. Don't buy them unless you get them for less than 1/6th the price of the full-fledged CDs.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good MSB choice
My 5 year old daughter loves Magic School Bus. She has a few of the games (Human Body, Inside Earth, Dinosaurs, and this one). She plays the others repeatedly, but almost never plays Lands on Mars. Though I haven't studied the game myself, I suspect it just has fewer activities and less interesting activities than the others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Picks up where MSB: Solar System left off!
All of the Magic School Bus series is wonderful but now they have gone in depth into one particular subject. My 7 & 9 year old love the programs and must have them the minute they come out! Lands on Mars is packed full of Trivia and Games, tells about Mars Missions and shows pictures! There is so much to do she won't be bored with it for months. Aside from the educational factors it is incredibly easy and fun to play, I usually try them out for an hour or two myself.

If you want to make learning fun for your child, you must look into these programs. As my daughters have in the past, I am sure if the time arises that they need research on Mars, Lands on Mars will be the first thing off the shelf! ... Read more


9. Achieve! Math & Science Grades 1-3
list price: $19.99
our price: $16.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007HULU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 530
Average Customer Review: 2.11 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Achieve! Math & Science brings four award-winning educational titles in one to your child's desktop. Designed for younger learners, a series of challenging puzzles, brain-boosting problems, and irresistible games explore essential math and science skills. Tackle topics like addition, subtraction, money math, science basics, and more. Featured titles include: Mighty Math: Carnival Countdown, Mighty Math: Zoo Zillions, Sammy's Science House, and Thinkin' Things: FrippleTown. When math and science are made this much fun, little learners achieve at learning. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource for the serious homeschooler!!
We have been proud owners of this package for two years and have used it diligently to supplement skills and concepts introduced throughout the year for first and second grade. It has been a WONDERFUL supplemental resource. Unlike a lot other educational software packages that claim to cover a wide range of ages, this one means it when they say "First through Third grade". It is simple to use: After a concept (example: 2 digit addition) has been introduced to the student, you specifically set up games to reinforce those particular skills. After those skills have been mastered you then go back in (with a simple click of the mouse and check-mark skills you want to reinforce from a large pre-set list) It is honestly very simple to do. Explaining the process actually takes far more time that it does to actually do it. Although the games are very "friendly", with engaging characters and settings, the software is not meant to "entertain" as much as it is to teach. I would not at all be surprised to find this package in a lot of school computer rooms for kids to reinforce their skills on. If you are looking for a true educational software package that would be appropriate for (no younger than)first through third grade, this would be perfect for you and your child.

1-0 out of 5 stars I would give it ZERO stars if I could!
I completely agree with what everyone else has said. This was a total waste of money. The other reviewer was right when he said the extra software included (for us it was Star Flyers) was the ONLY good thing!

How can they market programs that were designed for 3-5 year olds for Grades 1-3? Its ludicrous!

DO NOT waste your money! The whole thing is unprofessional. There are no guides and even the paper inside the CD looks like it was BADLY photocopied.

Again, if I could give it ZERO stars I would!

1-0 out of 5 stars This is going back
I was looking for some software to help my fourth grader with math facts, computations, etc. (He's an Everyday Math victim.) The activites, even at the most advanced level, are much too easy for him. Pointing and clicking at different piles of cookies is not division. This is a complete waste.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is being returned to The Learning Company
I just purchased this today, and it is extremely disappointing. I was looking for a software package that would help my 2nd grader learn his math facts, and this certainly isn't it, as far as I can tell. There is zero documentation included, so there is no way to steer your child towards games that would help his or her weak areas. I couldn't find a game that drilled them on anything, just a lot of pointless point and click activities.

2-0 out of 5 stars Product is not very good
I got this product for my 5 year old, and it is about right,
any 3-6th grade would not like it at all. The best thing in the game is the free cluefinders monkey adventure in my costco box.
Most of the games look like they were designed for windows 95.

