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A spotty tale of animal magic

How the Leopard Got his Spots.

CD-Rom for Windows Multimedia PCs, for ages six to 10, Pounds 22 plus VAT. From most software dealers.

Microsoft, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berks, RG11 5TP. Tel: 01734 270000. Fax: 01734 507624.

This is the classic Rudyard Kipling tale, well told, with atmosphere and dazzling, colourful illustrations.

You can just listen and watch the pictures, or you can see the text as it is read. Words like flora and fauna are red and hot and ready for clicking. You hear an explanation of the word, or hear about and see a picture of a leopard or a plant.

Explore further and you'll get a biography of Kipling, a video taster of South Africa and some words from the artist. You can play too: by clicking on each illustration bits of the jungle come alive animals flick their tails and do silly things like playing catch.

There's a camouflage game where you can colour with spaghetti, another where you match sounds and one called Mancala that you play with pebbles and is nothing like backgammon but it's fun.

This is mostly fun and enjoyable. And it's not bad at getting children interested in reading.

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