The authors present Jeroo, a pedagogical tool that provides a gentler introduction to object-oriented programming. Jeroo has been developed to help novice programmers learn the basic notions of using objects to solve a problem, learn to write methods that support a functional decomposition of the task, and learn the semantics of fundamental control structures. Jeroo's syntax provides a smooth transition to Java, C++, or C#. The user interface has a single window in which everything is always visible. Source code highlighting, simple animation, and a continuously updated status panel provide a rich teaching and learning environment. Jeroo has been class tested at Northwest Missouri State University, and has proven to be an effective tool for working with novice programmers. Used in the first four weeks of a Java programming class, Jeroo produced a significant increase in student comfort and confidence levels, especially among female students. Jeroo and user documentation are available at http://www. nw.missouri.edu/∼sanders/Jeroo/Jeroo.html.