I liked the clips from grammar rock, I remember these as a kid, but you could by the DVD of Schoolhouse rock and get better versions of those. ... Read more


10. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00016TJAU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 4622
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

11. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest (Jewel Case)
list price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00016TJAU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 4622
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

12. Achieve! Math & Science Grades 3-6
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007HW23
Catlog: Software
Publisher: The Learning Company
Sales Rank: 334
Average Customer Review: 2.11 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Achieve! Math & Science brings four award-winning educational titles in one to your child's desktop. Designed for young learners, a series of challenging puzzles, brain-boosting problems, and irresistible games cover essential math and science skills. Sharpen math skills, explore geometry, learn about electricity, experiment with gravity, and more. Featured titles include: Mighty Math: Calculating Crew, MindTwister Math, Space Academy GX-1, and Thinkin' Science: Zap!. When math and science are made this much fun, young learners achieve at learning. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful resource for the serious homeschooler!!
We have been proud owners of this package for two years and have used it diligently to supplement skills and concepts introduced throughout the year for first and second grade. It has been a WONDERFUL supplemental resource. Unlike a lot other educational software packages that claim to cover a wide range of ages, this one means it when they say "First through Third grade". It is simple to use: After a concept (example: 2 digit addition) has been introduced to the student, you specifically set up games to reinforce those particular skills. After those skills have been mastered you then go back in (with a simple click of the mouse and check-mark skills you want to reinforce from a large pre-set list) It is honestly very simple to do. Explaining the process actually takes far more time that it does to actually do it. Although the games are very "friendly", with engaging characters and settings, the software is not meant to "entertain" as much as it is to teach. I would not at all be surprised to find this package in a lot of school computer rooms for kids to reinforce their skills on. If you are looking for a true educational software package that would be appropriate for (no younger than)first through third grade, this would be perfect for you and your child.

1-0 out of 5 stars I would give it ZERO stars if I could!
I completely agree with what everyone else has said. This was a total waste of money. The other reviewer was right when he said the extra software included (for us it was Star Flyers) was the ONLY good thing!

How can they market programs that were designed for 3-5 year olds for Grades 1-3? Its ludicrous!

DO NOT waste your money! The whole thing is unprofessional. There are no guides and even the paper inside the CD looks like it was BADLY photocopied.

Again, if I could give it ZERO stars I would!

1-0 out of 5 stars This is going back
I was looking for some software to help my fourth grader with math facts, computations, etc. (He's an Everyday Math victim.) The activites, even at the most advanced level, are much too easy for him. Pointing and clicking at different piles of cookies is not division. This is a complete waste.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is being returned to The Learning Company
I just purchased this today, and it is extremely disappointing. I was looking for a software package that would help my 2nd grader learn his math facts, and this certainly isn't it, as far as I can tell. There is zero documentation included, so there is no way to steer your child towards games that would help his or her weak areas. I couldn't find a game that drilled them on anything, just a lot of pointless point and click activities.

2-0 out of 5 stars Product is not very good
I got this product for my 5 year old, and it is about right,
any 3-6th grade would not like it at all. The best thing in the game is the free cluefinders monkey adventure in my costco box.
Most of the games look like they were designed for windows 95.

I liked the clips from grammar rock, I remember these as a kid, but you could by the DVD of Schoolhouse rock and get better versions of those. ... Read more


13. Educator's Choice Math & Science Excelerator Grades 3-6
list price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LPYY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 2398
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

If high-flying superheroes, glitzy game shows, and dangerousinterplanetary missions are what it takes to hold the attention of third throughsixth graders studying math and science, then this four-CD compilation ofeducational software does no wrong. And, fortunately, all fourprograms--originally released separately by the quality-conscious folks at Edmark--manageto do a respectable job of actually teaching kids, too.

While there is some crossover in content, especially between the Mighty MathCalculating Crew and MindTwister Math, Space Academy GX-1'sastronomy and space-based physics focus and Thinkin' Science ZAP!'selectricity, sound, and optics activities more than make up for the overlap.

