Kiyeko and the Lost Night
Kiyeko and the Lost Night (UbiSoft – ages 4-10), which we first looked at in beta, is a beautifully illustrated interactive storybook about a magical adventure set in the Amazon rain forest. “World Beat” is the essence here – readers are offered a choice of five languages (English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish), and the story, the legend of how snakes first received their venom and rattles, is a wonderful introduction to another culture. The young boy Kiyeko and his father are from a tribe that is suffering from heat and exhaustion because the snakes have magically stolen the night. They must negotiate for its return. The recommended age group is 4 to 10, but kids under 6 will have a hard time with the concept of the legend, the relatively sophisticated language (“the sun sat comfortably high in the sky and shone without pity on the earth …”), and the resolution which involves two sets of negotiations with the snakes. Even with 6-8 year-olds, you should be prepared to discuss with story (but then, you do that anyway, right?). The software is complemented by a very nice printed book called Kiyeko’s Shabano. This title is a very good addition to (an older) child’s electronic book collection.
– December 1995