Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Max's Sandbox V1.5.1

Max's Sandbox V1.5.1

Fall 2003 Software
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Publisher: eWord, Inc.
Price: $46.95
Platform: Windows 00, XP
Review:
This software goes where no other software has gone in the kids' edu-tainment genre--and that's saying something. With rare ingenuity, it's a interface program that reformulates Microsoft's Office for the pint-size user.

Bright and mischievous skateboarder Max is the host. With a little help from his colorful cartoon friends, the energetic Maxine, the funny Mon-key and the knowledgeable robo-lobster Sand-bot, he introduces youngsters to three programs that are mainstays in the adult business world.

MaxWrite is a playful translation of Microsoft Word where kids can create reports, letters, flyers, invitations, even their own storyboards using clipart and scripts--all the while learning the fundamentals of word processing. The surprisingly easy-to-use MaxCount reduces spreadsheets, charts and graphs to child's play, letting little beancounters not only marvel at the wonders of graphic comparison and analysis but learn a program many math-paranoid adults avoid. And the advanced tools of Microsoft Power Point are simplified into the remarkable MaxShow; kids can put on a slide show using any of 700 clip art pieces or importing photos, inserting their own recorded voice-overs or using the text-to-speech "Petey the Parrot" feature, even laying down background music tracks and special-effects sounds, to create their own first-rate multimedia presentation.

Throughout, everything's refurbished for kids: All icons are super-sized to accommodate small hands and attention spans. All features are easy from changing text size to choosing new kid aesthetic fonts. And reading isn't required. Not only fun, this brainstormed software pays dividends in teaching even very young children basic computer skills.

Don Oldenburg   ©2003 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Learning Services, Inc.
800-877-9378
http://www.learnserv.com
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
CCV Software
http://www.ccvsoftware.com
Tom Snyder Productions
800-342-0236
http://www.tomsnyder.com

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