School's In

ONCE KIDS TIRE OF using the speech synthesizer in Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia to curse like a sailor, they'll realize that this CD-ROM ($39.95; 888-342-5357) speaks for itself in other areas. While more superficial than other discs DK Multimedia has released, the disc will engage kids with its colorful graphics and byte-size information. Children can search for specific topics or explore broader subjects such as Nature or History. They can also take a breather in the bad-joke section (where Dracula's favorite coffee is said to be "de-coffin-ated"). There's a section on animation, featuring a hand that morphs into a spider-and then provides links to a biography of Walt Disney and info on arachnids. There are 20 virtual worlds (including a garden, a city and a mountain), each a beautiful piece of eye sandy for hungry minds.