Global Talks

A talking globe might be kid stuff in those countries that always get the high test scores. But in America, people of voting age may know which Olsen twin is which, though they can’t find China on a map. Oh, we like to travel. We just don’t know where we’re going.

But now there’s LeapFrog’s interactive Explorer Globe, which prattles away like C-3PO right on your desk. This baby has vast potential as a restorative for the tattered image of the ignorant American traveler. Set the hot-wired plastic dial to a topic, tickle any land mass and you can’t shut the thing up. We’ve spent hours playing with, er, researching, the music function. Tap the U.K. and you get “Greensleeves.” For Israel, it’s “Hava Nagila.” Enter your local time, and the time anywhere else is at your fingertips. There’s currency and distances. Oh, and a game feature with canned applause. Go ahead, take it for a spin. It’s not just educational; it’s a pal.

Explorer Globe, about $100 at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Target, and .