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Product Type: Audio
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2013 Award
The Wreck of the Zephyr with downloadable audio
(by Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin $18.99 Score:)

Want to hear Chris Van Allsburg himself read this well loved tale to you and your kids? This 30th anniversary edition of the boy who dared to chase the wind, has the same glorious pastel illustrations plus a new cover PLUS a code that will give you a free downloadable audio version on the publishers website.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
The Folk Tale Classic Treasury
(retold and illustrated by Paul Galdone, Houghton Mifflin $18.99 Score:)

Six classic retold and illustrated by the masterful Paul Galdone are a family treasure you'll return to with pleasure. Chances are you grew up with Galdone's versions of The Little Red Hen, The Gingerbread Boy, and the four famous trios - the Three Pig, Three Bears, Three Kittens and Three Billy Goats Gruff. And here's a  new twist. The audio is not in the book, but you can download an audio book of the stories on the publisher's website by using the code in the book. 4-8

For childern who are beginning readers, following along while the story is read aloud helps develop listening skills as well eye sweep as they scan the page and follow the reader.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
It's Raining, It's Pouring Book & CD
(performed by Peter, Paul and Mary/ illus by Christ, Imagine $17.95 Score:)

Christine Davenier takes a good thing (the music, of course) and makes it even better. In an oversized picture book, the breezy illustrations bring new life to familiar nursery songs that are interspersed with the familiar, It's Raining, It's Pouring ditty that is repeated. And don't tell anyone, but there's a lot of whole lot of learning built-in as they count by fives as they follow the game the kids play of Hide and Seek. Preschol and Early School years.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.

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2012 Award
World Sing Along
(Putumayo $12.49 Score:)

A wonderful mix of familiar and not so well known songs from around the world. Sung in the language of the countries represented on this pleasing CD. Waltzing Matilda, La Cucaracha, and so many more singable folk songs sung by artists such as Dan Zanes, Angelique Kidjo, Asheba, Frances England, and Father Goose. All ages. Click here to hear a sample.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Blue Clouds
(Smithsonian Folkways $14.99 Score:)

You know that moment when you're in your child's nursery and the sun pours in?  No one's crying, no one needs a diaper....you're just enjoying being together.  Elizabeth Mitchell's new release Blue Clouds feels like the soundtrack for that perfect moment. A collection of deliciously accessible songs that highlight Mitchell's voice. The arrangements are simple--with guitars, piano, fiddles, and bass.  While the press release for this recording highlights that some of the music is from the likes of such legends as David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Van Morrison, none of that seems very important here.  The take away, is a lovely collection of music to share. Click here to hear a sample.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie
(Smithsonian Folkways $11.99 Score:)

Elizabeth Mitchell rocks this collection of Woody Guthrie songs. Right from the start with Riding in My Car we knew we were in for a treat. Her bright, strong voice makes you relax and enjoy these great songs in a new way.  She makes each song her own.  You could imagine Woody listening for a bit, smiling and then joining in.  Children's music at its best. This CD was just nominated for a GRAMMY! Click here to hear a sample.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Vivaldi's Four Seasons Book and CD
(by Anna Harwell Celenza/ illus. JoAnn E. Kitchel, Charlesbridge $19.99 Score:)

Newest in the author's series of great composer's stories. Ratherthan telling the whole life story, each of the picture books concentrates on a famous composition by a composer. This tells about the Venetian orphanage where Vivaldi taught music to young girls. His fanciful stories did not please the governors and he was sent away. But he returned later with his most memorable composition, the Four Seasons. The author's notes indicate that it is not known for certain when his masterpiece was composed, though it is believed to have been in Mantua, she he worked after leaving the orphanage. Weaving stories to the great music will hopefully open the doors to new listening for another generation.  7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012.

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2011 Award
Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, Book and CD
(by Anna Harwell Calenza/ illus. Don Tate, Charlesbridge $19.95 Score:)

Musicologist, Anna Harwell Calenza tells young readers how it was that Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, came to transform Tchaikovsky's classic Nutcracker Suite into a collection of jumpin' jazz melodies. Based on historic fact, this is a terrific way to introduce young audiences to jazz, using familiar music that they recognize as they hear the new variations. The story reflects how reluctant some of the band members were to playing ballet music and how the work of two masters opened their ears and minds. Vivid colors dance through the pages of the handsome book that comes with an orchestral CD of the composition played by Duke Ellington himself and members of his orchestra.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011.

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2011 Award
The Family Storybook Treasury & CD
(Houghton Mifflin $18.99 Score:)

Although there is much to be said about the charm of individual books that small hands can handle alone, this collection is an exceptional value! For about a dollar more than a single hard covered picture book, this oversized anthology includes full size, original art and text of such all time favorite picture books as: Sheep in a Jeep, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Martha Speaks, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Tack the Penguin, Curious George and the Firefighters, and so many more stories and poems! But, as they say on those info commercials--that's not all. Included in the book is a CD that children can listen to and follow as the book is read to them. All in all, a real buy! It's a tad on the heavy side for young kids to handle on their own, but it's a great book for sharing or set them up at a table with a player they can start and stop. A safe bet this will be a book they return to many times.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
(by Bill Martin Jr./illus. Eric Carle, narrated by , Macmillan $9.99 Score:)

With her soothing voice and calm narration, Gwyneth Paltrow reads the classic picture book with Eric Carle's marvelous bold illustrations of endangered species that we want to keep in our world. As always, Carle's painting and cut paper collages have a unique look. KIds can listen to this independently when you are busy or enjoy it together as a lapbook with signals that will tell your child when to turn the page.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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