Several years ago, Spinnaker made a splash with the original KidWriter. Using this program, children created stories and added graphics to their text. While these graphics were very simple and blocky, the software was exciting and innovative, and it inspired kids to write. Now Spinnaker has done it again with KidWriter Gold. This update includes a larger collection of more realistic and colorful clip art.
KidWriter Gold comes on two disks and can be installed on a hard drive. The hard drive option makes the program much easier for children to operate because they won't have to swap disks as they create their masterpieces.
Children can choose from many backgrounds for their storybooks. Backgrounds include a desert, a castle, a moonscape, and some mountains. There are enough of these detailed and colourful scenes so that the graphics won't limit the child's choice of plot.
There are ten categories of pictures to add to the background selected, including people, monsters, dinosaurs, transportation, hearts, and stars and planets. Each category has 10-20 clipart images. These graphics can be flipped, giving the kids even more choices. Also, you can change the colors of the clip-art images (but not of the background).
After finishing the graphics, the child types the story's text in the only font offered by the program. Text is placed below the picture on the first page. There's only enough space for seven lines, but on other pages children can select a blank background and fill the entire screen with text. By including small graphics in the text area, children can create rebus stories. When all the text and graphics are in place, kids can add a musical score to each page. The program randomly selects a different tune for each page: it doesn't allow the author to choose a specific tune.
Create illustrations easily using Kidswear Gold's clip art library
Children can save finished stories to disk and then load the tales again to read them or show them off. However, you must be sure to format a data disk before your child begins working on a story. There's no way to do this once the story is started—if you don't have a data disk available, all of the work will be lost. Stories can also be printed and made into a book.
KidWriter Gold is a fun, motivating story-writing program for kids. It offers a wide enough variety of graphics and background scenes to illustrate most children's creations. With the aid of a mouse, even younger kids can easily write and illustrate simple yarns. Spinnaker has created a very useful tool to encourage writing in children.
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