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Product Type: Books
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2008 Award
Olivia Helps With Christmas
(by Ian Falconer, Atheneum $18.99 Score:) Saucy as ever and full of holiday spirit, Olivia takes a few too many things into her own porcine hooves. She feeds the baby blueberry pie and oh, my, she tosses her cookies. You will have a good laugh when she ingeniously finds a very small tree for the table top—the top of another tree. With fold out gates and lots of humor, this is sure to please the grown-ups who will surely be asked to read it again and again. 4-8.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Great Joy
(by Kate DiCamillo /illus by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick $16.99 Score:) Frances is getting ready for the Christmas pageant, but she is worried about where the organ grinder and his monkey, on the street corner, go at night. While adults, including her mother seem less concerned, Frances is more than curious. Set in the early 40’s this timepiece has a back-story that will not be apparent to children. Organ grinders are a thing of the past, as are the old fashioned cars, and fashions. The red, white and blue buntings mixed in with the Christmas decorations reflect the same era that only older grandparents will recall. Add to this, Frances’ father in his Naval uniform, who appears only in a photo on the shelf, but is never mentioned in the story. Paintings with a warm glow of another era add much to the power of this endearing story about the joy found in caring for others. A gem that connects the past and the present.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Look-Alikes Around the World
(by Joan Steiner, Little Brown $15.99 Score:) She’s done it again! This time Joan Steiner has made witty constructions of familiar sights around the world. Photographed as “postcards” they tease the eye to look for the unexpected…combs that are the blades of a windmill that turns out to be a metronome, leaves of tulips that are sting beans, cupcakes that are the huts in an African village and brussel sprout trees in front of the Taj Mahal with towers of clarinets and pears for minarets. It’s not just fun and games. Yes, there is a glossary of sorts. But at it’s heart, this is about creativity and seeing things in new ways. 5-9.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Dear Deer
(by Gene Barretta, Holt $16.95 Score:) Beginning readers are often amused, if a little confused by words that sound alike, but are spelled differently. This is an entertaining and “easy reader” in a picture book format. A little on the cartoonish side, but that, too will be enjoyed at this stage. 5-7.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me
(by Ann Grifalconi/ illus. by Jerry Pinkney, Hyperion $16.95 Score:) A family story, that goes back to the days of slavery and a family of Quakers who helped in their escape. Told by a grandfather to his granddaughter, it plants the seed of how kindness, hope, and faith blossomed. Simply but beautifully told and illustrated. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The Perfect Nest
(by Catherine Friend/illus. by John Manders, Candlewick $16.99 Score:) If you love hamming it up and using many voices doing it, find someone to read this out loud to! Great good fun begins when Jack the Cat decides he will build a perfect nest to attract egg laying birds for his breakfast omelet. Enter Chicken , Duck and Goose! It’s a deliciously funny read aloud! 4-8.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
I'm Not Scared
(by Jonathan Allen, Hyperion $14.99 Score:) Baby owl is out for a stroll and annoyed when all the animals he meets ask if he’s scared. After all, he’s an owl, isn’t he? Even Papa makes the mistake of treating him like he might be scared. In fact, it’s wise Papa who reassures Baby that it is all right to be a little scared of the dark sometime. Might be a comforting choice for those who worry about the dark and night. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The Pink Refrigerator
(by Tim Egan, Houghton Mifflin $16 Score:) A little bit of a preachment with a sense of humor. Dodsworth’s motto was “Try and do as little as possible.” He spent most of his day watching TV. Then one day an old pink refrigerator in his yard starts pushing him to try a few other things. A little instruction book for the couch potato on your list.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The One and Only Shrek! Plus 5 Other Stories
(by William Steig, Farrar Straus $29.99 Score:) This is not your big screen Shrek. It’s the lead story in a wonderful collection of William Steig storybooks that are for school aged kids, not preschoolers. You may infact, enjoy some of the others even more than the title story, which is going to have to do battle with the Shrek you and the kids know. There’s the amusing Amazing Bone, Brave Irene, Spinky Sulks, Doctor De Soto and Caleb & Kate. One for every noght of a six day week, then start at the beginning again. Or go out and buy or borrow, Amos & Boris, Sylvester & the Magic Pebble and any of his chapter books, such as Abel’s Island. If it’s Steig you can’t go wrong! Also available in audio, narrated by Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, (Macmillan Audio $14.95) 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Bad Bears Go Visiting
(by Daniel Pinkwater/illus. by Jill Pinkwater, Houghton Mifflin $16 Score:) Once again those Bad Bears are back in a new caper. This time their friend Larry, also a polar bear, comes to pay them a visit and teaches them the pleasures of socializing. They like it so much they leave the zoo to visit a family, the Beachballs. Pure fun-not quite as over the top as past tales of Irving and Muktuk. Look for their earlier tales. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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