CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 1999
Has Anybody Seen My Umbrella?
Jane Churchill (Director/Game Designer). Tamara Lynch (Producer). Tim Latchem (Associate
Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 1998.
CD-ROM, Teacher's Guide, User's Guide, PC/Mac, $59.95 (single), $189.95 (lab pack).
Order Number: 193C 0198 069/E9832 (single), 193C 070/E9832 (lab pack).
Reading (Elementary)-Interactive multimedia.
Language arts (Elementary)-Interactive multimedia.
Kindergarten - grade 2 / Ages 5 - 7.
Review by Harriet Zaidman.
Interactive CD-ROMs are a part of school life now, and those aimed at early years students
concentrate on skill building in language arts and mathematics. Has Anybody Seen My
Umbrella? is intended for very young children in kindergarten to grade 2 who are developing
reading and language capability.
The CD-ROM can be used on both Windows and Macintosh applications. It requires an
up-to-date system (the specifics are outlined in the User's Guide) to run smoothly. On earlier
machines, it runs slowly and becomes tedious to operate.
The premise for the CD is a whimsical story about a prince who did not like school and only
finished grade one. His reading knowledge ended with three-letter words. When he fell in love
with a princess who lost her shoe, he misread her name written in her glass slipper. He interpreted
'Cinderella' as 'Umbrella.' The fairy godmother saves the day; the two lovers are united, and both
sent off to improve their education level. (Cinderella had also left school after grade one.)
The National Film Board, producers of this CD-ROM, have done a good job creating an
interactive reading and language development kit around this tale which was written by former
CBC announcer Max Ferguson. Ferguson reads the story in the animated section. The body of the
text version includes highlighted words that display a definition when clicked. The narrator's
voice can be turned off. Headphones are advisable if other students are engaged in different work
at the same time as this program is being played. The activities for children to choose include
Rhyme Time (matching rhyming words), Word Games (three levels), Lamify (unscrambling word
puzzles), Nose Knows (matching words and sounds), Pigs in Spring (word activity), Undercover
(unscrambling picture puzzles) and You Choose (matching concepts). Children can also choose
Musical Activities as well as Writing Fun, where they are prompted with story ideas to do their
The kit includes a teacher's guide and 10 activity sheets for the classroom. Word Lists, activity
cards, etc. correspond to the activities on the CD-ROM. Has Anyone Seen My Umbrella? can
be a useful tool to teach and reinforce early literacy skills. The story adds an element of fun and
humour to the task. The activities included in the kit provide adequate pencil and paper work to
prompt a child to work at what is being taught in the program. The difficulty for a teacher is that
only one or two students at a time can use the CD-ROM unless multiple copies or a site license
are purchased. As a small group project or as part of a larger unit on the study of fairy tales or
Cinderella, this CD-Rom can be a positive asset to a language arts program.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - October 15, 1999.
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