The interfaces vary from program to program, but all prove navigable and easy tolearn. And while the presentation might be tame at times for experiencedcomputer-gamer tastes, for the most part these titles pack enough sounds,voices, and animation to keep things moving. Parents and teachers should behappy with the mix of problem-solving and drill-oriented activities. Inparticular, Thinkin' Science ZAP! offers some excellent open-endedinteractivity with real, hands-on science, thanks to its virtual laser tables,circuit boards, and an audio studio.

The mathematics game show MindTwister Math might be the weak link of thebunch since it's only geared to third and fourth graders, but at this price, thecollection is still a steal even if you don't end up using all of theCDs. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Features

  • Includes 4 fun and educational titles
  • More than 15 individual lessons and 200 activities
  • Each program uniquely designed to teach basic skill sets
  • Each title highly rated by accredited reviewers and experts in the field
  • Provides hands-on experience

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Avoid This Product
I have purchased 30-40 software CD's for my 6 year old over the years and this CD has got to rate near the bottom of the bunch. In summary, there is very little explanation or instruction into the math or science concepts being "taught", the "game" aspect to the CDs is clunky at best, and it is just plain confusing. I have been sorely disappointed in these CDs and my daughter has very little, if any, interest in using these CDs although she loves to be on the computer. At the same time I bought these CDs, I also bought her a Magic School Bus title which was very good and which she asks to play. I have never written a review before this review but felt compelled to do it to alert other parents to avoid this title. Waste of your money, and of your child's patience and interest.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceeds Expectations
My son is 6 yrs old so I was leery of purchasing this title. However, it is better to challenge than to bore, so I made the purchase. I will never regret it. The software is fabulous. It installed easily, initializes and performs well, is incredibly engaging and remarkably educational for such a fun suite of software.

I highly recommend this software for nearly all ages. My 6 year old is able to benefit from most of the challenges, yet others offer a level fit for a much more sophisticated child audience.

Buy this software ... you will not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great selection of titles, educational and well worth the $$
This is a great set of CD's. Informative, fun, challenging and well worth the money. A deal like this is hard to find, and belive me I've been looking! My 10 yr old son very much enjoys this product as well as the Middle School Accelerator.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Buy For Knowledge and Dollars
My Kids...ages 9 & 10 fight for position on the computer to play this educational game. They both enjoy it, with its many rewards and increase's in Rank. They are learning about science and math,but really don't realize it! It has 4 cd's and we are still on the first. They would rather play this than their Gameboy Advances. I highly recommend it. ... Read more


14. Zoboomafoo Creature Quest
list price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000063LGO
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Brighter Child
Sales Rank: 947
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

There's a treasure hunt in Animal Junction. Hit the trail with Zoboomafoo, the incredible leaping lemur, and leave no stone unturned. In this zany adventure children will play unique animal activities, and be rewarded pieces to a magical puzzle. On their journey children will discover a myriad of animals through fun learning games, animal videos, and printable activities. Solve the clues and the magical puzzle will reveal a map that will lead the way to the hidden treasure. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars zoboomafoo creature quest
This has so far been a disappointment. It takes like 12 steps to go through the introductory screens, and if you mess up, you have to start completely over. It also loads awfully slow and we have a top of the line loaded new computer. The game instructions are very long, and you have to listen to them every time, and they are mostly unnecessary, they should be under a help option. You can't even click to skip it, meaning you have to have a lot of patience while waiting. The animals are pretty obscure and not common/familiar. The animal facts I cant imagine ever being of much interest to a kid. I expected much better stuff from the Learning Company, especially since this program has received so many awards (no doubt through reputation). In comparison with other products, I can't identify one redeeming aspect for this software. The games are boring and mundane and many are a step down from even other "toddler" programs that are targeted to lower ages. Here I was looking to step up from the toddler programs which our daughter has already mastered. At least I got it very cheap. Its not much fun or entertaining. Not much area to navigate about and explore. No animation to speak of, other than the videos. Nothing clever or interesting or rewarding for mouse clicks. I have to report there are many better programs, and I could never recommend this one for fun, challenge, entertainment, or educational value. It does not hold her attention, she easily handles most of the games/activities, and she's like okay now what. And she still has a long ways to go before reaching age 3. The only games on this CD that she doesn't really know what she is doing is the chameleon and the coyotes, but even those she guesses her way to completion. I can't imagine her growing into liking this CD any more than she does now, in fact I'm certain she will like it less and less because she already expects more stimulation. Even now she prefers clicking around under encarta encylopedia more so than using this CD when it comes to short video clips. Even the logic aspect of finding puzzle pieces seems lame to me when compared to other such programs. I don't forsee her ever wanting to come back to this program when she's ready for more sofisticated logic games and ready to spell or do math. I should mention we started out our daughter on kids computer games before age 1, and she is just fascinated to the point of playing them every day, and she is just amazingly competent with them and now already figures out most kid games on her own. She is very familiar with counting and colors and shapes and mazes and matching and patterns and searching and picture drawing. She has pretty much seen it all. And this CD doesn't cut the mustard for new exciting stuff.

