18th August 2000 at 01:00
MARSHALL MINI SERIES. Earth. By John Malham. Bugs. By Steve Setford. Space. By Ian Graham. Dinosaurs. By Sue Nicholson. Marshall Publishing pound;4.99 each

While many books are designed to provide a viable alternative to working with a computer, the books in this series each have a mini CD-Rom to support them.

This contains more than 100 illustrations that can be used in project work, with primary and lower secondary pupils using book and CD-Rom together to practise literacy and ICT skills. Each title combines highly illustrative descriptions of different aspects of its topic with a fact file section.

In Bugs and Dinosaurs, the fact files contain brief illustrated descriptions of a range of species. In the same section of Space, I was pleased to see a set of star maps and drections on their use in addition to details on planets. While three of the titles are straightforward, Bugs needs some explanation as it covers more than one insect group. The author discusses our concept of bugs and introduces the invertebrates before focusing on the insect and spider groups.

The mini CD-Rom, in a wallet inside the front cover, works on both PC and Mac, but you must check the system requirements on the inside front cover. The CD-Rom sits in the dip of the CD tray and notes for its installation are on the back inside cover. The wealth of information in the books and the opportunities for ICT work with the CD-Rom make these books extremely good value.

Peter Riley is a science writer and winner of the TESEPC Secondary Schoolbook Award for Science

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