A very fine thing indeed

7th November 1997 at 00:00
THE CAT IN THE HAT. CD-Rom for Windows PCs and Apple Macintosh Pounds 30. Broderbund Living Books

Dr Seuss would have approved. This is a wacky, sympathetic treatment of a book that delighted me when I was learning to read.

There is an art to creating a book on CD-Rom which respects the words as the most important element, while using multimedia wizardry to enhance the narrative and draw the children into the story. Over the past few years, the Br?derbond Living Books series has fine-tuned its techniques to achieve just this.

The Cat in the Hat is made for reading aloud and sounds wonderful on this title. It would be easy to get children to read along with the text in the classroom without them feeling self-conscious.

The Cat's larger-than-life, quirky nature is fully developed on the CD-Rom. The reader gets involved with him as he or she is encouraged to pick up plates, cups, cakes and other objects and balance them on his or her body. In another scene, when the terrifying Mother is about to come home, he brings in his superb red tidying-up machine. As you click on Mother's dress, a gloved hand snakes out of the machine and puts it away.

This title comes with a copy of the original text and would be an excellent investment for any infant or primary classroom. As the Cat in the Hat might have said: "What, me on CD? That is fine. Very fine. A cat in the hat on CD is divine!"

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