Info: Soleil Software, Inc
3853 Grove Court, PO Box 50664, Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 494-0114, FAX: (650) 493-6416
Web Site: http://www.soleil.com
Products currently carried:
Soleil Software -- Bringing the light of
learning to children in many languages
Soleil Software uses the power of technology to help
children build basic skills and develop an awareness of the world
around them. Soleil's products encourage kids to become critical
thinkers and problem solvers as they explore foreign languages,
cultures, and ecosystems.
"We named our company Soleil -- the French word
for sun -- because our goal is to shine new light on learning by
giving kids fun ways of exploring sights, sounds and concepts from
around the world." explained Ragni Pasturel, Soleil founder.
The emerging global consciousness makes it imperative
that children see and hear second languages at an early age, if
they are to be effective communicators in a multilingual world.
Educational research continues to show that the "learning windows"
for language and logic begin to close by age 10. Early exposure
to the sounds and concepts needed to develop these critical skills
will dramatically influence a child's success.
Soleil's World Learning Series includes Zurk's Learning Safari, Zurk's
Rainforest Lab, Zurk's Alaskan
Trek and WorldWalker:
Destination Australia. Soleil Software has earned rave
reviews and many awards for its educational quality, beautiful graphics,
realistic animation, and extensive use of ethnic music and languages.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Soleil was founded
in 1992 by professional educator/software designer Barbara Christiani
and high technology engineer Ragni Pasturel. Ragni's husband Marc
Pasturel, a high technology electronics engineer with 28 years experience
in high technology marketing and product management, joined the
team in 1993.
Soleil applies the magic of multimedia to a new generation
of learning based on a child's natural curiosity. The Soleil classroom
is the world, with its fascinating diversity of languages, ecosystems,
and cultures. Soleil has pioneered in the field of multi-language/multi-cultural
programs that take children on discovery tours from Africa to Central
America to Alaska and Australia. The company's products provide
a springboard for related classroom or home activities that children
can explore with friends and family.
WorldWalker: Destination Australia is Soleil's
newest product. It has received many accolades and awards, including
a Parents' Choice Gold award, and an Exemplary rating from the California
Clearinghouse. In WorldWalker, children are invited into a fascinating
adventure in the Australian outback. Imagine spelunking in a pitch-black
cave in the heart of Australia. Suddenly, your flashlight illuminates
an ancient aboriginal drawing, which comes to life before your eyes!
Virtual reality, 3-D, and switchable languages (English, Spanish
and French) invite children to explore the ecosystems and cultures
of Australia, as they learn about languages and natural science
and build basic skills.
Reviews of WorldWalker: Destination Australia:
"WorldWalker is . . . a hallmark of truly excellent
software... The Language Explorer activity does something exceptional:
It creates an environment where kids learn by osmosis. It does not
give them vocabulary to memorize or drills to complete. And yet
they come away from it knowing the meaning of 500 words in French
and Spanish, how to pronounce them, and how to put them together
(correctly!) into 200 meaningful sentences. " -- Great Software
for Kids & Parents, IDG Books.
"An unusual and compelling two-in-one product: a
fun and innovative introduction to French and Spanish, plus natural
science games in beautifully illustrated on-screen ecosystems! ...
virtual explorations into natural science, with considerable geography
and social studies, too! ... A great science -- and foreign language
-- adventure!" -- Cathy Miranker, The Computer Museum Guide
to the Best Software for Kids.
"Grade: A ... sharp-eyed and -eared children learn
about native animals, plants, peoples and customs, and . . . French
and Spanish...", -- Anne Reeks, The Houston Chronicle.
Zurk's Learning Safari
has received awards from more than ten national educational software
reviewers, including Parent's Choice, The National Parenting Center,
Family PC Magazine, Newsweek and Mac Home Journal and has become
an early-learning classic. In Learning Safari, three- to
seven-year-olds join the friendly animated character Zurk on safari
in the African Serengeti. Seven activities teach life science, counting,
letter recognition, and critical-thinking skills.
Reviews of Zurk's Learning Safari:
Excellent (4 Apples) "...a pleasant alternative to
the hectic pace and pushiness of many educational games..."
-- Mac Home Journal
Best Preschool "...a format so appealing that children
will keep returning to play with it." -- Newsweek, November
Zurk's Rainforest Lab
has received the Award of Excellence from a team of educators at
the 1994 National Association of Educators of Young Children convention.
In the spring of 1995, Rainforest was selected by INTEL to
promote the speed enhancement of its Pentium processor. It is the
only early learning program to be so honored. Zurk's Rainforest
Lab takes children ages five to nine into a lush Costa Rican
rain forest where they learn math concepts, life science and critical-thinking
skills. Children are immersed in three foreign languages as they
switch easily between French, Spanish and English. Japanese and
German versions are also available.
Reviews of Zurk's Rainforest Lab:
". . . quite charmed . . . a fine collection of curriculum
ideas. The choice of three languages is super!" -- Dr. June
Wright, project director, Computer Discovery
"Educational and fun . . . children are encouraged
to write. The Parent Guide is packed with resource lists and suggestions
to extend the learning." -- Childrens' Software Revue
"Excellent open-ended program that encourages exploratory
learning." -- Judith Brunk, director, Family Learning Center
Zurk's Alaskan Trek,
brings the multi-cultural, multimedia approach of the earlier Zurk
titles to the fascinating peoples and ecosystems of Alaska. Real-life
nature simulations bring science, math and creativity alive as children
create their own action-packed movies. They can experience firsthand
the life of a movie maker, scientist, or writer. In the process,
they learn early programming skills that they can use to create
their own animated stories.
Review of Zurk's Alaskan Trek:
"...Does it use technology to add a valuable new
dimension to the learning experience ?...the answer is a resounding
'Yes'... truly inventive: there's a kind of "intelligence"
built into every plant and animal in this title... masterful job
of integrating math, life-sciences and language-arts activities
into an exotic natural setting...The bottom line: A visually stunning
product that uses a powerful technology to create a unique, challenging
and playful environment..." -- The Computer Museum Guide
to the Best Software for Kids
The Soleil Team
Ragni Pasturel, president, manages product
development. An experienced electronics engineer, she has worked
ten years as a research engineer at SRI International in control
systems and medical instrumentation, and for two years as a product
manager at Phase 2 Automation, a robotics start-up. In addition,
Ragni spent four years tutoring special-needs students in Palo Alto
area elementary and secondary schools, and has a long-standing interest
Barbara Christiani is the principal
designer of Soleil's products. Barbara's experience includes sixteen
years teaching pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade, with emphasis
on alternative approaches to science, math and drama. She has also
been an editor in the educational software division of Addison-Wesley
publishing Company. Most recently, Barbara developed two award-winning
educational programs, A Field Trip to the Rainforest and
A Field Trip to the Sea, published by Sunburst Publications.
Marc Pasturel, CEO, manages sales, marketing
and manufacturing. A high technology electronics engineer, Marc's
prior experience spans 28 years of product management, marketing,
sales and manufacturing at Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard, Coherent,
Advanced Micro Devices, Megatest and Tencor Instruments.
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