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Product Type: Books
Award: Gold
Review Year: 2012

 


2012 Award
Me and Momma and Big John
(by Mara Rockliff/ William Low, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

New Yorkers will especially relate to this story about a stonecutter at St. John the Divine. She's a working mom who lives in a modest home and trudges home each night dusty and tired. Yet her dedication speaks to the devotion she brings to her work. When the stone she has completed is finished she brings the children to see it. Her son John is disappointed at first that her name is not on it. But even the children come to understand the community of workers who have dedicated themselves to a common cause. Handsome illustrations light up the story whether in the modest apartment or under the stained glass window in the cathedral that has been in construction for more than a century.

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

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2012 Award
Olive and the Big Secret
(Tor Freeman, Candlewick $15.99 Score:)

Keeping a secret is so hard to do. That's what Olive finds out, the hard way. After trying hard not to tell, she confides in a friend who has trouble holding on to the secret, too. An amusing little tale that goes full circle and opens the way to talk about secrets. 4 - 7

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

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2012 Award
Body Actions
(by Shelley Rotner/ David A White, Holiday House $16.95 Score:)

A look inside the human body with photographs overlaid with diagrams of the body's main systems. A simple clear text accompanies each of the photos and give young readers a beginning understanding of how the main body organs work to make us move, breathe, digest, and think. A lot of big concepts told in language that does not overwhelm.

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

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2012 Award
The Christmas Tugboat
(by George Matteson and Adele Ursone/ illus. James , Clarion $17.99 Score:)

Stories about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree always have a special appeal. This one is really a story about the process of how the tree is sometimes brought by tugboat and barge and gives young readers a peek into the ride one tugboat captain and his wife and daughter took up the Hudson and back again. There is not a lot of suspense in the story, but the art is handsome and gives a back story to an iconic annual event. Of course, this is just one of the many stories in the city about Christmas Trees past. It might be fun to check out where most of the tees have come from over the years.

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

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2012 Award
Noah Webster & His Words
(by Jeri Chase Ferris/ illus Vincent X. Kirsh, Houghton Mifflin $16.99 Score:)

What an interesting and entertaining young people’s biography about the man who wrote that iconic book, Webster's Dictionary! It is well told in straight-forward prose that captures the boy, Noah's confidence and clarity. It does seem most appropriate for 7 & up, for children who know what a dictionary is and can begin to appreciate that someone had to come up with the idea of writing a uniquely American dictionary. Oddly enough it is marked for 4-8, though it is hard to think of many 4's who know or care what a dictionary is.

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

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2012 Award
Five Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath
(by Eileen Christelow, Houghton Mifflin $7.99 Score:)

As always those five silly monkeys are into their mischief making. This time out they have had too much icky sticky ice cream mixed with sloppy gloppy mud. So into the tub they go. Will this do the job? Well, yes, until they start slurping their soupy supper. Poor Mama! The rhyming is playful as always, making this another fun read-aloud. Printed on sturdy cardboard pages that will survive less than gentle little hands. 2 & up.

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

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2012 Award
Help Me Learn Subtraction
(by Jean Marzollo/ illus. Chad Phillips, Holiday House $15.95 Score:)

Newest in an excellent series that introduces beginners to the concept of subtraction. Using rhymes that give auditory cues and photographs for visual clues, the symbols of math equations become playful and concrete. For young children the concrete objects pictured add an understanding of the number symbols. Eventually children will not need the images, but for young children, these images are already one step beyond real objects. You can further reinforce the concepts of subtracting with crackers or cheerios to represent the same equations on the pages. Frankly, M&Ms and kisses were always my favorite way to teach subtraction. But Jean Marzollo's rhymes add a dash of humor that is always welcome when dealing with numbers! They say 3-7, we say more like 5-7.

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

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2012 Award
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?
(by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, Scholastic $16.99 Score:)

It's Chanukah. Are those naughty dinosaurs getting into a lot of mischief, blowing out the candles on the menorah? Peeking for presents under dad's bed? Making a mess around the house? Well it seems that way, but not really. The first half of the book is just a set up, because those funny dinosaurs really do everything right. A fun romp in rhyme.

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

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2012 Award
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?
(by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, Scholastic $16.99 Score:)

Once again those naughty dinosaurs get into a lot of mischief and muck up the house as Christmas approaches. But the first half of the book is just a set up, because those good old dinosaurs really do everything right. A fun romp in rhyme.

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

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2012 Award
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers
(By Dav Pilkey, Scholastic $9.99 Score:)

My eight year old neighbor went off with my advanced copy of the 9th episode of Captain Underpants. I am still waiting to hear how much he enjoyed it and his summer camp. From all the previous books, it is safe to say fans of this series will shout for joy to find a new adventure. Is it great literature? No, but it is one of those series that will induce even reluctant of readers to dive in. This time, George and Harold do some time travel, going back to kindergarten, before they invented Captain Underpants. So, who knows how they will deal with the sixth grade bully who tries to make their day miserable? 7 & up.

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

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