4-0 out of 5 stars fun, entertaining and age-appropriate software
Little Zoboo fans rejoice! This entertaining software is stable, charming and fun. Multiple cut scenes feature the Kratt Brothers and Zoboomafoo's friends in Zoboo-Land, as kids click on objects scattered around Animal Junction. With two exceptions the eight activities are age-appropriate and well-implemented, with three skill levels in coloring, mazes, matching, object identification, counting, bubble popping and pattern match; the latter two games are unnecessarily difficult and confusing, but kids can get through them by clicking away randomly. Also included is a virtual tape recorder with mini-films and factoids about a number of animals. Well done.

We're running the game on an iMac and have had no problems with installation or crashes.

Note: Creature Quest is much better than Zoboomafoo Animal Alphabet; if you have a little Zoboo fan in the house, I'd recommend you purchase this title rather than Animal Alphabet.

5-0 out of 5 stars We both love it!
My 3 year old daughter and I both love this software! She still needs some help with the mouse, so I have to play with her, and this is the only software we have that I don't mind playing after a few minutes! She's not so interested yet in the animal facts, but I like them!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for fans of the T.V show
I got this game for my 4 year old for christmas. She loves the T.V. program and learning about animals, so I figured it would be a hit with her, and it was. She loves playing it and trying to find all the puzzle pieces to find the treasure. Kids learn about some animals and their habitatis, numbers and patterns. You have to look for hidden treasure and there are 3 levels of play on the games. My daughter loved it first off simply because it contains the whole Zoboomafoo theme song! She runs it on her iMac. Only one little problem, it occasionally locks up when left unattended for a pretty long period of time, and the game is left running.

1-0 out of 5 stars How Frustrating and Disappointing
Wish I could give this 0 stars. I cannot get this to run on our WIn 95 machine (yes I know it's a dinosoar but that's what we have for my child) and it continually crashes on our XP machine. Broderbund (the software company) has not responded to my pleas for help except to give me 4 different case #'s. AAAGGGGHHHH. My 3 year old and I are frustrated to the extreme. ... Read more


15. The Ultimate 3-D Skeleton

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S95L
Catlog: Software
Publisher: DK Multimedia
Sales Rank: 4256
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

16. Uncle Albert's Magical Album
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005QC1Z
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Ice Multimedia
Sales Rank: 2490
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars This program would not work on any of my 3 computers!
This program seemed to start out fine, but consistently froze up and caused my computers (all three of them-I tried each!) to shut the program down. This program looks as though it would be really fun if I could get it to run!
If anyone knows how to solve the Windows QuickTime 32 Error that shuts the program down please let me know. I tried to contact the makers of the program, but they seem to have fallen off the face of the earth-emails returned undeliverable, website no longer up and running, etc.

Quite disappointed so far!

