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Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2014 Award
Double Draw All Around the World
(Mudpuppy Press $9.99 Score:)

We don't usually do coloring books, but this is a lot more and more like a drawing book that may satisfy older kids who want their realistic drawings to look more realistic. Double Draw gives young artists half a picture of some recognizable places such as the Eiffel Tower, The Sphinx, and Lady Liberty. There are spiral bindings on both sides of the book. Kids can draw the right hand side or the left hand side of these symmetrical sites and then they can draw their own version on the blanks provided. Marked for 4 & up, this is not a preschool kind of toy. They will not get hurt by any small parts, but they will be frustrated. On the other hand, school age kids will welcome the guidance that half an image offers. A fun approach to guiding drawing that leaves plenty of room for creativity.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
I (Heart) Art
(illus. Abigail Halpin, Mudpuppy Press $12.99 Score:)

Here's a more open-ended book than it appears to be at first glance. Each double page spread introduces a simple bit of information about a well-known work of art. The facing page invites young artists to not merely copy what is on the page, but to design something that relates to that work of art. Done in conjunction with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. A nice take-home to extend a museum visit or for the young artist who needs a little direction without totally dictating what to do. 8-12 and up, up, up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Pretty in Paper
(American GIrl $24.99 Score:)

Girls who like crafts will dive right into this 64-page book with how-to recipes for trying our dozens of new craft ideas for decorating their rooms, gift packages, hair, and scrapbooks--to mention just a few. The book comes with a bundle of quilling strips and a quilling tool, large paper sheets with patterns and, a pad of scrapbook paper. The directions are clear and beautifully illustrated in full color. Reading, following details, trying new skills make this a book that develops know how with creativity. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook
(Matthew Mead, Downtown Bookworks $18.99 Score:)

Getting kids (especially boys) into cooking just got easier with this Super Hero themes cookbook. Illustrated in full color photos for eye appeal, some recipes call for food coloring, others use cookie cutters with Super Hero symbols (not included), and still others foods are decorated with colored sugar or paprika with the sturdy stencils that are in the back of the book. Kids will also like the punch-our action figures that can be taped to toothpicks and used to decorate foods. For picky eaters, this just might make certain foods more appealing. A Man of Steel Burger has a Superman shield made of cheese and ketchup; while red and yellow pepper stars are cut out to decorate Wonder Woman pizzas. If you are planning a themed party this will help you add shazam to the food choices. There are power drinks, mighty main dishes, sweet treats, hero sandwiches, naturally, and even breakfasts for a flying start! 

 

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

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2013 Award
The Animal Book:A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest,Cleverest...
(by Steve Jenkins, Houghton Mifflin $21.99 Score:)

A stunning combination of collage animal images and information fill this big book with facts about the fastest, fiercest, cleverest and more creatures of the world. A fascinating book to dip into rather than one you must read from front to back. Want to know about how their eyes work? How they defend themselves? Their family life? Steve Jenkins goes well beyond the usual. He includes images and facts about creatures that push kids out of their comfort zone. For kids who like making art, Jenkins gives them a look at how he works to create the collages and a timeline for making a book. 6-10

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

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2013 Award
A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide
(by Emily Laber-Warren, Downtown Bookworks $9.99 Score:)

One of an excellent series of child-friendly field guides. Take this along to help identify treasures found in the woods. Clear photos are there to make it easier to name and know the trees, birds, plants and other sightings along the way. Science writer, Emily Laber-Warren, keeps the information pithy but interesting to budding naturalists. The book is available alone or in a compartmentalized box that provides a mesh bag and magnified bug container. Kids can use the sturdy box for displaying items found on your walks in the woods. Also in the series, A Walk on the Beach. 5 & up

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

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2013 Award
A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide
(by Laurie Goldman, Downtown Bookworks $9.99 Score:)

Tuck this into your beach bag for your next day at the shore. A reader friendly guide to the names of birds, shells, and other sights of the seashore. Illustrated with photos, clear labels and clear factoids about thee many things want to know about at the seashore. Also available in the series, A Walk in the Woods. 5 & up

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

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2013 Award
Little Ghost Party
(by Jacques Duquennoy, Abrams Books $16.95 Score:)

Want a treat that is not to eat for your favorite trick or treater? Look for this novelty book that involves more tilting than reading. On each of the pages there are several dance poses that readers are invited to replicate by tipping the book and jiggling the little chains to make their ghosts look like the ones pictured. There isn't a lot of reading here, but kids are going to have to notice the directionality and build their own patience as they try to copy the dance poses. Put it on the coffee table as a calorie-free Halloween tradition.

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

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2013 Award
Shark-Tastic
(by Lori Stein, Downtown Bookworks $11.99 Score:)

Part of a new series known as 'science with stuff', in this case, a few real honest-to-goodness (and capable of badness) shark teeth! A visually dynamic book with real life photos of all kinds of sharks. This is a book kids can dip into and read in short takes. There are sections about the sharks anatomy, their sizes, their teeth, and more than you ever imagined about these giants of the sea. 8 & up.

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

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2013 Award
Rocks and Minerals
(by Dan Green, Scholastic $15.99 Score:)

Rock hounds are going to dig the photos in this glossy book that gives in-depth info about geology and how rocks are formed and changed. A book to browse through or use for fact-finding homework searches. Access to a free digital companion book about collecting rocks, minerals and gems is an added feature. A book for true and expert readers. 10 & up.

  

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

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