Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stocking Stuffers to Excite the Kid with a CD-Rom

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stocking Stuffers to Excite the Kid with a CD-Rom

Article excerpt

This time of year I get a lot of questions from people who are shopping for software for their kids, parents, friends, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives and significant others.

Thanks to the newfound popularity of the CD-ROM, the pickings are better than ever. In fact, I've never seen such an explosion of interesting and entertaining software for kids and adults.

Herewith are a few suggestions, with no particular theme and in no particular order.

For parents who are absolutely determined that the family computer is going to teach their kids something, the trend this year is away from math and reading drills and toward creativity software. These are programs designed to get kids painting, drawing, writing, recording their voices and putting everything together in a multimedia show.

Among the best of these are Edmark's Imagination Express for Windows and Macintosh computers, Claris' Amazing Animation for the Mac and Knowledge Adventure's Magic Theatre for Windows.

I particularly liked Imagination Express, a CD-ROM that gives children the chance to create animated story books using text, sounds, voice recordings and images set against a variety of backgrounds.

Another interesting entry is Nickelodeon Director's Lab from Viacom, a DOS-based CD-ROM program that lets youngsters create their own Nickelodeon-style videos using a graphics studio, title editor, video editor, music and sound effects studios. This one includes 300 video clips from Nick programs and on-screen help from Melissa Joan Hart of "Clarissa Explains it All."

I don't know why this is, but another category suddenly overflowing with titles this year is "body software," designed to teach painless lessons about anatomy.

The now-classic Bodyworks from the Software Marketing Corp. is a beautifully conceived reference work for older students and adults that illustrates the body with stunning graphics, sound and animation. …

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