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First Ladies

reprinted from, August 1998

The Bottom Line: A very nice product for girls who enjoy both history and paper doll play; limited content, but the low price makes this quite attractive.

Similar in design to Magic Wardrobe and Magic Princess, First Ladies Costume Maker offers your child a chance to learn about fashion and history. You can travel to four time periods-1790, 1861,1933, and 1962. In each time period you can:

  • Dress an onscreen "paper doll" in presidential fashions from that time
  • Use 72 Crayola crayon colors and 36 pattern stamps to decorate line drawings of the clothes; designs can be used to dress the onscreen doll or printed to dress a paper doll off the computer
  • Drag items of clothing to Mitzi the cat to hear interesting fact about the fashions
  • Read a diary entry about the life of a young girl at that time, and write a diary entry if you like
  • Read a "News" item to learn about the first lady in each era (Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy)
  • Write letters on presidential-themed stationery

Like the value-priced Magic Princess, this budget title has just four eras to explore (the more expensive Magic Wardrobe has 12). The long-term replay value is questionable, but the material is of high interest to many children. A parent-teacher guide included on the CD-ROM gives lots of suggestions for how to extend your child's learning experience off the computer with arts and crafts, books, project ideas and more.

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