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21st July 2000 at 01:00
With clucking clay-mation creatures engrossing the attention of millions, an interactive educational CD-Rom featuring Chicken Run is very timely. Aimed principally at pupils doing media studies, it uses material collected during the production of the film to take students through the processes behind its making. They can view the characters in their rudimentary stages, see how the models were constructed, use a varied set of camera instructions from close-up to high angle, match visuals to audio, find out how to lip-sync, turn story-boards into scripts, and much more. Friendly familiar fowls provide directions throughout.

The Chicken Run CD-Rom is being distributed free to many schools. Copies can be ordered from Film Education, Alhambra House, 27-31 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AU. Tel: 020 7976 2291. Email: postbox@filmeducation.org Young Writer magazine carries interviews with favourite authors, lively editorial commentary, competitions, advice on literary genres, poetic forms and prosody - and, above all, examples of the original work of its readership, whose only common feature is their love of language. The tone is inclusive, encouraging and only very occasionally a little complacent. Now it's been adaptd on to audiotape for blind and partially-sighted enthusiasts, in a cheerful mixture of voices, music and sound effects that mirror the colourful and slightly anarchic effect of the magazine's packed pages.

Young Writer Audio will appear three times a year. Tapes cost pound;6.50 each or pound;17.50 for an annual subscription. The print magazine costs pound;7.50 for three issues. Contact Young Writer, Glebe House, Weobley, Hereford HR4 8SD. Telfax: 01544 318901.

Email: youngwriter@enterprise.net For primary pupils who are investigating the Romans, even in the holidays, the National Trust has produced a helpful 32-page booklet. One of a series of a dozen volumes, it blends photographs and cartoons with a lively informative text. Evidence is drawn from the Trust's own properties: beads and bracelets found in the baths at Caerleon offer one kind of clue; a statue of a boy with a pet hare, excavated at Lincoln, supplies another. There are many more examples from as far afield as Northumberland and Dorset, each giving unspectacular but telling insight into ourcolonised past.

Investigating the Romans costs pound;3.99 from National Trust Mail Order Service. Tel: 01225 790800. Website: www.nationaltrust.org.ukbookshop.

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