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Publisher Info: Soleil Software, Inc

3853 Grove Court, PO Box 50664, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA
(650) 494-0114, FAX: (650) 493-6416

Web Site:

Products currently carried:

Zurk's Learning Safari Zurk's Rainforest Lab Zurk's Alaskan Trek World Walker Destination: Australia

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.

Educational Mission

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.

Award-Winning Products

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 1994

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 in education.

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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