Winnie the Witch
shopping basket CD-ROM

WINNIE THE WITCH

by Valerie Thomas illustrated by Korky Paul

Narrated by Sandi Toksvig

ISBN 019268356X Oxford University Press

Enter the magical world of "WINNIE THE WITCH" with this enchanting adaptation of the award-winning children's book. Winnie lived in a black house, with black carpets, black walls, black sheets on the bed, and even a black bath. Wilbur the cat was also black and that was when the trouble began...

Choose from one of three options to explore and enjoy this spellbinding story: follow Winnie's hilarious antics in an animated movie; see the story page by page and hear it being read aloud; or select one of Winnie's rooms and you can cast spells, change colours and shapes, or click on objects for amazing and sometimes disastrous efects. Whichever option you choose, you can be sure that the results are spectacular. Full of surprises and visual trickery, "WINNIE THE WITCH" is a magical tour-de-force.


Oxford University Press should be proud of Winnie - she's achieved OUP's highest passmarks.

Winnie keeps losing her cat. He's so black that wherever he goes in Winnie's black house, he gets lost. The solution, of course, is to change the cat’s colour, but this leads to all sorts of misadventures for the poor moggy. All of which is as good an excuse as any for a children's story and lots of children's games.

On this excellent children's CD, you’ll find the whole story of "WINNIE THE WITCH", read by Sandy Toksvig.

While Winnie may not benefit from the sort of marketing power that accompanies every new Disney character, she's more than capable of holding her own when it comes to interactivity on multimedia.

You'll also find loads of really fun games to amuse the youngest generation. Amongst the diverting activities are painting games, memory games and simple exploration games.

To access each of the games, you simply click on one of the rooms in Winnie's rather grand house. The bathroom's where you can experiment with the items, the bedroom's where you can try a bit of magical painting and the hall is where you can play a memory game. It's a well designed, highly amusing and thoughtfully illustrated CD that should keep even the most demanding child happy for hours on end.

JUDGEMENT

"WINNIE THE WITCH" comes with the tiny paperback which won the Children’s Book Award. Many children will be enthralled to see Winnie and her black cat, Wilbur - who is, unfortunately, rather difficult to spot in her black house - come to life. The adults found the idea wonderful, the rooms beautifully drawn, the jokes delightful, but they felt it didn't do enough.

The story, read by Sandi Toksvig, lasts just over five minutes, The main screen shows Winnie's black house, and you can visit each room to play a game - from the kitchen, where the right set of ingredients hurled into the cooking pot turn a frog into a prince, to the attic with sunlight outside one window, sickle moon and dark garden on the other side.

Most of the objects move, but not much. There's a colour changing game in Winnie’s surprisingly dainty bedroom, but the best game is in the sitting room, where you have to beat the clock to find hidden objects. In all rooms mops are liable to burst into flames, and must be doused with fire buckets.

"WINNIE THE WITCH" is delightful and witty, and my 22 month-old-son Samuel loved it, while we blase adults wished there was more to it. On the other hand, the even more blase Katie and Tim absolutely adored this one. They gave it ten out of ten, submitted pages of written reviews, and said they would be prepared to buy it themselves out of their own pocket money - praise from those of limited pocket money comes no higher.

GUARDIAN ON-LINE SECTION 1 AUG 96, MK