2005 Notable Computer Software for Children announced

Contact: Laura Schulte-Cooper
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2005

2005 Notable Computer Software for Children announced

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2005 lists of Notable Computer Software and Online Subscription Services for children. The notables recognize high-quality computer programs and online subscription services for children 14 years of age and younger.

The selected software products are:

I Spy Spooky Mansion Deluxe.

Scholastic. (Ages 6 and up)

Fans of visual puzzles and wordplay will love this interactive trip into a haunted house. Fifteen I Spy picture puzzles must be solved before the resident skeleton guides the player out of the mansion. Once out, the skeleton invites the player back in for a new round of games and clues. Completing each of three rounds leads to a new challenge.
Not only is the program easy to load and fun to play, it also sharpens visual and problem solving skills.

Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster 2: Chess in the Black Castle.

Viva Media.
(Ages 8 and up)

Fans of the first Fritz and Chesster adventure will not be disappointed with this new game, which focuses on chess strategy. Bianca and Fritz enter the creepy Black Castle to rescue their mentor, Chesster the Rat, who is being held hostage. Only by increasing their chess skills do they stand a chance of outwitting the nefarious King Black.
With Bianca's handy Organizer, players can check on point values, learn strategies, store clues found throughout the castle and glean other helpful information.
A free year's subscription to playchess.com is included with purchase.

Photo Puzzle Builder.

APTE, Inc. (Ages 6 and up)

Creating word and picture puzzles is a snap with this engaging program.
Anagrams, crosswords, word searches, photo-scrambles and photo jigsaws are just some of the puzzles users can create.
Public domain images are included, but personal digital photos and graphics can be used as well.
Puzzles can be edited and the final results can be saved, printed, exported and posted on a Web site.

Starry Night: Complete Space and Astronomy Pack.

(Ages 9 and up)

Discover the wonders of the night sky with this realistic planetarium program.
Young astronomers can see the sky from any point on earth, controlling time, location, elevation and more.
They can pilot the Deep Space Explorer up to 700 million light years from earth for stunning views of the ever-expanding universe.
Heavenly bodies can be viewed from any angle or distance and can be rotated as well.
This extensive package also includes Sky-Theatre, a full-length documentary on DVD, and an accompanying text, "Starry Night Companion."

The selected online subscription services are:

Digital Curriculum.

AIMS Multimedia. www.digitalcurriculum.com.
(Ages 7 and up)

This comprehensive interactive learning resource integrates full-length videos, video clips, still images, encyclopedia content, teacher guides, lesson plans and online assessments and assignments.
Users can supplement learning at home and school with over 90,000 educational multimedia components for every subject.
Includes correlations to state and national standards.

For more information about Notable Computer Software for Children, visit the ALSC Web site at

Members of the 2005 Notable Software for Children Committee are: Caren S. Koh, chair, Queens Library, Jamaica, N.Y.; Diana Berry, Oak View Elementary School, Decatur, Ga.; Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, Rohnert Park, Calif.; Nancy Johnson, Western Washington University, Bellingham; Don Latham, Florida State University, School of Information Studies, Tallahassee; and Bina Williams, Bridgeport (Conn.) Public Library.