Making her computer debut with this software title, Dora embarks on an adventure to return books to the public library. Preschoolers can choose to play the game as a story in the “Backpack Adventure Mode” or they can jump directly into the activities in “Freeplay Map Mode.” In either mode, the seven activities have three levels of difficulty, and kids earn stickers for printable art activities.
As in the “Dora the Explorer” television show, Dora faces out of the computer screen and talks directly to her audience. She solicits kids’ help on her journey. At her house, Dora asks youngsters to find the library books by colors. In levels 2 and 3, Dora uses Spanish in her requests.
After collecting the books and storing them in her pal Backpack, Dora and her friends make their way to the library by traveling through six locations. To pass over Grumpy Old Troll’s bridge, preschoolers have to recognize and complete patterns with shapes. Other locations provide opportunities to explore number recognition, problem solving, visual tracking, and classification.
This software was a big hit with our preschool testers. Its learning exercises are simple and provide a lot of mouse practice. It cocoons little ones with help when they are confused. Swiper, the troublesome fox in the TV show, periodically sneaks up and must be banished by clicking. In addition, the program entices kids to explore (and thus use the mouse more) by hiding tons of clickable animations at each location.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.