My kids have quite a few DS games. Well, actually my 11-yr-old daughter does. When we had a chance to try out the new My Virtual Tutor: Reading for the DS, that gave my son an opportunity to get in a little DS time, too!

This clever little "game" is actually a pretty nifty reading tutor. While it took him some time to get acquainted with the controls and screens for the game, once he was started, there was hardly anything I could do to pull him away!

We're a homeschooling family, so we're used to screen time counting as "school work" -- as long as it is educational. This product met the requirements, giving my son positive reinforcement with the basic phonic skills that he already had at 6-years-old, and also by introducing him into new concepts that built upon themselves as he progressed through the game.

A few times, he wasn't sure what to do next, and I was happy to help him get to the next screen by asking probing questions and challenging what he forgot he already knew. For the most part, however, this is a game that most children can play independently and will get some good quality reading practice in.

To use the Virtual Tutor, kids simply hold the DS sideways like a book and work through one of 8 interactive stories. To reward and motivate, they are given fun quizzes and exercises that go along with the stories ( as well as a fun "paint" program), and these also have good educational value.

My son LOVED this game. It's something that he was able to play through fairly quickly, and while I wish that it would have taken him a bit longer to go through all the levels, after a few weeks of not playing it, he was ready to play it all over again. This would work well for a family with several pre- and early-level readers -- you'd get a lot of use out of it!

Available in 3 versions for a variety of reading levels (Pre-K through K, K through 1st, and 1st through 2nd), it's priced right at around $29.99. Read more about it at the official website, follow them on Twitter, or friend them on Facebook!

Wanna Save? Just-in-time for summer, you can now save $5.00 when you purchase the My Virtual Tutor: Reading titles on Amazon.com. To redeem your $5.00 off promotional code, log onto http://www.amazon.com/s/?search-alias=videogames&hidden-keywords=B002BZ11DM|B002BZ11DC|B002BZ11F0 and simply enter the claim code MYVTUTOR during checkout. This offer expires at 11:59 p.m. PST on May 31, 2010.

*Sample was received to facilitate this review.