Kid Pix provides an electronic paintbrush

Computer file

April 22, 1991|By Lawrence J. Magid | Lawrence J. Magid,1991 Los Angeles Times Syndicate Times Mirror Square Los Angeles, Calif. 90053

I don't often review children's software, but three people whose opinion I respect have persuaded me to write about a Macintosh graphics program designed especially for kids.

Katherine Magid (soon to be 7 years old) says that Kid Pix "is neat because you can do all different types of things." William, my 4-year-old, just says, "I like it." My wife, Patti, who barely tolerates computers, actually encourages the kids to play with this program because it stimulates their creativity.

Kid Pix, from Broderbund, allows children to create their own paintings, graphics or other illustrations. It is a lot easier to use than painting programs designed for adults. Just as important, it offers lots of extra goodies, including sounds, pre-drawn images and plenty of special effects.

To begin with, the entire painting fits on a single screen. No need to fool around with scroll bars or arrows to maneuver your picture. All the graphic tools are presented as icons, and the sounds, which emanate from the Mac's speaker, make the program more fun and help reinforce learning.

You can actually hear the paint gurgle as it's poured from its can.

Kid Pix has a suggested retail price of $49.95. The company has plans for an MS-DOS version for IBM and compatible machines, to be ready this fall. Broderbund, which is based in San Rafael, Calif., can be reached at (800) 521-6263 or (415) 492-3200.

Lawrence J. Magid is a Silicon Valley-based computer analyst and writer.

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