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Award: SNAP
Age: Preschoolers
Review Year: 2013

 

 
2013 Awards
jacob's eye patch
(Beth Kobliner Shaw & Jacob Shaw/ illus. by Jules F, Simon & Schuster $17 Score:)

Jacob is impatient to get to the store. Today is the big day. He's getting the light up globe he's been longing for, only at every turn there seem to be people delaying Jacob and his mom. Mostly the delays are about the patch he wears on his good eye to make his weak eye stronger. Jacob has no time for this today. With humor and not a whole lot of medical info, this lively book says a lot to kids with similar conditions and to kids who are curious about them. The afterward written by nine-year old Jacob and his mom add another dimension. Illustrated by Jules Feiffer, this is a book for kids on both sides of a patch.

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

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2013 Awards
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses
(by Kimberly and James Dean, HarperCollins $17.99 Score:)

Pete puts on a pair of magic sun-glasses that turn his gloom into sunshine. If only cheering up could be that simple, right? Without apology, this is one of those contrived message books that are as simplistic as most TV sitcoms, but that said, it has a repetitive story line that makes it a good choice for beginning readers. As an added value kids can go to the harpercollins.com website and see animated video versions of this and other Pete the Cat stories online. 4-8

Check out the HarperCollins online free audio/video, a good way to encourage kids to follow along and develop a variety of reading skills and pace.

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

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2013 Awards
Groovy Girls Princess Ariana
(Manhattan Toy $20 Score:)

One of several new princess dolls in the Groovy Girls collection. We liked them all, but somehow the happy looking dark-haired princess seemed most refreshing.  Like all Groovy Girls she is soft and safe and totally huggable and lovable.

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

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2013 Awards
BlaBla Pom the Apple Dolls
(blabla kids $44 & up Score:)

Newest of the BlaBla huggables, 12-inch Pom the Apple comes wrapped up in a scarf, big sweater, and leggings for chilly days ahead. Or for a bigger 18-inch version ($55) choose her look-alike big sister. If you prefer green apples, check out their Apple the Apple doll. Totally safe with no hidden snags, this is one of a charming collection of knit dolls that are washable. All ages

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Blabla Mini London Dog
(blabla kids $44 Score:)

We like this black and white pooch with high contrast eye appeal for babies. This will be more of a gazing toy for little ones at the start. Part of the BlaBla collection of handmade toys that are washable and have no hidden chocking hazards. All ages.

Age: Infants, Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Sparkup, The Magical Book Reader
(Sparkup $59.99 Score:)

Connect this new piece of technology that uses a tiny camera as its "eye", and a tiny computer chip as its "brain" to record the pages of any book you read into it. The little wonder of a machine can memorize lots of books or you can store your recordings on the computer. The magical part begins when your child turn the pages of a real book, looks at the pictures, and listens to the story in any langugae, at her own pace. The electronic book reader knows what page to read. You can send the recording via computer to a grandchild who can download to her own Sparkup reader—of course, for long distance sharing you need two Spark-ups. There are a few books that are prerecorded and come on your reading machine. The company promises more books to come. But the magic of this is that you can record old favorites, even hardcover books that you grew up with or today's newest paperback picture books. You do not need to go buy an all new library. Nor are you stuck with typical non-books made to work only with a manufacturer's newest gismo. This is a clever device for beginning readers to use as they listen and follow along to the words on the page. You can also record your child reading and send it to Grandparents across the miles. Or personalize your reading and leave it for kids to listen to when you are out for the evening or out-of-town on business. A lot of Military families are going to like this as another way of connecting.


SNAP: A sure fire way to enhance the beginning reader experience. As listeners kids develop eye sweep as they follow along with the recording. They learn about the mechanics of a book from front to back, from left to right. THese are skills that all kids need to try on before independent reading develops.

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

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2013 Awards
Maisy's First Numbers
(Lucy Cousins, Candlewick $6.99 Score:)

As always, Maisy keeps it simple and this small counting book is a good example. Maisy sticks to counting from one to five with the numeral on one page and the objects on the facing page. Written in rhyme, this is a good read-aloud for little lap sitters. Done in sturdy board stock that toddlers can explore without ripping.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Going to School?
(by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson/ illus. by L, Amazon $16.99 Score:)

No reluctance about going to school in this bouncy picture book. Kitty Cat's day is full of fun and the daily events of early school days. Told in bouncy verse that is reminiscent of that old rhyme, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Go upstairs..." 2 & up.

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

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2013 Awards
Pip and Posy The Snowy Day
(Axel Scheffler, Candlewick $12.99 Score:)

Pip and Posy enjoy all the typical fun of a snowy day until they have a snow throwing quarrel over making a snow mouse or snow rabbit. A small story about friends who learn how to make up. A bit didactic, but may be a helpful way of talking about a typical preschool problem ( or should we say, a life problem, that is seldom solved so easily.) Maybe we will send our review copy on to Congress.

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

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2013 Awards
Baby and Me
(by Emma Dodd, Candlewick $14.99 Score:)

With tabs to pull and textures to touch and feel, this is a sturdy book for new big sisters who like to play at being Mommy. Baby and Me would make a good big sister gift, along with a new baby doll to care for and love. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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