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Review CornerSoftware
World Book 2002 Deluxe Edition
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
This outstanding electronic encyclopedia has original features and strong multimedia content that is appropriate for children from fourth grade on up. It is not only an excellent resource for school research, its unique browse options make it inviting to explore articles and media simply for the sake of knowledge.
Award
Ages: 9 and up  Subject: Utilities/Reference   Brand: World Book
Review Sections: Product Overview  Technically Speaking  Design  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
This latest deluxe edition of an outstanding resource should not disappoint. Contained on two CD-ROMs, World Book 2002 Deluxe Edition’s rich multimedia content, as well as impressive articles and features, bring information to life and provide homework help for students.

The interface is very child-friendly. Pictorial icons run along the top of the screen, making it easy to access the encyclopedia’s many features. A drop-down tool kit menu provides readily available links to the program’s handy tools. Large, readable text, handpicked Web links, and abundant media make the process of gathering information manageable.

Children can search the program for articles, maps, and media. The home screen divides features into the broad categories of Search and Browse. When users have specific information needs, they can search for topics or keywords, look for facts and maps in the Atlas, and find definitions in the Dictionary. As well, browsing for research ideas or just for the fun of it is an enjoyable experience with World Book’s special features and spotlights.

Special features in the program include:

  • Search Time Frame: When users have a specific year, decade, century, millennium, or even era in mind, Time Frame allows them to quickly find information in the program related to that period of time. Different categories to search include such things as Geography, Recreation, and Social Science.
  • What’s Online: Here, students can download updates to articles and other parts of the encyclopedia from the Internet. A calendar for the current month with a chronology of daily events can be accessed, and a search can be generated in the program’s handpicked Web-site database. Historical articles and special reports designed to supplement World Book articles can also be downloaded.
  • Report Wizard: This special "wizard" is designed to help children write better reports and includes step-by-step instructions. Children can get help selecting a topic, making a schedule, taking notes, creating charts and timelines, and doing research.
  • Quiz Wizard: Children can test themselves with quizzes they generate themselves.
  • Web Page Wizard: This simple feature helps users plan and create a Web-page project.
  • Atlas: Map searches and distance calculators are available in the program’s Atlas. Students can zoom in and out on a selected map and explore different types of maps, such as political, climate, economy, and population density.
  • Just Looking: This feature makes it easy to browse the content of World Book just for the fun of it. Random searches pull up a page of thumbnails of both text and media links, and any search can be refined to include more specific types of content and/or subject matter.
  • Monthly Spotlight: This feature presents a unique method of getting to know and browse World Book. It takes the form of an article with links to highlights of the CD-ROM and topics specific to the current month.
At the top of the encyclopedia’s articles are clickable tabs for easy access to related information on the CD-ROMs and online. Review questions and/or related links may appear at the bottom of an article as well.

In comparison with other electronic encyclopedias currently available, World Book has fewer articles overall. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002 is a more sophisticated product. However, much of the World Book’s content is easy to read for children as young as nine years old, and its presentation is bright and well-organized. These features help make World Book an ideal resource for children’s first research efforts.

Technically Speaking
Minimum system requirements are Windows 95/98/ME/2000/NT 4.0, Pentium-based PC or 100% compatible, 16 MB RAM (32 MB recommended, 64 MB for Win 2000), 2X CD-ROM. Requires a minimum of 40 MB of hard drive space, and Internet access is recommended.

Design
This encyclopedia is especially easy to navigate — its interface is clear and intuitive.

Dollar Value
This CD-ROM carries a suggested retail price of $60 US.

Released: 2001
Reviewed: October 2001