Witch Hazel and Merlin the Magician are dueling to see who can be the first to call out a word pictured in one of the 10 mini-scenes loaded with pictures. Draw from two piles, an A-B-C letter card and a scene–woods, mountain train ride, street market, island vacation, zoo, picnic, playroom, lake, playground or arctic. The race is on to see who can quickly name a word pictured that begins with the sound of the letter drawn. The winner of the round moves their Hazel or Merlin along a path to the winning spot, a cauldron of course. This language game got more exciting as kids quickly expanded the options by not only naming nouns, but also verbs and adjectives. Even though fish and flowers are pictured in the train scene, I lost to my little tester who yelled out, “Fast!” describing the train. Very clever, I thought. I can do this too so the next round I said , “Top” describing the bunny on top of the bear, while he said, “Toot” as the sound effect for the ocean liner. Kids love a race so why not enjoy a little learning along the way.

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