After this long hiatus then, something new we have just found, via the blog of artist/illustrator Julian Hector. Eggs over white, by Meryl Erlanger, another kid book author. (Edit 9th March 2009 - her Eggs over white books, of which I have learnt a bit more since I wrote this, are illustrated by Adam Gordon.)
It is of course, a flash based site, but not too greedy for bandwidth. The long strips you see here will change into a menu when you hover over each section. This is the whole page you see here; no ads and sidebars and other such tiny print.
Choose activities, and you get this. This and all the activities are also full page, and so, more attractive to the little ones. There is a lovely selection of music, which changes with each click through, and I almost didn't want to move on for this reason! The little penguin holding the back placard will help you get back from each page. (Except the journey when it gets all muddled up and will lead to next or just a change in the music sometimes.)
Tic-tac-toe is fun as usual, with a penguin and an egg instead of the usual crosses and naughts. Check out the levels given: I liked the naming of level four!
Drawing with Dobe is standard three sized brushes, and sixteen colours - but - no eraser! And that gets annoying because starting over is not the correct option to offer a child who has just spent half an hour in one 'serious' doodle.
The memory game has no levels, but is fairly easy. The only problem is that the graphics are mostly white or light coloured on white background, and the young kids find it slightly tough to figure out what they are looking at even though the cards don't turn over very fast.
Willard's word search is a game for the older ones - around seven to ten I should say, because the letter grid has small letters in a large number. As the rest of the site seems to be geared towards a younger audience, I think a simpler level with perhaps simple words in the left to right orientation would have been pretty useful. According to the website, the penguins and walruses were inspired and partly drawn by Julian Hector, but whether they are part of a book or a tv series or something else altogether, I don't know at all. The 'webisodes' included are patchy, as if including every third page or so of a book, but don't tell me more. There is something called the journey too, but that too is non-informative unless you know what it is all about. The introduction to the characters is okay, but doesn't really help, unless ditto. So, if you know what I am blabbering about, please do inform me!
My opinion - good as far as it goes, but can be made better. But I sure wonder what it is all about!
The url - http://www.eggsoverwhite.com/
P.S. I don't forward emails and smses usually, unless it is something really fancy, on the grounds that something going round would likely have reached my friends before I send it anyway, but sometimes I am compelled to do so. Here is one sms I received lately which I must share with you -
Aise kya dekh rahen hai? Aapke liye garam garam jalebiyan bheji hain! Aaj ka meetha meri taraf se!
(What are you gazing at? I have sent hot jalebis for you! Today's dessert is on me!
P.P.S. Never before have I had to add something about a site so soon after posting it! After I sent a message to the author using their contact form, the site informed me that I could visit more games at Wild and Happy, which it turns out, is the main site for Meryl Erlanger, featuring other characters from her books. Darn, I missed all these! On the other hand, more to showcase some other time!