5-0 out of 5 stars Uncle Albert's Magical Album a real gem
I love to buy and play software games with my girls. This was
really a challenging game for kids and adults to play. Some of the puzzles were complex yet they gave you enough clues to help you figure it out (eventually!). But besides the fun complexity of each puzzle, there was something to learn about for every animal and plant you encountered. I give a big thumbs up for this one! ... Read more


17. Science Explorer Activity Pack

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003GO10
Catlog: Software
Publisher: DK Multimedia
Sales Rank: 8300
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

18. The Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Space and the Universe

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S87N
Catlog: Software
Publisher: DK Multimedia
Sales Rank: 2925
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. Trudy's Time and Place House Ages 3-6

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S8IF
Catlog: Software
Publisher: IBM
Sales Rank: 704
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Much Too Complex for 3 year olds
Although my daughter asks to play with this a lot (cute characters) she gets frustrated immediately with the navigation. Perhaps I'll hold on to it until she is 4+, but the material is too mature for her at 3 & 1/2.

5-0 out of 5 stars terrific introduction to time and geography for little ones
This is our first Edmark product, but it won't be our last. This is a fine program with easy controls, a user-friendly interface, and fun educational activities. Kids can work on five tasks in one of two modes. For example, in Jellybean Hunt, your perspective is as an ant on a grid-patterned tablecloth. Jellybeans are scattered at various locations. In exploration mode, you can use arrows designated as relative directions (forward, left or right) or absolute directions (labelled N, S, E and W), to find jelly beans; in task mode, you are asked to get a particular jellybean using a specific arrow set.

Other tasks include: (1) a world map that asks you to identify large land masses or bodies of water and take pictures of them (and clicking on specific places brings up pictures and facts about that place); (2) analog and digital time telling; (3) a scene with dials for seconds, minutes, hours, days and months -- when you click on a dial, the scene is sped up in those increments; (4) a proto-Sim City where kids can place design elements (towns, hills, rivers, roads, etc) on a grid that maps to a sandbox, where the elements take shape.

These activities are well designed and educational as well as fun. As someone who has used Reader Rabbit, Jumpstart and many other children's software titles, I think this compares favorably, and heartily recommend it for your child. Very nice!

5-0 out of 5 stars Trudy's Time and PLace
Once again Edmark keeps our kids happy with another outstanding product. I've seen kids from 3+ to 7 play this. Several different activities with both Q/A mode or explore mode keeps kids with varied levels of skills busy, entertained and learning. The games "grow" with the kids. Both educational and loads of fun, it's a must for all homes.

We have enjoyed it so much, we continue to buy it for gifts. ... Read more


20. Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00002S9GU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 3218
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean
Like all of the Scholastic games, this is an excellent game for children but this game may or may not work with Windows XP Home Edition. This is the only Magic School Bus series game that I cannot get to work on my PC. Note: All the other Magic School Bus games will work in the compatibility mode.

3-0 out of 5 stars easy to run through, then it is done
My daughter ran through this one in about 2 hours. While there are some nice facts in it to learn and a few games, once you run through it, it's essentially done. She occasionally goes back to it, but knows that there is rather little to see on the excursion part. As such, it adds to the pile of played out software. And she is only 5.

Also, as with many fact-based science CD-Roms, there is hardly anything conceptual. With the exception of a few disjointed facts, evolution, pollution, and ecology - or even that life exists in a balance! - are neither introduced as concepts nor much mentioned. At five, my daughter is too young for this at a sophisticated level, but why not introduce these notions now? As it stands, she just gets disjointed facts from this rather than a taste of things to come or an enticement to dig further.

That is very disappointing. Nonetheless, the images are nice, as are some of the special effects. You just can't dig very far into it.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a great game!
I like this game because it teaches a lot of science about the ocean. My sister, who is 5 years old, likes it, but it is not her favorite. I learned about kelp forests and the open ocean. Kids who like the ocean and science will love this game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Game for Magic School Bus Lovers
You are going on a field trip to the beach with the Magic School Bus Class. You look in the water and find a treasure map. You have to get the answers to the three questions in order to find the treasure. Along the way you can explore each zone of the ocean and play fun games that earn you fish cards. It is hard to get all the fish cards and I haven't even done it yet but I've started the second page. You can even print out your fish cards. Kids will have a lot of fun exploring the ocean and learning about sea life. You can also see animations by just clicking on a picture. This is a very easy game to use and I think you should buy it. If you don't you're missing out on something great. ... Read more


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