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Amazon.com Review Really good children's software is fun to play with, encourages exploration of the program, is forgiving, and teaches something. JumpStart Artist is all of those things, and more. As one might expect from JumpStart (a quality series if ever there was one), JumpStart Artist helps children become comfortable with their own creative skills, while at the same time teaching a little bit about art history and artistic styles. The CD-ROM revolves around a handful of activities, ranging from freeform painting to virtual puppet making to a matchmaking game that introduces historical pieces of classic art. At any point in the game, the animation is lively and helpful, and accompanied by a friendly soundtrack. Don't think that this isn't enough to do--there is plenty of material here for any little artist to explore. Our favorite feature of the program is the variety of artwork presented in the matchmaking game. Broken down into five categories, there are examples ranging from Seurat's Sunday in the Park to Tanner's The Banjo Lesson, and even Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can. The purpose here is teach kids that art comes in a variety of styles, and that not all art looks like Mona Lisa. Not only is each piece pictured, but there is a series of buttons on the side that describes the style of painting, how it was done, and other interesting details. Also, the name of each painting and the artist is pronounced audibly by the narrator, teaching children the proper pronunciation of such names as Matisse and Seurat. This is a fun and educational CD-ROM, with plenty of depth to keep the blossoming artist involved and interested. --Mike Caputo
JumpStart Artist is designed to promote the awareness and practice of art among children. Its painting and drawing tools include watercolors, oils, tempera, spray paints, colored pencils, chalk, charcoal, and more. Its arts and crafts tools allow kids to make stamps, stickers, buttons, puppets, collages, quilting, and stitching. The animated movies feature brings to life the pictures children make. Four games teach art fundamentals in an interactive carnival setting.
Here's an affordable, personal art tutor for kids. The five activities offer a variety of games that playfully present concepts like form, texture, and shape. Kids also get a nice a dose of classic art. The end result is a strong art experience- certainly better than Blue's Art Time Activities (3.2 stars). The program is not without faults, however, including some non-intuitive menus and some annoyingly chatty characters. Here's the scoop. Kids find the activities in an art fair scene. Our testers' favorite was Frankie's Paint-Along Songs, where children's artwork comes to life in a brief movie, similar to the older Orly's Draw-a-Story. In a concentration game, correct matches of art elements like form and lighting are rewarded with "great works" from artists like Matisse. There's also an arcade game where children collect materials, folk art and antiquities, and an invention game that lets them make creations out of a variety of lines and shapes. As kids complete an activity, they earn pieces of carnival rides for the fair's midway, an enticing incentive to play. Parents will also find 52 additional art activities in the onscreen guide, with ideas for putting on a puppet show, making Potato Prints, and so on. The main art area provides tools like paint, chalk, needlepoint patterns, tissue paper, and more. While the number of options here are strong, the menus are confusing to use, especially for younger children. The bottom line it that you're getting a lot of good content in a likable package, and kids will learn a great deal if they play all the way through. Copyright © 2001 Children's Software Revue -- From Children's Software RevueÂ® -- "Subscribe Now!"
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