Dr. Seuss’ ABCs
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the characters, rhymes, and artwork featured in Dr. Seuss’ ABCs (Living Books – ages 3-7) are masterly; what’s more astonishing is that the Doctor’s unique take on the world, in the journey from printed page to CD-ROM, has not lost anything, and may even have gained a trick or two. Living Books deserves praise for consistently going a step beyond what was required – rather than leaning on the quality of their source material, they seem to have taken inspiration from it. The interface is extremely simple, offering the choice of playing the Alphabet Book or having it read to you. Each letter is illustrated by a handful of characters taken from the Seuss canon, and a few lines of verse that are spoken aloud. This, however, is just the beginning. Once the program has delivered its spiel, the interactive part begins; point-and-click to see animations that go much further than the initial examples. In this disc, unlike most others, characters who start to dance when clicked upon do not execute a few measly steps and then return to their original pose. They actually dance – and their dance is likely to contain a few surprises, possibly from characters who have been waiting off-screen to lend a hand. Time after time, this CD-ROM delivers more than it promises. The title screen, featuring your animated guides and the Read to Me or Play icons, also offers a pathway to an ABC song. What’s not mentioned is the intricate, long, jazzy musical number that will be automatically performed if you take too long to make your choice. All of these extras, of course, come on top of the giddy, funny, wise and unapologetically optimistic cartoons of Dr. Seuss, which makes this ABCs one of the best multimedia experiences your child could have.
– December 1995, Kids’ Education