Bringing Books Alive with "Living Books"
In 1994 Broderbund introduced the first "Living Book" titled Just Grandma and Me . This introduction marked a milestone in children's software. Broderbund took a book written by Mercer Mayer and transformed it into an interactive adventure for the computer that still conjures up wonder and excitement in children of all ages.
  This first living book took youngsters on a journey with Little Critter and Grandma to the beach for fun and adventures. Students have the option of having the book read all the way through or being able to stop after each page and "play". The latter is always the most popular option as students are able to click on hot spots to see all kinds of fun animations. As many of these spots are hidden students are always finding new ones.

From a developmental standpoint these living books can offer kindergartners a multitude of learning opportunities from the practice at manipulating the mouse to the whole range of action and reaction responses from the clicking on hot spots. As the text is read by the narrator words are highlighted showing the all important left to right and top to bottom conventions that kindergartners are being exposed to.

Due to the immediate success of Just Grandma and Me, Broderbund went on to release many other titles. Some of these are highlighted below.

  One of the early releases from Broderbund, Arthur's Teacher Trouble tells the story of what happens when Arthur gets into the school wide spelling bee. A fun adventure with lots of clickable items and some interesting ways that kids learn spelling.

The race between the slow-and-steady tortoise and the hurry-up hare has entertained children for countless generations.
From start to finish, this Living Book version includes dozens of hilarious new twists. Along the way, you'll meet a score of
delightfully animated characters - including Simon, the story-telling bird. So the familiar tale is fresh, enchanting and full of surprises.
  In this offbeat adventure, we follow Ruff on a far-ranging hunt for his wayward bone. His search takes us down a deep, dark hole in the earth and high up into the clouds. Fearlessly, he travels to a faraway jungle, then below the seas to a sunken ship and off to other exotic locations. Along the way, we meet a pair of playful monkeys, stars that sing, tap-dancing jeans, a friendly robot and dozens of other wacky characters. Can he find his special bone and get home again?

 It's Arthur's Birthday and he can't wait until his party. There's just one problem--Arthur's friend, Muffy, has planned her birthday party on the same day! The boys decide to go to Arthur's party, and the girls want to go to Muffy's party. But what's a party without all your friends there? Come join Arthur and Francine as they come up with a creative solution to bring all the friends together.
Along with the story this program offers two games to play within the program.

Green Eggs and Ham has been brought to life by Living Books. The whimsical characters from the classic Dr. Seuss tale are all here, along
with new scenes, surprises and activities.
A classic story with familiar characters, three edutainment activities, many clickables. Develops word recognition, vocabulary, reading
comprehension and computer literacy.

Welcome to D.W.'s bedroom! Click on the Toy Chest to read about D.W. the Picky Eater. Games and activities can be accessed from the story, or D.W.'s bedroom. There's a playhouse with lots of furniture to decorate with, or kids can play the House Memory Game by viewing partially furnished rooms and putting the missing furniture back from memory.

Many thanks to the folks at Kids Domain Software Review and
CD ROM Access for some of the software descriptions.

Technology Integration

Mr. Crosby's Kindergarten

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