LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Silly reading adventure focuses on early literacy skills.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story has a positive focus and ending.

Positive role models

The characters are friendly and work together well. They use their imaginations to solve problems.

Ease of play

The controls are straightforward but occasionally aren't as responsive as they should be.

Violence & scariness

There are some moments of mild peril, as when a user is navigating a boat around bombs and flying a hot-air balloon in an electrical storm.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg is an ebook-style educational adventure available as a downloadable app. The focus is on literacy, but the game also includes some art. Kids can read it themselves, have it read to them, or just pick and choose which words to read. It has three reading levels with increasing sentence lengths and vocabularly difficulty. There are some educational mini-games and some just-for-fun mini-games, all of which can be replayed independently once unlocked. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading comprehension

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This ebook-style title with mini-games has some fun elements and is well designed, but it doesn't provide the level of engagement that more in-depth educational games do.

Learning Approach

Kids will learn by reading a cute story and playing the enjoyable mini-games wherein they practice writing letters, reading words, and remembering what the story was about. A great feature is that kids can read at three levels of difficulty.

Support

Help is readily available. Adults can track progress via the online LeapFrog Learning Path as well as via the in-game badges. The LeapFrog website has a lot of materials to help reinforce content.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • letter or word recognition
  • phonics
  • reading comprehension

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information

Kids can learn early-reading skills by playing through this enhanced ebook for the LeapPad. They begin pairing letters and sounds with words and start to focus more on reading comprehension and vocabulary. They also can practice writing letters. The product offers three levels of reading so this ebook can grow with the player. Older kids can work on their reading ability. Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg offers scaffolded reading and learning games so kids feel supported as they learn to read.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

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What's it about?

As LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: MR. PENCIL: THE LOST COLORS OF DOODLEBURG begins, we see Dr. Dull stealing all the colors in town. Dot and Dash set out with Mr. Pencil and friends to find Dr. Dull and reclaim the lost colors. To do so, they go on an adventure that takes them sailing in an underground cave, flying in a hot-air balloon, and matching wits with Dr. Dull. Along the way, kids practice letter recognition and writing as well as reading comprehension and word recognition.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg features a silly story with adventure components. Kids will enjoy chasing Dr. Dull, but some of the games and activities feel constricted. The increasing reading level makes this a better choice for younger kids who can grow with it. Kids will enjoy replaying the mini-games and activities and trying to unlock all the badges.

Families can talk about...

  • Why did Dr. Dull steal the colors? What would have been a different way for him to deal with the situation?

  • Ask kids to match starting letter sounds with objects around the house.

  • Help kids practice writing upper- and lowercase letters.

Game details

Platforms:LeapPad Explorer, LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad2
Price:$20
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:LeapFrog
Release date:January 1, 2013
Genre:Educational
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Numbers and letters

This review of LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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