Out of pure spite, a mysterious bear creeps into the theater and steals the scripts, sets, costumes, and music for Reader Rabbit’s show. As a result, Reader Rabbit and his friends only have a day to rebuild their work. This premise leads first graders through a variety of verbal, spatial, mathematical, and artistic exercises that they must perform in order to put the show back together.
There is wonderful variety in the activities, and it ensures that all first graders will find some challenge. The individual tasks range from identifying the first sound in a word to picking out the correct change for a vending machine to playing notes in a song. Each task gradually increases in difficulty as the game progresses. Reader Rabbit tells the player when a task has been accomplished, at which point the player can move on to the next task. In theory, the characters have to finish their work in the course of a day, but in actuality, of course, the program keeps track of task completion rather than real time.
We especially liked the strong emphasis on creativity. For example, one of the tasks is for students to create four pieces of art using a set of basic drawing tools. These masterpieces then become posters along the trail.