I homeschool, so in wanting to get my son an encyclopedia, I bought him Scholastic Children's Encyclopedia. Boy, what a waste THAT was! A few minutes ago, he wanted to learn more about Amelia Earhart (thanks to Night at the Museum 2), but guess what? She's not even IN that encyclopedia!
But the 2006 Encarta? AMAZING. My son has not only found every thing he's ever wanted to learn more about in this PC encyclopedia, but he's been enriched by its video clips (such as whales breaching), audio clips (such as poets reading their work), clips from presidential speeches and musical pieces), charts, maps, intuitive interface, and comprehensive--yet accessible--articles.
You may want to snatch it up quickly, though; MS won't be making Encarata any more. Although you won't be able to get updates, all the relevant historical information will be there--including movie clips, audio clips, charts, pictures, comprehensive text, and so on. And, really, who accesses an encyclopedia for pop culture references anyway, especially with everything available on the web (such as wikipedia or relevant topical websites or even official sites)?
Excellent encyclopedia. I highly recommend it, especially for classrooms, libraries and homeschooling homes.
-- Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book