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Ready to Read with Pooh

Scholastic New Media is shipping Disney's Ready to Read with Pooh, a comprehensive, interactive reading CD-ROM designed to teach children the alphabet, spelling, phonics, the ability to write letters, and simple computing skills. There are nine separate activities in all, and three different levels of difficulty.

A feature I particularly liked was the single click mouse button and cute bumble bee pointer.

There are few negative points with the CD-ROM, although when the characters sing the instructions they are often hard to understand (particularly Tigger) and often not enough instructions are given. Other than this, children are bound to enjoy this program packed with activities with the delightful Pooh.

Also included in the package is a toll-free customer number - hours of operation are 10amÐ8pm every day; a parents guide to setting up and running the software and a coupon to purchase a plush Pooh bear for $10.

Price: $69.95

Platform: Windows 95, 3.1 and Mac

System requirements: 8Mb RAM and 10Mb hard disk space for Windows; and 8Mb RAM and 10Mb hard disk space for Mac (16Mb RAM for Power Macs)Ages: 3-6Publisher: Disney InteractiveAvailable through:

Scholastic New Media

Tel (02) 4328 3555 Fax (02) 4328 2205

Dr Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

An edutainment CD-ROM that allows children to jump into the often strange world created by Dr Seuss to participate in the antics of the Cat, who has entertained audiences for as long as four decades.

The program is designed to develop skills such as word recognition, computer literacy, spatial relationships, reading comprehension and vocab.

In The Cat in the Hat children team up with two narrators - Sally and Tommy - to help the Cat balance all the figures such as fish, fans and garden rakes, as well as a cleaning up exercise at the end of the day.

The CD-ROM comes bundled with a paperback version of The Cat in the Hat.

Price: $69.95 RRP

Platform: Windows 95, 3.1 and Mac

System requirements: 8Mb of RAM for Windows and up to 5.5Mb for MacAges: 3-7Publisher: Broderbund Living BooksAvailable through:

Dataflow

Tel (02) 9417 9700 Fax (02) 9417 9797

INFO: www.broderbund.com

Word Heads

A funky, vibrant interactive CD-ROM designed to develop vocabulary, figures of speech and word construction skills in older children. Word Heads is structured just like a TV channel - called "You TV" - and boasts a series of "TV shows" or games for players to participate in, as if they were on TV.

Players are first required to select a name and make up a body for their character. I chose a head made of spinach, a plasticine body and an Uncle Sam-style hat.

After name allocations players are given the opportunity to select to play one of six games or channels - when the selection is made they simply click on the TV remote-style console and away they go. A favourite of mine was the Perfect Match-like dating show that requires players to make up words to win their perfect date.

Word Heads is a great game for pre-teen children - it's fun, easy-to-use, challenging and they won't even know they're learning anything.

Price: $59.95

Platform: Windows 95, 3.1 and Mac

System requirements: 8Mb of RAM and 15Mb available hard disk space for windows and 8Mb of RAM and 13Mb available hard disk space for MacAges: 10-14Publisher: TheatrixAvailable through:

Dataflow

Tel (02) 9417 9700 Fax (02) 9417 9797

INFO: www.theatrix.com

Education software

If you have an education-oriented software product that you'd like reviewed please contact Fiona Carroll:

Tel (02) 9902 2773 Fax (02) 9438 2410

E-MAIL: fiona_carroll@idg.com


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