The Book of Shadowboxes
The Book of Shadowboxes (IBM Multimedia Studio – ages 3-8) is a beautifully rendered and uncluttered storybook. Each page contains a letter of the alphabet and a poem that uses lots of words starting with that letter. Depending on the mode Shadow, a blue, slightly blob-like figure, will read to you, or you can read to yourself and have him pronounce words you click on. Other options include a Treasure Hunt and a “Make Your Own Shadowbox” creativity tool. The main point of the program is reading. The 26 pages of the Shadowbook are where you’ll spend your time, so it’s a good thing they’re so nice to look at, with foreground illustrations in muted colors reminiscent of oil paints, set against a dappled, watercolor background. There are follow-up quizzes after each letter in which you must find the animal (or whatever) mentioned in the verse. The Treasure Hunt is a twist on the quizzes. Here you must find everything not mentioned in the verse for each letter. This title is an excellent example of how a simple program can be very effective. It’s a great way for little kids to learn their ABC’s.
– August 1995